Another of my book recommendations is “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. This is a very unique and wonderful book, as it appeals to emotion as well as intellect. Ina May is a legend in the field of midwifery and has operated a home-like birth center commune called “The Farm” in Tennessee.
The first half of the book contains many beautiful stories of births that took place at “The Farm”. These types of stories can be inspiring to expectant mothers and help to deprogram some of the fear and negativity that we’ve all experienced in our culture.
The second half of the book explains much about the process of birth, how our bodies work and how to get the best care for ourselves. She cites a great deal of research, but presents information in a reader-friendly way. This section of the book is followed by some very informative appendices. The most interesting to me was the list of statistics from the 2000+ pregnancies cared for by “The Farm” midwives. These numbers are ASTONISHING. 95.1% of births completed onsite, 1.3% emergency transports, 1.4% cesareans, 0.55% asssisted deliveries, 68.8% intact perineum (no tears), 0.39% preeclampsia and the list goes on. These statistics did not opt out high risk pregnancies.
I imagine that if someone could criticize Ina May, they would suggest that she is a “hippy” and women might not relate to her empasis on the ‘mind-body’connection or the ‘spiritual’ aspects of birthing. If readers feel this way, I would urge them to research into birth statistics and compare results obtained through other types of practices. I think they will have to admit that she is on to something. Though most women will not give birth on “The Farm”, through Ina May’s account, we can take it’s lessons with us to our own births to make them safer, easier, and more rewarding. If you are interested in purchasing Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, you can do so here.