Book Review by Marcela Voigt-Jackman.
If you are contemplating pregnancy or are already pregnant, “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” by Sarah J. Buckley is a wonderful and refreshing read. In a world that has become so medicalised in terms of birthing choices and what is expected of birthing women, this is a research based guide to assist families to make informed choices and decisions. Her book is divided into two parts. The first addressing birth and procedures offered both during pregnancy and birth. The second has a look at parenting and mothering.
The beauty of this book is that it looks at birth and parenting from a gentle and natural perspective. It also encourages women to return back to what we once knew to be true, that our bodies were made for pregnancy and birthing and to trust our instincts. Sarah intertwines research-based information with the spirituality and raw beauty that is giving birth and bringing a child earth side. She shares her own experiences of birthing four children at home, with the support that she wanted and required. In turn allowing the reader permission to seek their own path to birthing and being empowered by that, no matter what it looks like. The important message is to make informed choices.
As mentioned, the first part of the book looks at birthing naturally and giving us permission to take back our power and birth instinctively, the way we were meant to. Before we were led to believe that we needed various tests, interventions and that we had no choices in the way that we birth. It takes you through the topics of ultrasound scans, epidurals, uninterrupted third stage labor, cesarean sections and choosing homebirth. Sarah discusses each topic with a great deal of statistics and research behind each. She encourages parents-to-be to use the BRAN model to make decisions. This means to consider all the Benefits, Risks and Alternatives along with the effects of doing Nothing in all situations that you are presented with. All of this information is also intertwined with excerpts of her own experiences giving birth to her own children. I must admit that without these beautiful examples of Sarah’s own experiences, the first part of the book would have been more difficult for me to read. While it is very important to know all the statistics and research in order to make well informed choices, for myself I find it difficult to navigate through quantitative (numbers) research findings and can relate much better to qualitative information.
This brings me to the second part of the book which discusses and looks at gentle mothering/parenting. Again we are given permission to use our intuition in order to better bond with our baby and to attend to their needs. It reminds us that becoming a parent is an ongoing journey and learning process. We do not always get it right but we can learn from this and move on. It discusses early brain development, breastfeeding and the much debated topic of co-sleeping and sleeping in general. This information is provided again from extensive research and I found much easier to read as there were no statistics to look at.
It is a beautiful and refreshing book to read. The fact that it is written by a Doctor that is looking to empower women again and bring them back to the basics of birthing, is a wonderful thing. It brings some faith back in a time where women’s birthing rights are far too controlled medically. It also shows us that we actually have choices and a say in how we are cared for. It is a timely reminder of how strong and powerful we really are. It is also a beautiful reminder of the spiritual journey that pregnancy, birthing and parenting can be.
My name is Marcela Voigt-Jackman and I am a Doula who has trained at the Doula Training Academy. I am also a Remedial Massage Therapist (Dip), specialising in Pregnancy/Labour/Postpartum Massage, Paediatric and Infant Massage. If you would like to talk more about your birthing options or how I can help you to prepare your body for birth, please contact me:
Business Name: Elemental Bodywork
Mobile: 0414 411 975
Business Email: [email protected]
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/MRelementalbodywork/
Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/elementalbodyworkmr/