Pregnancy and birth are normal biological events. They are not medical events. Both can have complications that require interventions. Think of it this way: our bodies are healthy most the time, when they are sick we get help. Pregnancy and birth are healthy events, when complications arise we get help. View them as separate because they are. Pregnancy and birth is not an illness or a disease. It is a healthy process.
This book helps you to really understand all of this.
The Childbirth Education chapter is pretty detailed. It describes the different types of teacher certifications out there. It details what each style is known to teach. Depending on who the teacher bases her course on is what you will be taught. Knowing the different styles will help you decide whom to choose. The book was written in 2003 so it did not list Deepak Chopra’s course, which I also recommend.
There are thirty-two chapters full of invaluable information. Each chapter has all three of these inserts with special little tidbits:
Body Wise: Safe movements to keep healthy. Example: Kegel exercises are great for women any time. They increase circulation to the perineum and tone the vaginal and pelvic floor muscles that support the uterus.
Natural soothers: Home-care recipes. Example: Your Beautiful Belly- To help prevent stretch marks and enhance the natural resilience of your skin, add essential oil to you skin-care preparations and massage yourself regularly. Lavender and neroli are particularly helpful in preventing stretch marks.
Higher Ground: All things inspirational. Example: Pregnancy affirmations-Pregnancy is a natural, normal, healthy and vibrant state for my baby and me.
Her Chapter on the Doula (Greek for women supporting woman) has a very detailed list of how a Doula can make labor and birth much better. It has lots of percentages:
- Increase chance labor will progress normally
- Increase chance feel satisfied with birth experience
- Reduce labor time by 25%
- Reduced chance cesarean by 50%
- Reduced chance you’ll ask for pain meds or epidural by 60%
No two births are alike. The best way to prepare yourself is to become comfortable with the unexpected. Learn to surrender to things as they are. Rely on your own inner resources, trust your body’s responses, and take joy in preparing for the new life that is now becoming a part of you.
This book is for you if you want to participate fully in decision making, make educated, personal choices from the full range of options available and be able to give an informed consent when chosen.
Here are a few quotes I took from the book that I feel just really need to be read.
“What will make me feel well cared for during pregnancy? Where would I feel safest giving birth? Who will I want to be with me? As you ask yourself these questions, realize that the choice is completely yours, and don’t be unduly influenced by anyone else.”
“It seems sadly ironic that we protect our bodies from drugs throughout pregnancy; only to flood our bloodstream and our baby’s with them during birth. Using drugs during childbirth also raises many questions about both the immediate and long-term effect on mothers and babies.”
“Twenty-three other countries have better birth outcomes than we do in the United States. All of these countries spend less money on health care than we do. Even with all of our technology, we are not protecting as many babies and mothers as other countries do with less. American insurance companies define pregnancy as a disability; obstetrical medicine acts defensively to ward off malpractice suits; pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of birth technology entice practitioners to try their products by offering incentives; in short, as a culture, we are uncomfortable with the intimate physical events of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding.
What do those twenty-three countries have in common- those who spend less money yet have better birth outcomes than the United States? All of them rely on midwives.”
I really recommend going to www.mothering.com for more great info.