Featured Post

Happy 6th Birthday, SPR!

As of my "maternity leave," here are the stats of the past year: 74 books reviewed 9 guest posts 4 independent bookstores 3 d...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds


Cynthia Gabriel's Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds was part of our childbirth class for those of us giving birth in a hospital but hoping for a natural birth. This was my partner and I. Regardless of how it turned out, this book was invaluable to us as a resource.

Choosing the way you want to give birth is a long and fraught process for some women. There are those who are all about the hospital no-muss-no-fuss birth -- get me in, drug me up, and get this baby out -- and there are others who want as little medical intervention as necessary and opt for a home birth. For those who want a happy medium -- a natural birth if medically possible but in a hospital setting for safety reassurance -- it is important that you go in as prepared as possible for an experience that may seem at opposite ends of the spectrum. This book leads you through the process of preparing for a natural birth in a hospital settings written by an experienced doula.

This book was probably the most helpful out of all of the books I read to prepare for the birth of my first. I knew I wanted to be in a hospital, if only because I really love by OB and that was the only option to have her deliver my baby. I did plan for and extensively prepare for a natural birth, although I always said there was a caveat to that, and it was that I believe in modern medicine and that if I needed to have an intervention, of course I would have it. Things are much more complicated in one of New York City's busiest hospitals, and things didn't go as optimally as anyone would have liked. The issue was with the hospital policies and the staff, not with my plans, my support system, or my wonderful doctor, who went above and beyond to give me a patient-centered experience within the confines of the hospital at which she has admitting privileges. That doesn't change how important I found this book and why I highly recommend it.

Look, having a birth plan is a little silly, because these things are about as un-plannable as you can get. I loved that this book had a template for birth preferences, which I think is a much more healthy way to think about it. Of course, I had preferences, and some of them were (begrudgingly) honored, but I also realized even before we went in that you can't plan much for a birth other than to get a baby. I am a firm believer in a happy medium, and I was open to what needed to be done. I appreciated that this book was clear and to the point, and that it provided encouragement to create a list of preferences and to use it. I liked the stories in here, although I am not one to base my decisions off of others' stories.

I would highly recommend this book if you are trying to decide between the two polar opposites of birth. I completely understand the need to feel like you have control of an uncontrollable process, and anyone who has never been pregnant or given birth just doesn't understand how frightening the loss of control feels, even for those who are not control freaks. This book gives you the tools to feel slightly more in control of the process, even with the recognition that you aren't in control at all. I hope that makes sense. 

No comments:

Post a Comment