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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - A Review

Updated on September 21, 2014

Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Birth Experience...

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is, by far, my favourite book on natural childbirth.

If you're pregnant and suffering from listening to everyone's negative birth stories then grab yourself a copy and read all the positive stories in this book. Sure, not all of them are perfect but even the painful stories have a sense of joy to them.

The second part of this book is full of good advice and common sense on why normal healthy pregnancies shouldn't end in intervention.

I'd recommend this book to every pregnant woman.

Birth Stories

Part 1

Birth Stories

The first part of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a collection of birth stories, most of which took place at "The Farm" - a self-sufficient community where Ina May Gaskin lives.

Whilst some of the birth stories feature long and painful labor or even trips to the hospital all of them are positive and focus on the thing that everyone should be focusing on - the delivery of a brand new life.

Some of the stories feature images - either of the new born babies or the women in labor themselves.

Some of the women grew up on The Farm but a lot were women who wanted to escape having a hospital birth - either because they hated the idea of a high-tech birth or because they wanted to avoid repeat experiences.

Lots of tips can be garnered from the stories on how best to survive labor.

The Essentials of Birth

Part 2

The Essentials of Birth

Part 2 of Ina May's book details what happens during labor, how your mind and body are deeply connected (I also recommend reading Grantly Dick-Read's Childbirth Without Fear), being active during birth and letting gravity do some of the work etc.

Some of the things I loved about this section of the book included how Ina May talks about how women's bodies are powerful and strong enough to give birth and how many women have been "tricked" needlessly into thinking that there is something wrong with them and they're not capable of the job without medical intervention.

My Review

My Review

This book sounds like it's going to be full of hippy ideas when you hear about "The Farm" but it's full of common sense.

One of the things that I've found hardest about being pregnant is the amount of negativity I've received from people about how horrible childbirth is etc - which particularly annoyed me after reading Grantly Dick-Read's "Childbirth Without Fear" which talks about how if you're afraid of childbirth then it's much more likely to be painful. Reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was a wonderful antidote - as I've said, not all the births went strictly according to plan but they all had a sense of joy to them.

If the only thing you know about childbirth is that you go to hospital to do it, then you have to read this book!

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

If you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant but the idea of giving birth terrifies you then you need to read this book.


Reader Feedback

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    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      6 years ago

      High Five! I loved this book during my last pregnancy. Check out my birthing lens--I Chose Homebirth.

    • sousababy profile image


      7 years ago

      I liked the book 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. It is good to know about these other ones you recommend. Thank you so very much. Sincerely, Rose


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