Friday, January 23, 2009

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is incredibly informative and helpful. The author is openly biased towards natural child birth, but she supports her case with unbiased and meticulous research (which she documents and references thoroughly).

I believe every woman who is pregnant or might someday become pregnant should read this book. Too often in our culture we accept the current obstetrical practices without informing ourselves of the benefits AND the risks, as documented by evidence-based research. This book can help solve that problem.

Most American women choose obstetrical, hospital-based births. That decision is based on cultural beliefs that are not based on evidence-backed facts. Obstetricians and hospitals are incredibly valuable for high-risk pregnancies and labors and for emergency complications that arise. Obstetricians are highly trained surgeons who deal with pathology and view labor and delivery from a medical, high-tech, interventionist perspective.

Yet it remains fact that most women are healthy, most pregnancies are low-risk, and most women would labor better and have fewer complications if they were allowed to labor naturally, with minimal or no intervention.

I'm all for informed consent, and this book helps women become informed. Most women are not informed about the risks of obstetrical intervention, they only know they're afraid of pain and want it to be taken away if possible. That choice is fine, as long as the woman is fully aware of the risks involved so that she can evaluate her own cost-benefit ratio.

It is written in a helpful format so that you can jump around to the topics that interest you, be it epidural, cesarean, breech birth, hospital vs. out-of-hospital birth, induction or augmentation of labor, obstetrical model of care vs. midwifery model of care, etc. If you are contemplating a natural child birth, this book will give you the information you need to commit to, defend, and succeed in your decision.

View all my reviews.


Hamaker Love said...

I haven't read this one yet, but as a homebirthin' Momma I am all about the good books! Thanks for sharing! In my research, and own personal experience(I have had a homebirth and a hospital birth) I have found that homebirth is a way safer way to have a normal birth than in the hospital, for Momma and the baby.

Lissa said...

I had my baby at the hospital and it's a good thing too. I had a completely normal pregnancy and had no reason to expect that I would have problems with the delivery. My labor progressed so quickly, however, that my baby was in distress. She was delivered safely, but didn't start breathing on her own. I was grateful that she was being monitored and that every benefit of the modern world was at her fingertips if it had been necessary.