I’m delighted to be able to share with you the details of a newly updated book, Birthing your baby, which I think will be of interest to many readers of this blog. It has been written by Dr Nadine Edwards (with whom I co-authored Birthing your placenta) and here’s my review…
The journey of birth is one that has been undertaken by women and babies for millennia, and yet in the last couple of hundred years has been monitored, managed and manipulated because of the advent of the obstetric, medical, technocratic approach to birth.
Has that approach been beneficial? It depends on how you look at it.
Some lives have been saved, but others have been damaged, by over-intervention and from an approach that focuses on short-term physical outcomes and fails to look at the emotional and social aspects of birth, or at the wider, longer-term consequences of the interventions and technologies that are now almost routinely applied.
Many of us are looking at and challenging this area, from different angles and in relation to different aspects of the birth journey. Nadine Edwards’ latest offering – which I am delighted to have commented on while she was writing it – is an updated version of ‘Birthing your baby’; her popular book on the journey of birth itself. In it, she has applied her considerable knowledge and analytical skills to look at physiological birth and the different approaches to the birth journey. One of my favourite aspects of ‘Birthing your baby‘ is how Nadine shows that, unfortunately, there are many things that we cannot clearly know or see, because of the high-tech, standardised, hospital-based approach to birth that has taken root in many countries. It is my hope that her work on this will help more people see the importance of questioning what we are currently offering and consider whether a different approach might better serve us.
‘Birthing your baby‘ will be so useful to those who want to understand how routine interference with labour and birth came about and why our modern approach to ‘managing’ this journey isn’t necessarily the best idea for women and their babies. Even better, Nadine breaks down some of the different aspects of this journey, looking at the evidence and laying out the options for those who will need to make decisions about what they might want to put in place for their own birthing journey. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about this area and consider the evidence from a woman-centred perspective.
Find out more about labour and birth here: