Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Natural Birth Stories: The Real Mom’s Guide to an Empowering Natural Birth #Review #Giveaway

This is a guest review from an expecting friend. The reviewer received a free copy of Natural Birth Stories eBook for the purpose of this review.  No compensation was received by any party.

"One of the very first decisions I made after learning I was pregnant with our first child was that I was going to bring him or her into this world in the most natural way possible. I was thrilled when I was presented with the opportunity to review Shannon Brown’s Natural Birth Stories. True natural birth stories are hard to come by and the ones available online are often lacking advice. Throughout the book I felt like I was in a room surrounded by real moms chatting and giving me advice. 

Twenty-six women, including the author, set the tone of the book. While the change in writing style can be distracting, it is well-worth reading regardless of what type of birth style you are planning on achieving. By including real moms, Brown conveys a powerful message - no two births are alike, yet, a positive birthing experience stems from making informed decisions. 

Not every woman should have a natural birth, however, every woman deserves to make a fully informed decision about how she brings her baby into the world.

The 29 birth stories are interleaved with chapters that convey important information about making your own decisions regarding pregnancy and preparing for birth. The author encouraged real moms to share advice on what they did that worked and what they would have done differently if they could.

While I expected the book to be "crunchy," I was pleasantly surprised how the author handled complex topics, such as having an obstetrician or a midwife; drugs for pain or drug-free; elective C-sections or VBAC possibilities; giving birth at a hospital, birth center or at home; and going solo or taking a childbirth class like Lamaze, Bradley Method, or Hypnobirthing.

Although these informative sections are well written, I did find some were lacking in certain areas. For example, the Childbirth Classes chapter seems to give preference to the Bradley Method, while other methods such as HypnoBirthing, Lamaze, and Birthing From Within take a back seat. The Bradley Method is popular but additional advice from real moms could have been included for the other methods as well.

Readers who are committed to a hospital birth should not be dissuaded from opening this book. The birth stories don’t tend to be repetitive as the author took the liberty of including a wide variety of situations, including fast (3 hours) and slow (36 hours) labors; incredibly painful experiences and blissful contractions; births of both 7 pound peanut babies and 10 pound “little” ones; as well as birth at home and at hospitals. 

It was this variation that left me thirsty for more stories by real women who were able to birth their babies naturally. The collection of stories and the method the information and advice are presented will empower and educate mothers-to-be may be less fearful of the experience. 

This book showed me how unique and personal each birthing experience truly is and how a “normal” birth depends on being aware of the decisions you make. I am more confident that I will make the best choices I can as I prepare for the arrival of our little one."

About the reviewer: Agnes Lenagh is a scientist by training, a free thinker by design, and a bohemian soul by nature. She is committed to pursuing the passions that inspire her while taking non-conventional approaches to accomplish a meaningful life. She is also eagerly awaiting the spring arrival of her little cupcake. At Bohemian Nevertheless, she documents her bohemian approach to life and methods to live a simpler and more substantial life. @SilverAntigen



Receive 20% off the Natural Birth Stories PDF eBook with Coupon Code: GURUBIRTH (exp 11/13/13)

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14 comments:

  1. Im taking a hypnobirthing class hoping for a more informed and more positive second delivery! Also lots of blogs!

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    1. Sara, that is so exciting. I'm also taking a hypnobirthing class! Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful birth experience.

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  2. Wonderful review, Agnes! I am reading the book right now, and I too am really enjoying it :) I love getting the word out on such an important topic.

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  3. I had three natural child births. I'm so grateful that I was able to do that. My SIL is hoping to do the same. I'll pick up a copy in the morning for her. Thanks so much for the review.

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  4. This book sounds like it truly could be empowering. Yet I fear reading it. I love natural birth stories and a yearn for them and want a natural birth. When I read the stories I feel simultaneously ecstatic and heartbroken. You see both of my boys were born early after pPROM and we had a lot of necessary intervention. I am thankful everyday for the medical intervention that saved my boys' lives ( one is now 2yrs the second is 6 months) but I still feel like a part of me is missing. I was proud of myself for going pain med free my second delivery despite the massive amounts of pitocin running through my veins. With my first I caved in to the pain and got an epidural, the worst mistake of my life, it didn't work and I got a spinal leak.

    Anyway this is a long way of saying that one day for my third and last I hope I manage the perfect natural delivery.

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    1. That is so frightening that your epidural resulted in a spinal leak. I had an epidural for my 1st delivery and a natural water birth for my second delivery. I my back was very sore after the epidural and that was the main reason I wanted to avoid it for my second delivery. The water birth definitely helped me manage the pain, and my second child arrived after a faster labor and delivery. There are many times when medical intervention is necessary and needed, and keeping the baby safe under tough circumstances is the most important thing. I think you deserve a huge pat on the back for going pain-med free through pitocin- I can't even imagine how difficult that was!

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  5. While I read many books and web sites, my most trusted source of advice would be my midwife.

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  6. I read my favorite natural living blogs because I love to read about real experiences! ;-)

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  7. I love talking to other mothers about their experiences. Also read a lot of books!

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  8. I'm due in 5 weeks with my first baby. We are planning a natural birth at a birth center. They have been my go to resource for natural birth information. We also read Husband Coached Child Birth.

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  9. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I hope to have a natural childbirth! :)

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  10. I'm 8 weeks pregnant, and plan to give birth naturally at a birthing center with my midwife group.

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  11. Not yet a mom, trying to get pregnant.

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  12. I am 22 weeks and have done natural childbirth with my last two. Hopefully this one will be know different

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