Read spiritual midwifery by Ina May Gaskin Online


"Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.Also new is information about the safety of techniqu"Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals. "...

Title : spiritual midwifery
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 6465698
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 486 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

spiritual midwifery Reviews

  • Forrest
    2018-09-23 15:21

    "Why," you surely ask, "is a man reviewing Spiritual Midwifery?"Frankly put, I delivered two of my children at home. Yes, there was a midwife looking over my shoulder, but I did all the dirty work with my wife. From start to finish, these pregnancies were ours. Ina May Gaskin's book is . . . well, groovy is the word. It's not a real how-to, nuts and bolts guide to home delivery, though it does explain in great (and graphic, not for young children) detail the mechanics of it all. It also offers sage advice on nutrition, circumcision, prenatal visits, and so forth. The most intriguing aspect of the book, however, are the vignettes recounting the stories of various pregnancies on The Farm. From a multitude of viewpoints, life and the giving of life on The Farm is dissected and observed, examined and appreciated by those who lived it. Would I choose to live there? Heck, no. But I see the attraction. And just like living at the farm, this book isn't for everyone, but it's definitely worth considering. Again, not for the faint of heart, but for the open heart.

  • Vanessa
    2018-10-06 20:50

    This book changed my life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was lost, I was tired of trying to find direction. One day at the health food store I wandered to the book section and I was drawn to the cover of this book... When I opened the pages it was like the clouds parted and a beam of light spread over me... At that point I knew I would someday be a midwife. Now I'm in my first year of nursing school with a 5-10 year plan of going back after my BSN to get a master's degree in certified nurse-midwifery. Although I applaud "lay-midwives" or "direct-entry midwives" for the services they provide to people, I believe the route I'm taking will allow me to serve a greater number of people and expose them to high quality holistic health care that they may not get from your run-of-the-mill obgyn doc.

  • Danger Kallisti
    2018-10-11 12:29

    It's books like this that really make it clear to me that mainstream culture is completely ass-backwards, especially when it comes to healthcare (and most specifically, OB/GYN). 20 years of successful natural, positive, non-damaging childbirth on The Farm goes a long way toward proving that routine hospitalization of healthy laboring mothers, with its accompanying sexual assault and dehumanization, is in desperate need of re-evaluation.This book presents the subject of midwifery in a gentle, fun, and unbelievably energetic manner. It combines a variety of honest case studies with sound medical information, and never loses sight of the profoundly beautiful and cosmic experience of delivery.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-09-27 13:42

    Laura found this first edition (1975) at the flea market next door. How could we turn this down? It's the first hand account - told by the mothers and fathers and midwives - of about 200 of the 372 births (thus far) on a giant culty hippie baby making farm in Tennessee. Followed by instructions for prenatal and neonatal care for parents and midwives. The hippie slang is unreal. A good example: "'We could use some of your energy in here, Clifford.' I sat up and helped get it covered. It was right up in my thing, because I always tended to be a little lazy about spending my energy. But this was my kid being born, too, and my lady in labor and my Universe, so I had to cop to the responsibility of keeping it stoned."Basically a few hundred pages of rushes being groove and getting heavy while they were real telepathic with each other and getting stoneder on that. This book was definitely stoned ("charged with spiritual energy"). I started reading it this morning and finished it this evening. And I'm surprised to see further editions published as recently as 2002. I never would have thought - when we saw this dusty old thing forgotten in a flea market booth - that more than 200 copies had ever gotten out or been read. I am going to have to find out the current status of Ina May and this crazy hippie farm - old fashioned and conservative in its family values - and all its sister farms.

  • Emily Marks
    2018-09-30 15:32

    My husband and a pregnant and beaming I, were attending a very moving Greek/Kiwi wedding on Waiheke Island and we met a radiant couple who taught Yoga among other esteemed things. She recommended this book to me. When borrowing it from the local Library I was heartened to view its 70s cover. Ina May Gaskin and her 'faith' intrigued and perplexed me. Does anyone know - is she Christian with a smidgin of Buddhism? Her faith was never explicitly explained I guess cos it's not the point of the book, but her extreme warmth for humanity, her generosity, her faith and her gentle strength streamed through her words on these pages. I will admit it's not a book I read or would recommend reading from cover to cover, and also not one I'd recommend at the end of your pregnancy, because I believe there comes a point where one should disengage from others' experience of birth and focus on the birth, you, your baby and your birthing team are creating. This book is essentially a collection of stories from the 70s? about births. There's greater romance than I'm telling here, because the book tells the story also of how this collective of midwives grew from Ina May to a raft of 'disciples' who lived in housebuses in a large community together and served the greater community.The strongest thing I took from this reading, is that I don't have to be an angry birthing mother-to-be. I can be loving and gentle with my partner. As Ina May says "What put the baby in there, can bring the baby out." So, being loving and even 'smoochy' with your partner (I personally didn't quite make it to the smoochy stage in my 8 hours of birthing) can aid the process. She illuminated the fact that not all birthing stories are challenging or unpleasant and that some people genuinely (they're not lying) ENJOY birthing. She also suggested the conscious use of language, so converting 'contractions' into 'rushes'.Ina May Gaskin is a taonga.

  • June
    2018-09-19 14:34

    I read this book before the home births of each of my three children. Yes, it's hokey. Yes, it's dated. There's a lot of long hair, beards and wire-rimmed glasses. BUT the pictures and birth stories are worth it. When I was looking for information on healthy, involved births, Ina May Gaskin provided a variety of experiences in this book. I did find the lack of racial/ethnic diversity to be a turn off, but oh, well. If you're looking for open, positive, and detailed stories about births, this is a great book to have.

  • Sharon E.
    2018-09-22 15:35

    O MY GOSH you have to read this book if you are going to or have given birth at home or just want to have a wide awake natural childbirth!!! It left me with the confident knowledge that I wasn't the first, I won't be the last, and birth first and foremost belongs to women, not doctors.

  • Voracious_reader
    2018-09-16 19:35

    My husband and I were of divided minds on this one. I was able to get past the sort of hippie-go-lucky language and tone of the book to the meat of it--namely, that childbirth is a wonderful natural process that can go much better for the mother when she is surrounded by supportive individuals who are acting on her behalf and the baby's in a personal way rather than in a institutional, impersonal, intervention focused hospital. Obviously if a woman feels cared for and relaxed and at ease, anything, including childbirth would be easier to get through. My husband could not, however, get over the hippie nature of the book. While the book did not convince me to have a home birth, it did reinforce my intuition that the female body is made for birthing and that the focus of childbirth should be to support the body in doing what it normally does on the bodies' time table and in a way that works for that particular mother, rather than trying to hasten events with multiple medical interventions that carry with them side effects that may prolong labor and endanger the mother or child. The book is a collection stories from various individuals at a commune with topics concerning miscarriage, childbirth, postpartum depression, c-section, breach births etc... It's worth reading if you are unfamiliar with childbirth and would like read something that is insightful but not medical in an institutional way. It is female/human ability focused without being totally against medical interventions when they are needed; it just has the point of view that they're used far more than needed.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-02 20:37

    Holy wow, where do I even start? I guess I have to start by saying two things: 1) This book changed my life.2) I think every single woman should read this book.Although the central theme of the book is midwifery, in essence, it's just this really, really amazing book that makes you feel incredible and powerful about being a woman. I think there needs to be a lot more of that in the world today. Woman are brought up to feel bad about being a woman. We're taught that our bodies are ugly and unhealthy and that they will turn on us. We're taught that our feminine energy is somehow wrong and inappropriate. True solace and healing can't even be found in modern "feminism," which is sometimes more about anger than empowerment. (Update 3/2014: Today I wouldn't necessarily finger quote the word feminism the way that I've done here, but I stand by my basic meaning) We need to learn to rejoice in our bodies and our femininity and to claim our power as women... and I think this book, through an explanation of the ideas that constitute what Ina May Gaskin calls "spiritual midwifery" and a plethora of positive, joyful birthing stories, helps one to do just that. I strongly recommend that EVERY woman read this one!Ina May Gaskin is absolutely my hero.

  • Astrid
    2018-10-04 12:39

    Don't be turned off by the outdated language and fashion in this book. It has the potential to change your whole outlook on birth and pregnancy. Even just reading the first half, which is all birthing stories, is very inspiring. There is also information for parents and midwives. I would highly recommend this book to current or future parents, midwives, or those who want to be supportive of a friend or family member's birthing.

  • Antoinette Maria
    2018-10-09 16:47

    Loved the birth stories even though sometimes the hippie-ness of it is a little off putting. E.g., there are people who've had amazing natural childbirth experiences who don't need to live in the middle of nowhere, prefer the word contraction to rushes and would never use the word "psychedelic" to describe anything and I wish there were more of those so that women considering non-medicated birth could have that "Aah, she's just like me" moment of recognition. But overall the stories were inspiring. I also like the practicality of a lot of the advice. My biggest complaints are that:The author herself seems to be very particular about what she wants from clients and seems to put a lot of the burden on the laboring woman to "be nice," and I don't believe that that's necessarily the energy that works for everyoneThe Farm as the epitome of a great environment but the percentage of women who are actually going to birth there is negligible so why not talk a little more about some other great birthing environments or ways to make a birthing environment great.She makes a lot of pronouncements such as: We have a very low incidence of post partum depression here on the Farm. We've never circumcised a male baby on the Farm. All in all, I liked it but would be very particular about to whom I recommended this book.

  • LM
    2018-10-09 18:25

    The hippie language turned me off. I can't help it if I grew up in San Francisco in the '80s and am programmed to roll my eyes at terms like "turned on" (even though I just used "turned off" - they are completely different!), "getting high" without drugs, "being telepathic", etc. The making out while in labor stuff both interested me and grossed me out depending on the story, but it also made me feel like I'll never learn how to relax my mouth properly because my husband and I won't be kissing much less touching while I am in labor. It was so weird to read how invasive, intervention happy, and in your face the midwives are when I pictured the return to homebirth pioneer(ess) of America would be more hands off. Aside from all that I enjoyed reading it for the most part and learned some things. It did take me a long time to get through, because I kept picking up other, more interesting things to read. I also started to feel like Ina May Gaskin and her husband were quite idolized by the commune and probably influenced women and men in the same way birth activists claim doctors intimidate women. Googling about The Farm supports my theory. I thought I would identify more with some of the Amish clients, but I didn't.

  • Alexis
    2018-10-06 20:43

    This has been, and still is, a very important book for pregnancy. Ina May's desire to change the way we think about birth is admirable.That said, this book was not useful to me when I was pregnant, nor did it help prepare me for birth. In fact, for someone who was already of the mind that birth should be woman-centered and fear-free, this book increased my guilt about the fact that I hated being pregnant--I was sick the entire time. In my son's birth, medical intervention was necessary, but Ina May implies that when this happens, it is the parent's fault for not letting go of their fear (I forget which birth story, but there is a particular one where she comments after the parents's narrative that their fear was what caused some difficulty--condescending much?). This stuck with me and caused more feelings of inadequacy than anything else. I guess overall, I would suggest taking these stories with a grain of salt. Pragmatism should enter the picture, too. Not all of us live on a communal farm with a gaggle of brow-wiping midwives and husbands who are aroused by the process of labor.

  • Beth
    2018-09-25 18:44

    This is the greatest it I found a lot of the inspiration I needed to be able to birth at home. Ina May Gaskin is one of the greatest midwives of our time, I do believe. She is a pioneer in the field, and the Farm still provides services for those who wish a natural birth in more diffcult circumstances like breach or multis. The talk is real hippie as the women tell their birth stories in the beginning of the book, and I love the spirit of the community and women as they gather together to support each other during birth. The black and white photographs are beautiful and lend such a depth to the stories. Love this book...

  • Jami Dwyer
    2018-10-15 20:27

    I imagine that if I considered myself "spiritual" in any way, I'd be another 5-star reviewer. But I am a skeptic, a scientist, and an atheist -- basically, the opposite of spiritual.My Kindle notes turned from "ugh" (the Buddhist monk rolling around in the pink baby blanket... a photo of a wise older man in a white coat and stethoscope punctuating a story about God helping out midwives) to curses when one mother says that she, her husband, and Ina May "prayed" over a blue, motionless baby while someone ran to get Ina May's husband, who did some goddamned CPR to finally start saving that kid's brain function.My midwife recommended I read this to prepare for my second birth, citing positive birth stories. But I must read too much between the lines. Gaskin's own extremely premature baby died, apparently never seen by medical professionals, as Gaskin diagnosed him with "probably" something or other. Having given birth once, I straight up don't believe another gal who says she didn't feel any pain and was thrilled to have 30 people watching. Even if that was really her experience (sure it was), no amount of spiritual midwifery could make it mine.I do appreciate that Ina May Gaskin has helped improve the way childbirth can happen in America. The ongoing theme that childbirth takes the time it takes is extremely resonant to me, after a doctor rushed my first birth (she complained so I could hear it twice that my 20-hour labor, precisely on my due date, was making her late for other appointments, before deciding I "needed" a vacuum extraction). And as a woman-centered story of Vietnam-era counter-culture, I suspect I could enjoy this book immensely.But the "spiritual" part of this book has nearly scared me off the midwifery part. My midwife seems like a very responsible person who would send me for a C-section if I really needed one. But this book, instead of being frank about when surgery and advanced medical care result in a much healthier baby, seems to gloss over the long-term outcomes for babies born not breathing in the hands of people who consider prayer an important part of the solution.

  • Chloe
    2018-10-14 14:24

    This is the second time that I've read through Spiritual Midwifery, and I enjoyed it just as much this time around. The birth stories are incredibly touching, even to someone who doesn't have children and has no intention of getting pregnant any time soon. There is a certain hippy-dippiness to this book that is to be expected, and the language can be hilariously dated and a little off-putting at times, for example everyone seems to be getting high together off of experiences and having telepathic moments with one another. Sometimes you have to just put the book down and giggle -- but that aside, the information imparted is conveyed beautifully, and you really come away with the understanding of how influential The Farm (are they a cult?) has been in the practice of modern midwifery and even within the hospital system. No one could deny that Ina May Gaskin is a pioneer and a feminist. Her words are well-worth reading, and the stories captured in this book are touching and teaching in turn. Highly recommended for the expectant mother, father, and anyone interested in hearing about the act of birth in a realistic, descriptive manner from the voice of those who experienced it.

  • Victoria Moseley
    2018-10-06 13:25

    I cannot get past this this portion of the book, which unfortunately is in the beginning:“We were a transient population with no desire to leave a trail of debts behind us, and we had an ethic that did not allow us to accept welfare. We were aware that many of our contemporaries were accepting the benefits of the larger society at the same time they were loudly criticizing it, and we had no wish to be associated with this position.”Excerpt From: Ina May Gaskin. “Spiritual Midwifery.” Book Publishing Company. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.--It changes my perspective of the book.It suggests a privilege while simultaneously passing judgement on those that may need to (for whatever reason) seek assistance at one point or another in their life. Automatically creating a division of people.It is always interesting to hear various birth stories, every story is unique. However, it seems any variation from this way of "life" ,"birth", however you want to brand it, isn't preferred.

  • Kayla
    2018-09-21 20:48

    Well, I'm glad out of all Ina May Gaskin's books I saved this one for last. This book is highly referenced. Everyone seems to have read it so I finally picked it up. It is...good. It is...I think the best way to describe it is this a book of birth stories written by hippies. Far out, high, tripping, psychedelic hippies. I don't say that as a bad thing. Their stories are interesting and empowering. Their stories are also poorly written and contain a lot of words like "High" and "telepathic" and "Puss". I never could figure out what they meant by "high." Happy? Blissful? Actually having an altered mental state? So, yeah. I'm glad I saved it for last. Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth first. Srsly. And then you could skip this one if you wanted.

  • Alyson
    2018-09-17 18:26

    The backbone of the modern-day midwifery revival, Spiritual Midwifery's greatest strength is in portraying life on The Farm and the practical motivation for learning the ancient practice. The book is peppered with personal anecdotes and birth stories, which range from the really far-out to lovely descriptions of souls entering the world. For those of us who have yet to undergo such an experience, there were a few stories that revealed TOO much of the process (where is the mystery, man?). I mainly enjoyed the historically relevant language, which was really groovy and inspired me to throw the Grateful Dead album onto the turntable.

  • Dawn
    2018-10-04 13:40

    My favorite childbirth book ever. Yes, it is a 70's hippy book but truth is truth from generation to generation. I love the hippy pics. But even if you don't, this book is packed with so much information, your mind will be on overload. Practical advice, sane advice, safe advice, loving advice. Information, explanations, personal stories, diagrams, illustrations, this book has it all! A real book about real women, real babies, and real births. This book will change how you think about pregnancy and birth. This should be required reading for every pregnant woman in the world. Best birth book ever!

  • Mariel
    2018-10-07 14:43

    This made me more prepared for the road ahead in pregnancy that most other books. The book has an atmosphere of acceptance and love and it really comforts a person facing the unknown. If you have any fear about your ability to labor and birth, I highly suggest you read this followed by her newer guide to childbirth, then Birthing From Within by Pam England. There is a technical aspect too in the section for midwifes, but it is universal reading material worth your while as a new mom embarking on a very spiritual journey. I had a personal connection to The Farm community at which these birth stories occur.

  • Michelle
    2018-10-01 15:28

    Holy hippies batman. Look, I went to school in Boulder, Colorado - I know cosmic and am one with the Reiki but this book brings it to a whole new level. I skimmed some of it. Maybe I'm just in the wrong mood, but I was having a hard time getting birth stories from "The Farm" commune to relate to my natural hospital childbirth goal. I found Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel to be much, much more helpful for where I am. And some of what they did in the "early day" just seems downright irresponsible and ignorant, but I suppose they were pioneering their field.

  • Nathalie
    2018-10-06 15:44

    This book started me on my journey toward natural childbirth and other incarnations of hippiness. I found an old copy at the LSU book bazaar one year. At the time, I was not at all interested in having a child(I was young and unattached), but the pictures and stories in this book captivated me. I read it cover to cover and vowed to have a natural birth if ever presented with the choice. When I got pregnant later, I came back to it for inspiration and education. What a long, strange trip it's been...

  • Akhenaten
    2018-10-17 12:46

    It's certainly not the most original thing to say, but I was profoundly changed by Spiritual Midwifery's early edition (created in the 1970s). The latest edition is so significantly different as to count as a separate book, in my mind. Both editions are vital to independent birth knowledge/learning.

  • Leaf
    2018-09-27 13:49

    I think that Ina's husband pushes it with the comments about babies and sexuality. Not everything sensual is sexual. For the rest it was a good and empowering book...particularly for people facing a natural breech birth. Fun 70's language too.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-05 19:44

    Excellent book. This was Ina May Gaskin's first book, and is full of a lot of great antecdotes. I actually read it after reading her Breastfeeding and Childbirth books, but I know a lot of people go on from her to read those. Either way, highly recommended.

  • Lisa
    2018-09-19 14:24

    My favorite book on pregnancy. I used it each time I was pregnant and it really did help tremendously. It really helped to make the whole experience more spiritual and meaningful and enjoyable. Wonderful pictures as well.

  • Becky
    2018-10-03 13:23

    Honestly, I dig it. All the trippy flowery illustrations, pictures of long-haired women in labor, stories about "rushing" and transcending and being telepathic, etc. I'm just done reading birth stories right now. The end!

  • Terresa
    2018-09-22 16:48

    A trippy hippy book about Ina May and her adventures at "The Farm" including homebirth midwifery and the works. It is an honest, graphic book (well, it's natural birth, what do you expect?). Insightful, educational, beautifully written.

  • Heather
    2018-10-10 18:27

    Love these stories of natural birth - makes me feel like a strong earth mother and brings out my inner hippie... Recommend for ALL pregnant women!