Book Review: Natural Hospital Birth

Book Review Natural Hospital Birth

Don’t let the title of this book fool you. Even if you want or need medical interventions or pain medication this book can still be so informative and helpful. Though especially if you hope to birth as intervention free as possible, this book is a must read.

Cynthia Gabriel, an Ann Arbor resident, is a medical anthropologist who has studied the birthing process all over the world. She reminds us that we are mammals, meant to give birth in a warm, dark place with no strangers.  Lights, cold, intimidating people whom you’ve never met…. these are all things that can slow or stall labor.   This book can help you to work with your body’s hormones and instincts to have as productive of a labor as possible.

It begins by explaining why the hospital setting isn’t conducive for natural labor progression.  Then it helps you to plan for your birth by assisting you in making your birth preferences list, choosing your birth team, and dealing with any special circumstances you may have.

Then the book goes through the stages of labor.  Describing the feelings you may have physically and mentally.  It describes potential interventions and tips for decision making. It goes through many different scenarios and stories.  It gives you ideas on how to talk to the hospital staff respectfully yet firmly.  And of course, there are many tips and tricks for coping with medication free labor.

Since most hospitals take a very medicalised approach if you would like to ensure that you understand and consent to only the procedures you want and need as opposed to just what is protocol or easiest for the staff- Then READ this book!  As I said it will be helpful in understanding how labor works and is affected even if you have no desire for a medication free birth.  This information will still assist you in helping labor to progress and have as comfortable and easy a birth as possible!

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