Review: Spiritual midwifery - Ina May Gaskin
Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Hey Mama's, for any of you who have not read Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin, I'll be reviewing it in today's post. Now I have to admit I am only three quarters of the way through it, but I'm now in the section dedicated to the Midwives.
In all honesty, I love Ina May's books, I finished her Guide to Childbirth in 2 weeks and have been taking my time through Spiritual midwifery. I highly recommend reading the books if your aim is to have a drug free "natural" vaginal delivery with no/little intervention. As I always say, take everything with a grain of salt. Don't feel the pressure to be like someone else or hang to every single word or instruction from the book. What works for you, is fine for you.
Now, with regards to the book; it includes a variety of sections like birth stories, details for before and after baby is born for parents and a section that is dedicated to Midwives (because it includes a lot of medical terminology and processes/details). To be honest, I have read all the sections and I'm currently going through the midwife section; even though my brain hurts at times.
Reading all the birth stories will be great for you mothers who feel like you need some motivation, support or those who need reminding that they can 100% achieve the birth they want. Realistically, I started reading these insane birth stories and felt inspired and amazed, but in all truthfulness I was a bit cynical (this could just be because I'm English or because I love a bit of pessimism/dark sarcasm). I felt cynical because it was foreign to me to hear of a women walking around all day doing her daily activities and ending up being 6,7,8cm dilated; at first I was skeptical, but then I remembered everyone is different, everybody has their own physical, mental and spiritual strengths and weaknesses and I suppose these all play a role in how well we go through labour and birth. Each story was different, each one was real and each one was to a degree touching.
As for the prenatal and antenatal advice, a lot of it was definitely relevant and made sense. Ina May has a way of writing soothingly but still including facts and science; she includes a lot of details about maternal health and nutrition and some of the issues/moments you might experience before and after birth. This section was particularly informative but not frightening; I think a lot of authors struggle to find a balance when writing about such vital topics.
As I'm still navigating the midwife section, I can't provide a solid review, but I can divulge that it's evidently a chapter dedicated to those who have some medical background/are training. Some of the terminology and diagrams are intensely detailed (some of the words I can't even pronounce), nevertheless I love seeing how our body's work. The section covers everything from conception, growth of the baby, taking internal measurements, external measurements and even more. I must admit I love it though; I feel so educated about myself when reading through; as if I'm getting to know myself even more.
Overall, I would definitely suggest reading Spiritual midwifery just to reconfirm your own strength and to give yourself peace of mind that you are capable of having the birth you want and that you will be able to do it; just like all those other mothers have. The only thing I'd keep in mind is that some of the stories and information aren't up to date; meaning from the last year or so; most of the stories are from years ago, but the advice still remains relevant to us in 2018. Undoubtedly you'll pick up some new facts and details about yourself, your baby and some solid tips on how to handle yourself before and after your bundle arrives.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician/clinically qualified; these are my opinions and research I have done.
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