One Born Every Minute
Planning a Natural Childbirth?
“The Thinking Women’s Guide to a Natural Childbirth,” by Henci Goer is my favorite go-to book that I recommend to any pregnant Mom hoping to prepare for childbirth. Knowing your options is empowering. Regardless of a Mom’s desire for an epidural starting at the 1st contraction or their aspirations to naturally birth at home in a dark room surrounded by candlelight, this book will educate and inform you about the entire birth experience. It slants towards a natural childbirth, yet this book provides a balance of information on each possible medical intervention and the merits, pros, and cons of both the "natural" way and each intervention - from C-section to epidurals to episiotomies. Obviously, I especially refer Henci Goer's book to anyone I meet who is considering a natural childbirth and asks me for advice. I had 2 natural childbirths in a hospital for both of my children and this book really helped me understand the goals of my birth plan as well as understand the medical interventions I might need or want depending on how my body was handling labor. For instance, she suggests in her book, even if you plan for a natural child birth, several situations may arise where an epidural could be truly needed for pain management including back labor or being induced, so be sure to consider these potential scenarios in your birth plan.
The Business of Being Born DVD: This documentary has been generating buzz about the birthing experience in the US for well over a year now. It has received accolades along with criticism but the statistics on the alarming C-section rates in the US, along with our infant mortality as compared to other Westernized nations, will leave you wondering if there aren’t flaws that could be improved in the medical model in the US. The key difference between the US and the rest of the world seems to be that the mid-wife experience has been completely removed from our US hospital births, which is not the case elsewhere. You'll find this movie eye-opening and the bonus is you'll see Ricki Lake give birth in the bathtub!
Other interesting reads:
“Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”, by Ina May
“Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience”, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.