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Home » birth, Books

Natural Birth – A Review of “Birthing from Within”

Submitted by on Friday, 10 October 20082 Comments

I just wanted to take a few quick moments to tell you about a really cool book called “Birthing from Within” by Pam England and Rob Horowitz.

We came across this book based on a recommendation from our midwives at Pacific Midwifery Practice in Vancouver, BC.  (Who are great by the way – more posts about them to come).  We bought them a copy as a gift to include in their free library, so all their future moms and dads can borrow it and enjoy it.

I will warn you in advance – if you are not into natural birth or a more holistic approach to birth, this is probably not the book for you.  If you are interested in examining birth as a natural event and not a medical event, read on.

This book is all about preparing for a natural birth.  What I liked about this book is that it addresses the role of the father in birth and how a father can prepare for and assist during

The result of our natural home birth

birth, in addition to its extensive coverage of the mother’s preparation, of course.  I also liked the historical references given in the book that give insight into how some of today’s (less natural) views on pregnancy and birth evolved.

For example, there are some schools of thought today that a woman should keep her weight controlled to a certain level during pregnancy.  The book explains that this way of thinking actually evolved from a time when a condition called “rickets” was more common.  Women with rickets tended to have a smaller opening in their pelvic bone, since rickets caused bone deformation.  Women with rickets were told to keep their weight down, so that their baby would be smaller and have a better chance at passing through the narrower passage in the pelvis.  While that was a valid reason for women to try and keep their weight lower during pregnancy at that time, it no longer applies in our society today.  Yet the notion of “keep your weight lower during pregnancy” still exists.

I like little interesting things like that, and I am a proponent of natural birth whenever possible.  I agree with this book that giving birth is something completely natural, and that a low-risk birth need not be anything medical at all.

If you are interested in exploring natural birth, take a look at this book.  You may not use or do everything that the book suggests, and some things may be over the top for you, but you will definitely learn a lot and get some good ideas on what you and your partner can do to prepare for a natural birth.

Join the jam and let us know your thoughts on this book, or any other good birth preparation books you have come across!

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  • Shannan says:

    Actually, Birthing From Within is not about birthing naturally. BFW does not ever say how birth SHOULD be. BFW does not work in absolutes, it says that birth will be different for each woman, and it emotionally prepares parents to experience their birth as a right of passage into parenthood. It’s about being present for your birth no matter what route it takes (whether that route include homebirth, natural hospital birth, an epidural, or a cesarian birth).

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks for sharing your viewpoint and that clarification Shannan. You are right, however, I did find that BFW does put a lot of focus on natural birth, which is what I was reflecting in this Jam.

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