Birthing from Within An Extra Ordinary Guide to Childbirth

Birthing from Within An Extra Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation Here is a holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite of passage not as a medical event but as an act of self discovery Exercises and activities such as journal writing meditation and painting will help mothers analyze their thoughts and face their fears during pregnancy For use during birth the book offers proven techniues for coping with labor pain without drugs a discussion of the doctor or midwife’s role and a look at the father’s responsibilities Childbirth education should also include what to expect after the baby is born Here are baby basics such as how to bathe a newborn how to get the little one to sleep and tips for getting nursing off to a good start Pregnancy birth and postpartum is a process of continuous learning and adjustment; Birthing From Within provides the necessary support and education to make each phase of birthing a rewarding experience

10 thoughts on “Birthing from Within An Extra Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

  1. Jessica Jessica says:

    This is definitely not the childbirth book for everyone but it turned out to be the perfect one for me I read like a million of these things though I didn't keep track of them as I went so now I can't remember most of them which was helpful but I would've been okay if I'd read just this oneWhile it looks superficially like a flakey out there hippie book actually this was the most sensible down to earth guide of all the ones that I read Other natural childbirth books were very anti medical establishment and made me terrified of giving birth in a hospital I was so scared that I'd wind up with a lot of interventions I didn't want and might not need and convinced I'd end up with a preventable caesarean it didn't help knowing that the hospital I was giving birth at has one of this highest c section rates in the country There is a lot of judgey stuff going on in this very polarized world of baby having I suppose it's a taste of all the childrearing judgment to come which adds to the stress of this all because you're like This person was in back labor for five days and had a full body orgasm and spiritual experience when she delivered what kind of jerk am I if it turns out I can't handle the pain? I also felt all this anxiety about how I should be preparing for birth like I needed to take classes and learn special breathing exercises or yoga positions or something or I'd be screwed once the contractions would start Birthing from Within wasn't like this at all and helped me to prepare for giving birth in important ways that made sense to me Unlike a lot of other natural childbirth books this one has a very calm nonjudgmental approach to medication and other medical interventions She has a chapter about home birth and how great it is but she goes out of her way to make it clear that you're not an asshole if this isn't the route you choose I really loved her chapter on what she's careful to call caesarean birth where she emphasizes that while this isn't the way a lot of women chose to deliver that a lot of the baggage and bullshit around it not being the right way to have a baby traumatizes them and makes them feel a sense of loss about their childbirth experience that is tragic and unnecessary Her attitude helped me let go of so much anxiety about the possibility of not having the natural crunchy birth experience I was hoping for More than any other book this one helped me to establish the mindset I needed to approach an endeavor about which I had a lot of specific hopes and preferences but ultimately not all that much control One of the most freeing parts for me was when she said birth plans were stupid Everyone kept telling me to make a birth plan and it was stressing me out I wondered what the point of that was since I had all these ways I wanted things to go that seemed totally self evident but that in the event that something unexpected happened all that would go out the window so what was the point of making a big deal out of writing it down? Instead of telling you to make a birth plan she has you examine what you're hoping this will be like and look closely into your expectations and fears She really helped me to see that while I would go into this with certain ideas about how I wanted birth to be and could do certain thing to make it likely that it'd go the way I wanted the only thing I could really do for sure was get my mind right and this book helped me do thatI really appreciated that she had a realistic approach to pain unlike certain other sources that suggest childbirth shouldn't hurt and that if it does you must be doing it wrong she emphasizes that childbirth hurts like hell and that being prepared for that is hugely important I didn't find the pain exercises especially helpful but the way she talked about pain was The way she discussed it as a necessary part of the process and the hard work of childbirth as something akin to heroic feats or athletic contests worthy of honor just made sense to me and was a lot helpful than other books' suggestions that if I used certain techniues this might not hurt after allThe emphasis on birth art is again not for everyone but it turned out to be for me I really love drawing but it's not something I ever do as an adult My pictures were much ridiculous and less New Mexico natural birthy than her examples but getting to draw these fun cartoons based on her prompts was a lot of fun and did help me reflect in my own way about my expectations and fears about birth in a way that was enormously helpfulAgain while it seems like a hippie book this book is the most substantive and significant of the ones that I read Becoming a mother for the first time is a big fucking deal Birthing from Within addressed my anxieties about childbirth in a productive way while also helping me integrate these with some understanding of what becoming a parent was going to mean Birth is a big scary thing for a lot of reasons and this was the only book I read that truly resonated with me in its conception of birth as fraught with its own perils yeah but also as a moment of transition to a much larger and complex thingAs a result of all this I felt really prepared to give birth I knew that I wanted to spend the least amount of time possible laboring in the hospital and that I hoped to avoid using drugs but that I wouldn't be ashamed of myself if I changed my mind I fervently hoped not to end up getting a caesarean but had accepted that if this did happen it wouldn't be the end of the world and that the important thing was leaving at the end of it all with a healthy baby I did still have some real anxiety about laboring in the hospital an unpleasant and stressful environment where they'd reuire continuous use of a fetal monitor that would restrict my movement I was also very worried about the pressure of time and continuous checks of my progress and how this could affect my ability to relax I'd discussed these concerns with my doctor and with the doula I'd hired as this book strongly advises and as I'd also recommend especially if you're giving birth in a fairly inhospitable place and with friends and the result of all these conversations was that I should try stay home as long as I couldIn order to stay home as long as possible while in labor you need to have some serious grounded faith in your own abilities and in the process This book and others gave me the confidence in advance that when shit got real the pure mammalian part of me would take over and I just needed to stand aside and let it In the end I wound up having a fast easy NOTE EASY HERE IS RELATIVE TERM labor It started when I woke up at 430am with very mild contractions and couldn't get back to sleep but because I'd read this book I wasn't nervous at all and just puttered around the house for hours watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on Netflix and draping myself over a yoga ball and grunting when I felt pain Things did not get difficult until early afternoon when there were a couple of truly excruciating hours What made that time so much worse than it would have been just from terrible pain was that I was scared to go to the hospital since I really wanted drugs and knew that I'd initially planned not to use them but couldn't at that moment remember why I felt terrified by the knowledge that this pain was going to continue on indefinitely maybe for many hours and by my knowledge that it was going to get worse What I didn't know then in these despairing moments was that I was actually in transition not in the middle of labor as I thought and that terror and despair were exactly what I should have been feeling This misapprehension was backwards from how things usually seem to go women often think they're much further into things than they are which can be very discouraging and in line with a birth fantasy cartoon I'd drawn earlier of the baby slipping out while I watched baseball in my living room At a certain point things finally got so bad that we packed off to the hospital and the second we pulled up in front I felt the urge to push I'd been so worried about lack of mobility in the hospital but they couldn't seem to find a wheelchair so I got to walk upstairs which I think really helped When I got up there I was fully dilated gushing blood and gore and screaming my fucking head off I was swiftly packed off to some glorified broom closet where without any further ado I got to push this little person right out of my body which is the craziest experience I've ever had in my life After all my fear of labor in the hospital we were there less than an hour between my dramatic arrival and my daughter's at 454pm and I had a sore throat all night from all the bellowing I'd done It was a really incredible experience and improbably enough exactly how I would've wanted everything to go if I'd been allowed to have planned it myselfNow of course all kinds of unexpected complications can arise during birth and it's not just because of this book that I got to have such an awesome birth experience However if I hadn't read up on birth in books like this one that really helped me to prepare myself I'm sure would not have had such a positive experience I agree with this book it's probably not so useful to spend a lot of time learning specific techniues since there's no way to know in advance what'll end up working on the ground for instance everything I'd read made me think I was going to need to suat throughout labor but then when the time came suatting was the last thing I wanted to do But you can feel truly ready to give birth which in my case took some work to do While you can't prepare totally for something this intense and unpredictable you can prepare yourself mentally to accept what's going to come Birthing from Within helped me to understand my fears about childbirth and let go of some fears like that of c section while using others like that of the hospital productively So while this might not be the childbirth book that does it for you I strongly recommend that you keep reading until you find the one that is

  2. Cary Cary says:

    Writing this review after having given birth I have a different perspective than when I read it pre laborThen I thought it was a nice way to conceptualize the process and think through what I was going through I did some of the exercises and enjoyed themNow I highly recommend going through some of these exercises while pregnant with your first baby Not because they'll make your birth all that much better but because takingmaking the time to really think about yourself and what you're going through is a beautiful way to honor what's happening And after your little peanut is born everything is just different It's not like what people told me that you just won't have time for yourself any; I mean you can always make time for the things that are truly important Rather you just don't think about yourself the same way any Something chemical happens and it's a different time Both ways of being are amazing and awe inspiring But this book is a really nice way to honor who you are pre baby

  3. Robin Robin says:

    I guess this book was a little too hippie shmippie for me I took pieces of it and left the rest Which is how a birthing book especially one dealing with pain management in a non pharmacological way should be used I like looking at visual art but don’t much enjoy creating it so that part of the book didn’t appeal to me – but I can see its usefulness For me using my long distance running and yoga background was useful during my labor But not everyone has that kind of background so if you don’t this book IS for you After that whole making art part though I did find it useful There were some good stories and some good advice It focused on the mental as well as the physical preparation and many other books don’t take the mental preparation into account adeuately And toward the end of the book the pain management practice techniues are good And she even does look into the pros and cons of medical pain management as well In short if you’re going to try for a natural birth you should have as much help as you can get including a doula and this book will aid you

  4. lov2laf lov2laf says:

    As a birthing partner reading Birthing From Within is both really helpful and oddThe odd part is all of the art activities around the expression of the pregnancy experience You don't have to be an artist to participate and there IS something relevant to art tapping into the subconscious and the nonlogical yet real feelings a person may feel so there is value in doing the exercises However I think these parts can either turn people on or off so be prepared that they exist The book is much larger than this aspect though so I recommend just skipping the chapters you don't like and taking what you doThe book is neutral on what type of birth a woman is having and offers uite an education for all settings natural in hospital in hospital with medications home births using doulas not using doulas etc The book has a holistic encouraging and nonjudgemental approach which I likedIt also discusses tactics for processing past birth traumas or anxiety leading up to the pregnancy and during labor so it's a resourceful book to read for first time and already experienced mothers The book contains a lot of great tips for things to do during the pregnancy and how to assist your partner when she's in labor I especially found these helpful because I was able to ask my partner what she wants and get clarification in that department I also got some good laughs here and there as I said I think you'd punch me in the face if I said x to you and her response was You'd be right Everyone wants something different in their pregnancy and labor experience and this book most certainly helps a family define what those are I think people reading this get asked good uestions and one walks away feeling confident about their decisionsOverall a good read and tool to have in your arsenal

  5. Melanie Melanie says:

    This book was so vital to my preparation for Lucy Bella's birth and I've just reviewed some of the chapters for my upcoming birth It truly honors a woman's intuition and inner power while bringing life into this world I can't recommend it enough and I've read uite a bit of birth books It does not disualify the need for epidurals andor other analgesics which I appreciate a lot of books I've read go either one way or the other so black and white There were many moments I cried reading this book because of its pure authenticity and respect for the subject itself

  6. Katherine Parker Katherine Parker says:

    Many books about pregnancy and childbirth describe all the physical details of this life event but they tend not to mention the psycho spiritual aspect of birth beyond saying It's a big change Birthing From Within encourages women and their partners to do a some navel gazing seeing as how it's all big and sticks out like it didn't used to Seriously it gives lots of exercises you can use to address identify and fears about one's adeuacy to birth a child and become a parent come to a place of understanding about one's own childhood traumas or current issues with our own mothers It's not way out there by any means and no matter whether you're planning a homebirth or hospital birth this is a good book to help you have a fully conscious and spiritually satisfying birth experience

  7. Rachel Rachel says:

    Probably my favorite birth book ever Once you get past the birth art section and the shaman stuff which I can see would appeal to most readers of this book aka hippies I did do a little birth art myself and found it to be helpful and enjoyable Anyway the book has everything I was looking for which includes multiple ways to manage pain during labor I didn't think it was biased towards one method other than birthing without medication After reading it I feel like the Bradley Method and esp the Hypnobabies method is a little too rigid in what you should and shouldn't do during birth This book says do what you need to do when you need to do it and gives you every option of pain relief that could be helpful It also helped me to explore my fears and become self aware of what I need And I hope it will give me confidence to be myself during my labor and not worry about what's going on around me or what I should or shouldn't be doing

  8. Eliza Eliza says:

    Reading this classic yet againSome may laugh at its crunchiness but this is hands down the best pregnancy book I've read One of my goals in life is to become zen despite outside pressuresmaybe someday I'll achieve it More conservative expectant moms may want to skip or skim the birth art chapter because it may raise your eyebrows Otherwise in terms of nutrition general health and emotional preparation for birth I recommend it to all pregnant moms Yes it is a little new agey but the exercises to practice for labor are really helpful So much of preparing for birth and motherhood revolves around just chilling out instead of freaking out If only I were as good at that as Pam England is

  9. Meutia Meutia says:

    Gives ideas on how to prepare and cope with childbirth in a natural way but too instructive and too new age I wonder why there are rarely books that talks about natural childbirth in a scientific manner rather than new age

  10. Louise Louise says:

    This book was recommended by my sister in law Even though it's not something I would usually pick up for myself I thought it was a great alternative to the other pregnancy and labor books I've been reading I skipped through a lot of the art therapy sections but I did enjoy the rest What I liked about this was that it went over the emotional and cultural aspects of pregnancy and childbirth instead of just the physical aspects I also liked the sections for the birth assistants and fathers Mostly I liked it for the birth stories and other reactions from people who have gone through the process

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