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Spiritual Midwifery

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Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin


Most people associate childbirth with pain, hospitals, and horror stories. For a completely different viewpoint, read this book! Not only is pain and fear unnatural and unnecessary, but some births were described as magical, and connected to the universe. Even the terminology is different; "rushes," instead of contractions, and "getting the energy going," to speed up labor. No, they weren't using drugs, although there are many references to Eastern religions and they do seem a little high on the Lord.Written by Ina May Gaskin, who has been living on a vegan compound in Tennesssee since the 1970's, delivering babies, this is a book I reread occasionally after decades. Admittedly, it's a lifestyle that's not for everyone, but their approach toward childbirth is unique and the book contains around thirty families' stories, which are fascinating reading in and of themselves. There's also a lot of good medical information in the back that has been added in the 2002 edition which wasn't there in the original version from 1975. If you have ever had a baby, contemplating it, or just curious about hippie communes in the 1970's, this book is a must-read! The Amazon link is below, and when I checked it I discovered that Ina May has also written several guides to breastfeeding. I'm glad to see she's still writing and helping people.