For understandable reasons, pregnancy and birth have been on my mind lately. Somehow it seems like when you're pregnant, the whole world is pregnant; preggie ladies just come out of the woodwork! At playgroup yesterday much of the conversation revolved around pregnancy and birth stories, most of them less than delightful. The thing that strikes me about so many women's stories is the trust they put in one paradigm and how control of their birth quickly slips out their hands leaving them feeling powerless, frustrated and often wishing their birth had been somehow different. I feel so defensive of these woman, upset that they didn't get the birth that they had hoped for, and sad that their trust was somehow violated. And I get frustrated with a system that works great for emergencies, but more often than not ends up intervening when mother nature and the birthing woman should simply be allowed to do their thing.
I think the answer lies in educating ourselves. When a profit stands to be made from unnecessary interventions (keep in mind that I'm not talking about necessary interventions here!), we will be hard pressed to find advocates within the medical model for natural births. However, by learning what constitutes a normal birth and safe, normal birthing conditions we can arm ourselves with the knowledge necessary to have the sort of birth we want!
I love this book because it gives you every angle, every argument for the various ways there are to birth. It puts all the information at your fingertips and puts you in the driver's seat. You can decide for yourself if a certain risk is high enough to warrant the inherent risks of interventions and treatments that some claim are necessary. You get to make the choice because you are educated and it is, after all, your birth and your body. I love feeling empowered and I love seeing other women empowered by knowledge; it's so exciting and liberating! The Thinking Woman's Guide is just the book to help women calmly make decisions that are best for themselves and their babies. And this is no hippie tome ignorant of current medical trends; it's got all the latest information on medical procedures, what they're about, why you might need them etc. It looks objectively at both sides of the coin and gives you the information you needs to make the best choice for you. I love it!