Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recent Readings

I've been reading a number of birth-related books lately (to break up the melodrama of the Twilight series) and thought I'd share them. If you like reading about birth history, birth stories and midwifery-related items, you'll enjoy these books. I've found them entertaining as well as educational.

I love the philosophy of midwifery and like to think that I'd have chosen midwifery as a career if I hadn't fallen in love with Family and Consumer Sciences.

I've always gone to midwives for my "female care." So when we moved to Delaware and I knew we'd be thinking about starting a family, I thought I should find a midwife ASAP. Did you know there aren't many in our area of Delaware? In fact, I don't think there are many at all in the whole state. Where we both come from (Lancaster), there are scads of midwives, in comparison, at least. Two large OB/GYN practices are staffed with over half a dozen midwives who attend the low-risk deliveries while the high-risk deliveries are reserved for the OBs. There's a birthing center staffed with midwives that's very popular, and I even have friends and acquaintances who have had homebirths attended by midwives.

Needless to say, I was quite discouraged by the limited number of midwives in our new location.
I found 3 practices in our area with midwives. I think two of those places staff only 1 midwife. The other is a birthing center. After lots of debate, we chose the practice (and midwife) associated with Dan's hospital so that he would be able to attend appointments more easily. Plus, if I go into labor while Dan's working, he can just walk from one part of the hospital to Labor and Delivery to join me.

It seems like it can be a tough battle for midwives to find acceptance in the medical world, and I'm excited to have a midwife who is committed to helping a woman have a good birthing experience, who is supportive of low-intervention labor and delivery, who is encouraging and experienced.

Here's to midwives and all the laboring they do with women!

A very fun read with stories about a nurse midwife who had her own practice for over a decade. Click here for more information.

Another autobiographical story about a midwife from Virginia. This one explores even more of the politics of the medical system. And, Mennonites are even mentioned!
Click here for more information.

Ever wonder why and when most women stopped delivering babies at home, who decided that women should deliver lying on their back, or what exactly "Twilight Sleep" is? I enjoyed reading about trends, beliefs, conflicts and techniques - minus the scary tools sometimes used long ago.

Click here to see a copy online.


  1. I LOVE my midwives! I hate traveling two hours for every visit though!

    We have had two birth center births and one unintentional homebirth. This next one is probably going to be another homebirth as my semester doesn't end until two weeks after I expect to deliver (and since I go very late I have already given myself two extra weeks tacked onto my due date).

    The husband and I are prepared and my midwives seemed to expect that we would just deliver at home with our last child, so I don't think it will come as a surprise if we do with this one.

    It will be more cleanup than a birth center but it will allow me to attend school until I deliver.

  2. i'm a big fan of homebirths, with low risk pregnancies. i had my 3 babies at home, all waterbirths and it was AMAZING!! i hope i can deliver all my babies at home. i grew up, the youngest of 8 children and most of us were born at home. this concept was not something abnormal to me and when i grew up, i knew it was something i wanted too.

    i'm so happy to hear that you are filling your mind and heart with positive books like these. one of my favorites is "spiritual midwifery" by ina may gaskin. basically, anything by her is good....a bit on the "new age" side, but very insightful nonetheless. it's SO IMPORTANT to fill your soul with GOOD AND NATURAL things about pregnancy/labor/delivery/mothering. it's too easy to fill our minds w/ all the terrible things that can go wrong, but just remember that we were made to do this, WE CAN DO IT, women have been birthing for thousands of wonderful that we get to partake in that heritage!
    HAPPY WAITING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I recently came across "spiritual midwifery" in another book - thanks for the recommendation - it'll be next on my reading list!