Book Review – Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills with Sarah Murdouch
Book Review written by Jade Ball
While planning for the birth of my second daughter and first VBAC, I did my own hypnobirthing study and practice to prepare. While I definitely benefited from the breathing techniques, during labour and birth I really struggled to use meditation and visualisation to help manage the pain. And this really was no surprise for me as I also struggled with this during my practice. I found myself naturally gravitating towards using physical methods to manage my pain such as being very vocal and rubbing my feet on the bed during a surge.
When I was pregnant with my third and preparing for labour and birth someone recommended, I read Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills, and I’m SO glad I did. This was an amazing resource for me as it explained how to use many different physical forms to manage pain in labour – which I had done instinctively anyway – Juju’s book taught me how to refine these skills plus many more to assist me too.
Julia Sundin (JuJu) is a physiotherapist and one of Australia’s most prominent educators in prenatal education including both childbirth preparation and holistic pregnancy fitness. Her book ‘Juju Sundin’s birth skills – Proven pain management techniques for labour and birth’ explains how your body works in labour and why, how to turn fear into positive action so you can stay in control, how to use movement, breathing, vocalisation, visualisation, keywords and other handy techniques, what to wear, what to take, and what questions to ask, and other women’s experiences using Juju’s techniques.
The techniques that I liked and use the most was stomping, rubbing my feet on the bed and vocalisation.
I think it’s also really important to note that this book is also really great for birth partners too as there are sections in each skill chapter describing what a partner’s role could be to assist the labouring woman using each of the skills.
I do think a lot of people underestimate the importance of the birth partner being completely aligned and in sync with the birthing person so that they operate as a team.
Whilst the birthing person is labouring physically, their partner is working with them mentally to count in contractions, guide the visualisation stories, press a hot compress on their back, chant with them, guide them in using their stress balls and motivate them through the pain.
Juju does a great job at emphasising the role of the birth partner in this book and I actually ended up reading a lot of the book out loud to my husband in bed at night so that he was aware of it all too.
In summary, I highly recommend this book to all women and their partners while preparing for labour and birth. Even if you find you are more aligned with the hypnobirthing style of pain management, having the knowledge of how to manage pain physically as well means you will have a huge tool kit to call upon when you need it.
My name is Jade Ball, and I am a doula who has completed extensive training at the Doula Training Academy with Vicki Hobbs. If you would like to talk to me more about your birthing options, please contact me:
Jade Ball Doula
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