Book review by Doula and physiotherapist Sam Ziegelaar
“Proven pain-management techniques for your labour and birth”
I am a physiotherapist so I feel like it was inevitable that I was going to review a book written by an amazing physio with huge amount of experience in the birth world!
Juju Sundin has 35 years’ experience as a physiotherapist, she runs childbirth education classes for pregnant women, is chairperson of the Australian Physiotherapy Association’s Women’s Health Group and she wrote this VERY handy book.
I originally read this book at the recommendation of my midwife when I was pregnant with my first baby. I then read it again when I was pregnant with my second, only to realise that I never actually finished it the first time!
It needs to be said; this book is extraordinarily practical.
If you are looking for a book that covers the more spiritual aspect of birth, then this is not the one for you. This is practical skills “answering” and complementing the physiological changes to a woman’s body in childbirth.
Just so you are all aware – I don’t like reading. It’s not an activity I find relaxing, so the fact that I (eventually) finished this book is a testament to itself.
Juju writes this book with all the physiology in “easy reading” terminology for anyone to understand. She describes what happens, why it happens and what that feels like. She shares the experiences from women who have participated in her birth classes. Throughout the book, Sarah Murdoch shares her experience of learning the skills from Juju’s class and how she applied them to her own journey.
Even after reading countless pregnancy books I still didn’t understand what my labour would be like. All I really knew was it would be painful and scary. Then my obstetrician suggested I take Juju Sundin’s birth skills classes. Juju gave me the knowledge to understand my body during labour and taught me about the physiology of pain and how to use her techniques to deal with it. – Sarah Murdoch –
Juju discusses topics like fear driven pain, techniques including movement, breathing, vocalisation, visualisations and how to beat the who-knows-what out of a stress ball. She suggests practical advice on what to wear and some questions to ask as well as tips and trick on how your birth partner can help. One thing that I quite liked is that she presents all the strategies and information as options. You can take or leave as much as you like from what she says and there are no hard feelings, you can tell she just wants you to figure out what feels right for you.
This book covers a lot of what a childbirth education class should cover.
Do I think this book is amazing? Yes.
Do I think it is worth reading? Yes.
Do I think it replaces the need for independent childbirth education classes? No.
I honestly believe completing an independent childbirth education class is imperative to your preparation for labour and birth. If, however, you have found yourself in a position where you have left it too late and / or every class is completely booked out or you want another source of tips and tricks to refresh at home then get your hands on this book ASAP.
My name is Sam Ziegelaar and I am a doula who has trained at the Doula Training Academy.
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