April 3rd, 2006

Stewart Not Your Monkey

I've got some work to do!

snagged from dragynflies

While not entirely pathetic, I'm not pleased with my rankings.

If you think I'm totally super-cool, or if you have some friends whom you think may vibe with my journal, please feel free to pimp me! ~ LOL ~ I've been trying to find new friends lately, and this is just good incentive:

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Best Birthy Books

I am planning on making a Recommended Reading handout to give to my doula clients. I realized that I usually recommend the same three books first:

#1. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

With 99 customer reviews on Amazon, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth has earned 5 stars - and with good reason.

I always recommend this birth first. The entire first half is devoted to birth stories, mostly normal births. The midwives at The Farm are amazing - at over 2000 births, they have a cesarean rate of less than 2%, while the US cesarean rate reached an all-time high of 29.1% in 2004.

The birth stories in this book are so straight-forward, simply affirming the innate strength and beauty of birthing women - without being overly preachy. It comes with beautiful and tasteful photos that show expected parents what normal birth is all about.

#2. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

Henci Goer covers practically everything in this book. This is truly all a thinking woman needs to take control of her own birth. Goer gives a disclaimer up front, letting the reader know that she is for normal, natural births. She goes on to explain that she advocates this because research shows it's the healthiest, best way to have a baby. She gives the research in a straight-forward manner, giving the woman the information on the subject, the pros & cons, other treatments you might consider, and more. Even if you don't necessarily agree with her, you'll definitely come away from this book empowered to make an educated choice on your own.

#3. Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

I'll give my own disclaimer now: One of my goals is to become a childbirth educator through the Birthing From Within Mentor program.

While I was saddened that I couldn't take one of these classes while I was pregnant, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Birthing From Within looks at birth as a powerful, sacred occassion. It helps the parents to go within, tapping into the great birth power that has been at the center of life through time eternal. We've lost a lot of the sacredness with the medicalization of birth, and Birthing From Within helps us reclaim that.

This book gives wonderful, thought provoking exercises for the parents to work on, dipping into the creative and artisic part in all of us. Focusing on emotion rather than technique, the exercises encourage the parents to get creative and hands-on in preparing for the arrival of their child. The birth art is beautiful, and the themes touched on are so vital to birthing parents, but often so overlooked.

So I'd like to ask all of my birthy friends - what are your top three books that you recommend to birthing mommas & families?

I'll be honest, it was very hard not to include 'Gentle Birth Choices' in my top three. Henci Goer's book is so comprehensive, though, that Birthing From Within won out for third choice.

Ideally, I'd love to have a handout that includes:
Normal Childbirth
And I'd like to find a good humorous book that might speak to fathers & partners

What are your top picks, and why?

Thanks in advance!

Stewart Not Your Monkey

Birth Conversations: A Doula's Version of The Vagina Monologues

Please check out this wonderful post by my friend Hannah over at Milliner's Dream:

Birth Conversations: A Doula's Version of The Vagina Monologues

Here's a short preview. Read all of it at her site, and then bookmark her page. She's completely awesome.


Actual statements & conversations, at births I have attended, except the first two "in office" which were relayed to me by clients, here is this doula's version of The Vagina Monologues.


* Nurse in hospital (on her knees, crying): "Please, please, I'm begging you please get an epidural...it's hurting my heart to watch you suffer..."

* Nurse in hospital: "You can do this, whatever you want, we'll help you..."
Mom in hospital: "I don't think I can do this, but I don't want drugs..."
Nurse in hospital: "You can do anything, and we'll help you..."