Saturday, January 19, 2008

Giving Birth: Book Review

From the Winter 2007 edition of the FoMM newsletter a review of the book Giving Birth: A Journey Into the World of Mothers & Midwives:

Giving Birth by Catherine Taylor is one of my very favorite books about birth. Simply put, this book is a very good read! Catherine Taylor is a skillful author and though this book is very factual and informative, it reads with the pace, intensity, and "intrigue" of a novel. It is unique among the many birth books I have read in its interweaving of her personal experiences and personal journey, with factual journalistic impressions and statistics. I finished this book in two days--it was completely absorbing and interesting. I enjoyed her descriptive style and the verbal portraits of the variety of midwives she encountered. The book also gave me some new perspectives on hospital based CNM practices as compared to traditional midwifery and homebirth-oriented midwifery practices.

The author is an Ivy League journalist who set out to study midwives after her less-than-satisfactory birth experience with her first son (hospital birth with a CNM). During the course of her research, she becomes pregnant with her second child. The book chronicles her interviews with a variety of midwives, her experiences shadowing midwives in home, birth center, and hospital settings, and her comments/observations about birth in the United States. She weaves her research together with the progress of her second pregnancy, her decisions about place of birth, her choice of midwife, and her experiences with training to become a doula (training that was inspired by her “observer” status at births during the early stages of her research. She trains with Birthing from Within and her descriptions are a very interesting sneak "peek" at the training). The book concludes with the birth story of her second baby.

In short, this is an enjoyable, informative book!

To subscribe to the FoMM newsletter visit the FoMM website!

No comments: