Friday, June 10, 2011

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

I've been slowly making my way through Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and I can't even begin to tell you how much of a blessing it has been to me. I have really felt comforted, empowered, and encouraged reading this book. If you don't know, Ina May Gaskin is an incredible midwife, but she's also so much more. She really advocates for the best maternity care women can receive and doesn't believe in ever making a woman feel "less than." The experience she has gained throughout her years as a midwife is really invaluable. She owns a midwifery center in Tennessee called The Farm and their stats speak for themselves. Before the first C-section was necessary they had 186 births and the second C-section wasn't necessary until the 324th birth. Compare that to the rate of C-sections in US hospitals, which is between 30-40%...ridiculous!

I'm just really thankful for Ina May and her experience with childbirth. The lady really knows what she is talking about. She is so reassuring in her view that women can birth healthy babies without the need of medical interventions. Our bodies are capable.

I hope that this blog post (or any of my other posts on unmedicated childbirth) don't come across as snobby or insulting in any way. Believe me, that is not my intention. I believe that women can make their own choices...and if you really want to have  an epidural or other drugs to help you cope with the pain of childbirth, go right ahead, no judgment here. I just find it annoying that so many women practically laugh in my face when I tell them of my plans to go unmedicated. I'm not dumb or naive. I have done the research and I believe in the body God gave me. I understand the need for medical interventions, but I also am concerned with the rate of women who are consenting to medical interventions unnecessarily because they haven't done the research or because medical professionals are making them feel pressured or inadequate. So this is just my little post to say that I have found great encouragement in this book by Ina May and if you are even the slightest bit curious about unmedicated childbirth you should pick up this book and read it.


Grace said...

Hey Kristel,

This might sound kind of creepy but I am an old friend of Alex's from high school and I follow your blog. I am an elementary school teacher and getting married in October... and I love babies! I believe in the importance of family planning and right now is not a good time for me or my fiance. That being said, I love following YOUR pregnancy because I am so looking forward to mine! I appreciate how honest you are about the whole process, almost as if you're giving us future moms pointers and cheat sheets ;) I also lovelovelove your weekly pictures--I don't know if I'll have the energy to do something as creative as what you and Alex do, but it's definitely inspirational.

Anyway, the point of my comment was to tell you that I totally support you on having an unmedicated childbirth. After seeing the movie "The Business of Being Born" I completely changed my mind about how I want to have my babies someday. My sister has had two children and I could see exactly how the hospital practically coerced her into making all of the decision that benefited the doctors and staff. Coming from a hispanic family, the topic alone is considered totally "crazy" so it's not even worth discussing, and I imagine you have faced similar opinions. I think you know your body better than anyone else and you and your husband and midwife will make the best decisions for delivering your baby. It might be uncomfortable, but it's what you were designed to do and women have been doing it since the beginning of our existence. I wish you the best and just know that I'm sure you have other readers who are rooting for you and baby Liam.

- Grace

Nicky Lee said...

#1 Really like your blog #2 This book was a Godsend and gave me a lot of motivation to continue with our plan to have an unmediated birth. I'm due July 21st and I'm already starting to fire up for the big show and this book, along with the Mayo Clinic book has helped me get ready for the big game :) Good luck with everything and enjoy your new little bundle!

Anne Marie said...

I'm almost done reading this book. LOVE it. It's one of the required books for doula classes. Thanks for reviewing it!