The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
by Henci Goer
4 of 5 stars
I started at the back of the book because I was anxious to read about OBs vs midwives and the chapter on "location location location", which is fine, but I wouldn't recommend doing if you can start reading it earlier on in the pregnancy (I’d recommend right away; alongside when you're choosing your caregiver at square one). Especially if it's one of your first books, or you're just starting to 'educate'... It gets a bit overwhelming with the position they take (the back of the book says it's hard to find an unbiased book... This is BIIIAAASED, but I think still needed, considering what we're surrounded with today) (wow, I’m sounding vague)...
The book is basically about a lot of misconceptions with birthing in today's culture. Hospitals, doctors, medicine, cesarean rates... And promotes midwives, birth centers, and home births above all else. It was recommended to me by a doula, and I was somewhat skeptical of it when I first opened it, and I didn't think I wanted any of what it was promoting originally, but I brought it with me on the subway and though I’d at least skim it... Within 2 pages I was sold. Seriously, I highly highly recommend this as primary reading. At the very least, it opens your eyes to a lot of the birthing process and the knowledge you should have, no matter what routes you end up going. There is so much out there to learn about and I nearly literally knew none of it. Especially from what I’ve been fed from the media and 'stories', this is just so much more of the bigger, more detailed, picture.
She has a TON of sources listed at the back (like a half inch of pages), but it kinda bugged me [a lot] she didn't actually cite them throughout the text. So it seems very statistic laden, but you can't really pinpoint which is which. Regardless, the point gets through. And even though I found myself aggravated at parts on how crazily anti-hospital/OB/drugs she is, I still found it all to be insightful and helpful, and I still read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Her other book I just came across Obstetric Myths vs Research Realities looks amazingly full of sources cited, research, statistics, graphs, and all sorts of case studies. Just perused it in Google Books, but it seems very similar to this one in point, except MUCH much more analytical and factual; more like a fieldwork paper with findings. If you're a skeptical person or more left-brained, this second book seems like a good sidekick to have alongside with this read.
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