Tag Archives: birth

What To Expect When You’re Expecting and The Official Lamaze Guide

Years before I became pregnant, a good friend with a one-year-old son gave me a short book titled While Waiting: The Information You Need to Know About Pregnancy, Birth, and Delivery, by George E. Verrilli and Anne Marie Mueser. My friend said, “Read this. Don’t read What To Expect When You’re Expecting. It’s probably a good book, but not for people like us.” What she meant was, not for people prone to guilt, anxiety, and performance orientation. Continue reading

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Baby Catcher, by Peggy Vincent

When I was about eight months pregnant, a friend who had given birth a year before recommended Peggy Vincent’s Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife. She said it was the most helpful book she had read during pregnancy because it reassured her that babies can be born anywhere, under any circumstances: by the toilet, in a closet, on a boat (and we’re not talking about a cruise liner). Continue reading

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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Since I’ve been reading so much on birth and parenting in the past six months, I thought I would share some of my findings. Ina May Gaskin is one of the “greats” of contemporary North American midwifery, and her Spiritual Midwifery has become a classic.

As the title suggests, the primary concern of her Guide is the culmination of pregnancy, but the sections about nutrition, choosing a practitioner, and ultrasound and other prenatal tests make it valuable reading in early pregnancy, as well. A practitioner’s approach–midwifery or “techno-medical”–will affect a woman’s prenatal care, as well as her birth. Continue reading

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A Midwife’s Tale–Chronicle of a 19th-century New England Woman

Painstaking research by historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich has produced this Pulitzer Prize winner—a captivating investigation into the life of a Maine midwife. Martha Ballard’s diary records not only her midwifery activities, but such mundane undertakings as weaving, washing clothes, visiting neighbors, and entertaining guests. With help from other historical documents of the period, Ulrich has gleaned revealing insights from what other historians have termed “trivia.” Continue reading

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