Hello and welcome to my blog! This blog is as much of an experiment for me as attempting a natural childbirth is. I'll be posting reviews on books I read, experiences I have while attempting to green our lives a bit more, and sometimes, general nonsense I come up with! Please feel free to comment and share information!

I look forward to hopefully making it through this experience with my own interesting story about giving birth naturally!


Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: A Book Review

If it were possible for two books to be complete polar opposites, that is what Your Best Birth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way would be. 

I just finished reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. The best thing I can say about it, is the picture on the cover is cute. 

Let's just start with the format. Not only is printing a landscape orientated book more expensive, but reading it is more annoying. Especially if you are a mass transit commuter used to be stuffed in between two other people with no elbow room. Sure, this may not seem like an important reason not to read a book, and it isn't, but I just wanted to mention how annoying it was. 

My main problem with this book, it is severely out of date--as anyone who skims through it and looks at the pictures can tell you. It doesn't really matter that the pictures were obviously taken in the 70's, but some of the information is from then as well... and frankly, things have changed in the last 35 years!There is actually a section regarding the dangers of X-Rays for pregnant women. If anyone has been to get an X-Ray in the last 20 years, and the technician didn't ask you, "Are you, or is there a possibility that you may be, pregnant?" you should have turned around and walked out. 

There is an entire chapter bashing Lamaze. Now, I am not a childbirth method expert, so I don't know if Lamaze is any good, or better or worse than other methods, but why the mud slinging? 

Sexuality and Birth--that is all I am going to say about that. 

Now, this isn't really an important thing either, but one I felt needed to be mentioned. Why are the "best coaches" husbands? What if you aren't married, but your coach is your partner--same sex or otherwise. Just because you don't have a husband, doesn't mean you need to HIRE a coach! 

There is information on "prepping" as well. I'm sorry, but I know many people who have had babies, and the only ones who were prepped in any way had c-sections, so naturally they were swabbed with antiseptic to make sure any germs were not near the incision site. 

So, was there anything good about the book?
Yes, it did have some interesting information. 

I liked the "Emotional Roadmap of Labor." While the author had previously broken down the stages of labor, which you can read about in any book and will learn about in any class, there was an additional section which mapped our the different stages of labor based on what most women would be feeling in that stage. I found it a very interesting way to look at labor--from the point of view of the woman and not what her body was doing or "where she was."

Some of the breathing and relaxation exercises were good as well. Definitely something that can be added to my repertoire of skills to take with me into the delivery room. Although, the author was very rigid about their implementation, when and where and how. 

All in all, I found the book to be overly preachy about natural childbirth, completely out of date in much of its information and thought process, and yes, the out of date images of naked women in labor...not needed. I found myself trying to cover them in the subway from the nosy gaze of my neighbors. 

While there was some interesting information--most of what was useful could be found in any book on labor and delivery. If you still want to check it out, try the library and save yourself the $20 (see... landscape printing is more expensive so the list price is as well).  

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