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Have you seen my children’s book lists? Then you know I love a good story.
I especially love a good birth story.
When I’m across the room and I hear a woman telling how many hours she was in labor, I zip over and slide up a chair.
I have four birth stories of my own. I’m about four weeks away from having another one. That’s why I was thrilled to read this fabulous new book, Natural Birth Stories. It’s been just what I needed to get me ready to do this all over again.
I have read every childbirth book I can get my hands on. This one’s my favorite.
After my hospital birthing class, and the videos of calm women giving birth naturally, I felt pretty confident that we could do it. Then after I began my first labor on Pitocin and was a tearful mess six hours in, I got a drug in my IV and soldiered on until it was time to push just over an hour later.
After that, I knew I had to educate myself.
I closed up any book that told me childbirth wasn’t painful. I scoffed at books that called labor pains “surges.” I rolled my eyes when women described the long hours of labor as a “beautiful, miraculous experience.” How could I be encouraged by people who denied what I experienced?
I went on to have three completely natural childbirths, and I’m praying I’ll have another one in January. It’s books like this one that have educated me and prepared me for the experience.
Natural Birth Stories is both honest and empowering.
My definition of a good book about childbirth is one that tells the truth…
“Very, very painful. No beating around the bush here! Each contraction was a wave of pain and it feels like the name: a contraction of the abdomen…each contraction started moderately painful, and peaked at a high level of pain, and then receded.” (chapter 25)
But women can be encouraged and empowered to try it naturally…
“Your goal should be to manage the pain – to ‘stay on top of it’ without letting it overtake you. You can do this by reading books about natural childbirth and choosing the coping techniques that you think will work best for you.” (chapter 27)
Without judging or a declaration that one way is the best…
“Do I think every woman should have a natural childbirth? No. Do I think every woman deserves to make a fully informed decision about how her baby comes into the world? Absolutely! I realize that many women will read the relevant research and still decide that getting an epidural is right for them. I am so thankful that they have that choice…what I want is for those women who do desire to have a natural birth to have the chance to have choices too.” (introduction)
You’ll find loads of practical advice in this book, making it a perfect gift for expectant moms.
Whether or not you’re planning a natural childbirth, you’ll appreciate information about:
- how to find a midwife or obstetrician
- childbirth classes
- pregnancy nutrition
- how to pack for the hospital
- writing a birth plan
- what contractions really feel like
The best part? The book has birth stories from 25 real moms.
I think that the best way to prepare for childbirth is to read about different women’s experiences … it will give you ideas for pain management, learn just how different labor can be, and help you prepare for anything. In the midst of those stories you’ll find this encouragement: “She did it. I can do it too.”
And guess what? There’s a chapter about me. It’s called “Anna’s Hospital Birth Stories,” and in it I tell about the birth of my daughter (the Pitocin-induced one) and the completely natural births of my three boys. So if you want to get to know me a little better (okay, a lot better!) you’ll want to get this book and jump right to chapter 15. :)
Learn more about the book and order your own copy today.
The book is available in both paperback and e-book versions. Read more about the book, learn about its author Shannon Brown, and get three chapters free by visiting this link.
If you order by January 2, use the code MEASUREDBIRTH to get 20% off!
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