Saturday, 22 October 2011

CHildbirth without fear

This ground-breaking book is amazing and has influenced childbirth gurus such as Janet Balaskas, Sheila Kitzinger, Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin.

It was written in the 1940s by Grantly Dick-Read, an English obsetrician who caused controversy on its publication. It has absolutely changed childbirth as he realised that there was something wrong with traditional methods of delivering babies with too much emphasis on intervention and anesthetics.

It explains the history of childbirth and the one scene that sticks in my mind takes place in a hovel with a woman in labour under an old, dirty skirt. When it comes to delivery, she gently refuses the chloroform that's used and has a natural, discomfort-free birth.

"As I was about to leave, I asked her why she would not use the mask.....She shyly turned to me and said: "It didn't hurt. It wasn't meant to, was it, doctor?"

He starts to ponder why one woman should suffer while another doesn't and comes to the conclusion that it's fear that causes women to constrict their muscles. It's a brilliant read and should be more famous!

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