Search This Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin

This is now my favorite guide to childbirth. I loved it. I've already begun recommending it to expectant mothers of my acquaintance. Ina May states that she set out to write a book which would affirm for women that, by and large, they are capable of giving birth naturally. She succeeded at her goal admirably.

Reading it felt like having a cozy chat with a loving, wise, and educated grandmother. I much preferred this book to Ina May's 'Spiritual Midwifery,' perhaps because she doesn't come across as quite so hippy in this newer book. She sticks to generally used anatomical words (if you've read 'Spiritual Midwifery,' you know what I have in mind by contrast). I appreciated her reasons why a woman would want to give birth without pain medications.

I would like to have several copies of this book on hand in order to loan/give to my friends. I think this book would be a wonderful read for anyone wanting a solid guide to childbirth, a refreshing view of childbirth, a well-articulated rationale for natural childbirth, or reassurance that natural childbirth is not the freaky choice that the modern medical establishment would lead you to believe. Five stars.


  1. Chapter on Sphincter law is invaluable and only found in her book.

  2. Wonderful! I've been practicing for real labor and encouraging real labor by blowing raspberries with most of my Braxton Hicks. I learned a lot in this book, even though I've read a fair amount of birth books written for lay people. What I learned about Cytotec makes me angry.

  3. Although it was also filled with salty language, "Spiritual Midwivery", along with S. Kitzinger's "Homebirth" were such an invaluable book when I was having babies. It's nice to hear she's written another book and has dropped the slang for the women's parts (it came across as sophomoric to me since I'm not of the hippy generation). I recently heard bits of an interview with her on NPR. I didn't realize it at the time but she was probably promoting this book. IF you look up Diane Rehm you might find it, since it was only a few weeks ago.