Ina May is an inspiration to moms everywhere. They love her on Goodreads and on Amazon. The first issue of this now classic text, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth!, was released to much fanfare back in 2003.
It’s sensibly priced (at just under $15 in both electronic format and hard copy). The book is split into a sort of hippy-dippy first half that may or may not delight you and then a steadfastly practical second-half that is indispensable to new moms.
Heather on Amazon says, “I loved this book! As a first-time mom nervous about childbirth this book gave me so much confidence in my body to do its job. The book is set up in 2 parts: part 1 is just birth stories, part 2 is medical information about birth. The birth stories were wonderful to read. Yes, a few were very “New-Agey” and kind of “hippie” like but just hearing about different women who successfully gave birth was very helpful to combat all the people telling me to just “Get an epidural as soon as you can.” and all the horror stories people somehow think are acceptable to tell to a pregnant woman. Not all of the stories are for everyone, but that’s okay. Even if you just want to hear some positive birth stories, you will enjoy them. There’s a snarky comment about the experience of one woman who went to assist in another’s birth and I think it’s inappropriate. The women at The Farm (the community that Ina May established for those who wish to pursue natural birth) see the value in helping other women through birth and we as a Western society forget that this used to be the only way women had any assistance during birth before hospitals and OBGYN’s. I think it’s a beautiful example of how this community functions. You don’t have to agree with it, just move on to the next story if it isn’t your cup of tea.
The medical information in the second half has helped my confidence immensely in choosing to have a “natural” hospital birth. Keep in mind this is coming from the point of view of a midwife, not a doctor, so it’s not going to have the same voice as those in a medical profession. Ina May goes through how the body responds to labor and possible interventions you may see in the hospital. Although she is clearly for having as natural a birth as possible, she definitely gives what I think of as an unbiased view on these things as she can. She defines the interventions for you and tells you possible side effects. She says which ones you can definitely refuse without endangering yourself or your baby if you choose to, but as I read through this I never felt like I would be considered less of a mother if I chose any one of these things. Though she is clearly trying to show you the benefits of using a midwife vs. traditional doctors, she makes intelligent points and is clearly just trying to inform her readers. She also has many references and resources to back up her claims and the statistics of the midwives she showcases speak for themselves.
I think this is a great book for anyone trying to learn more about the child birthing process, anyone who is nervous or doubting their ability to do it, or anyone who just wants to know their options in care. I have recommended it to several people and am loaning it to my cousin who is due in March.”
With over 20,000 positive reviews online, we feel slightly superfluous on this one. But we’d like to throw the weight of our opinion behind everyone else. If you buy no other book as a new mom, buy this one.
You can buy Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth at Amazon now. That is if you haven’t already.
We’re giving away a copy of this awesome book to one lucky reader thanks to Project Mom, the best site online for moms, they also have daily giveaways – so check them out to get even more chances to win cool stuff. You can get extra entries in all our sweepstakes by coming back every day before the draw, this really increases your chances of winning. Enter Now