Top critical review
Interesting info but very debatable conclusions
Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2001
I read this book to kearn more about childbirth and to find about about what natural birth has to offer. While the book had a lot of useful information about various stages of labor enhanced by personal experiences, it failed to convince me that natural childbirth is the best method of giving birth. First, to suport her point of view, Ina May Guskin (IMG) supplies us with personal accounts of women who gave birth in her care. To consider this accounts seriously the should have been authenticated by outisde authority. Also, it does not help that all accounts seem virtually identical and not a single one expresses concerns or dislike about the process. It just does not seem statistcally possible that not a single woman had a negative exprience or wanted to express some concerns.
What was more alarming is IMG airly discussion of several birth practices that for decades were deemed unacceptable by medicine. For example, she advocated drinking vodka on a daily basis to stop early contractions. I wonder what damage this constant drinking made to the child and whether the contractions could have been stopped by more harmless methods. (Otherwise, it seems that medical research pointing at high risk of harm to babies of mothers who drink during pregnancy should go out of the window). There are quite a few little conroversial tidbits like that in the book which IMG does not chose to address and, which potentially could hurt a baby, whose mother takes her advice to heart.
All in all, interesting book, which takes some fo the trepidation out of childbirth process, but, at least for me, not convincing that natural childbirth is what would be best for my child.