Monday, January 3, 2011

For Thinking Women (And Men)

Before you give birth in a hospital, please, please read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. A good subtitle for the book would have been "Things your hospital childbirth class isn't telling you," or maybe "What your OB doesn't want you to know."

While this is far from being a feel-good book about birth experiences that make women feel fulfilled and happy (it does touch on some feelings) and some of the things in the book may make readers feel upset, it's better to have real facts to make decisions with than to take the hospital ride without knowing what you're in for. The author even says in the introduction that she would rather the reader feel uncomfortable than ignorant.

Chapters cover Cesarean, breech birth, induction of labor, epidural and narcotic medication, labor support. electronic fetal monitoring, choosing your birth place and much more. Each chapter offers pros and cons for different options, along with gleanings from the medical literature. The author also includes helpful lists like "Ways to Avoid the Drawbacks of EFM (electronic fetal monitoring)" and "Interviewing a Caregiver."

Being informed about birth choices makes it possible for families to practice true "informed consent," the kind where you're making decisions based in information.


  1. Hey stranger! Followed the link to your blog from TWTM forum...

    Do you actually know anyone who does home births in Onondaga County? I heard somewhere (not sure if it's true) that it is illegal to plan a home birth here.

  2. Homebirth is legal and available here in Central New York. One lady who does it is