Friday, January 21, 2011
Book of the Month: January
Since I tend to gravitate towards books that speak to where I am in each moment I checked Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin out of the library this month. Ina May Gaskin is an innovator and activist for natural childbirth and this book chronicles the founding of The Farm and how she became a midwife. This book is mostly birth stories with a parental section and a midwife section. The birth stories tell of the births of a generation of kids who are now in their 30's and 40's. The language used is very far out and psychedelic which was amusing and transported me to a time when women were pushing boundaries that were much more rigid than the ones I face today. I was very obsessed with reading birth stories with my first pregnancy, this time I haven't been as much. Having experienced it once I am not seeking out the experiences of others. There is some God talk in this book but it wasn't enough to deter me from reading as it comes from a personal place where mothers and fathers are sharing their perspectives in their own language.
I like the way Gaskin encourages birthing women to use their internal power to create the birth reality they desire. So thinking of contractions as rushes and not thinking of pain but a sensation that you have to focus on to get through. She also encourages one to stay relaxed and loving rather than letting yourself become inflexible or mean. I like that perspective and will see if anything else that I read here comes through for me in the actual experience. I'm not putting pressure on details this time around as last time doing that didn't help me, not that I think it hindered anything since the birth was positive.
So if you are pregnant, a birth junky or professional I think this book is worth a look. It also has a great example of a community of women, men and birth professionals working together to create a culture that recognizes the sacred power of birth which is a doctrine that is lacking in today's society. Inspiring to say the least.