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Publisher's Summary

Drawing upon her 40-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation's leading midwife, shows the benefits and joys of physiological childbirth by showing women how to trust the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience.

Based upon the midwifery model of care that recognizes that spontaneous labor in healthy women cannot be improved upon, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention-as well as how to know when such intervention is necessary.

Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:

  • Reducing the pain of labor without drugs and the amazing role that touch and free movement play.
  • What really happens during labor.
  • Orgasmic birth-testimonies from those who experienced it.
  • And much more...
©2003, 2019 Ina May Gaskin (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Robotic voice. Very distracting

I honestly can’t tell you what I think about the book because I can’t get past the first hour (I’ve tried, three times). The narration is so odd and robotic, I find it really distracting. I’m returning to purchase the written version instead.

1 person found this helpful

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Do not get the audiobook version

Couldn’t even get through the book the audio was so brutal. It sounds like a robot reading it. Very unfortunate because I loved her breastfeeding audiobook

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    4 out of 5 stars

uplifting and informative

I quite enjoyed this book. There are what seems like endless positive birth stories in the first half, combined with great information on most all aspects of natural birth. I purchased this book at the recommendation of my midwife, already having intentions to birth as natural as possible. It really solidified my decision and provided support and statistics to back up those decisions. Would recommend!

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priceless info especially for first time mothers

priceless info, especially for first time mothers. Return true feminine empowerment to the process of giving life instead of being treated like a sedated animal at the mercy of your keepers! The medical industry treats birth as a condition to be treated, and a business. This book will help you remember the true nature of what women were designed to do with our bodies.

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Very Robotic Voice

The content is fine, but the narrator sounds like a robot and is very distracting.

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Half of it is just birth stories

I appreciate that listening to other successful birth stories can be comforting but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Didn’t get a lot of specific takeaways from it.

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Best book if you want to give birth naturally

I've already listened to the book once and listening again! such a good book.

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  • Michael Lewis
  • 2020-10-27

A bundle of woo woo stories

This book was not for me. I returned it. I like something that science-based and factual. I think I heard about this book through the Pregnancy Podcast, which is grounded in facts so I ended up ordering it from Audible. I listened to a few stories and they were... difficult to listen to. One was by a woman who was told that she was high risk because the baby was likely overweight. She refused to believe them and ended up with Ina May's midwives. It was lucky that she didn't have issues, but the blatant disregard for facts concerns me. Another story described an incredibly... strange woman who described thinking of having her "yoni" as a cave with water coming in and out and how she helped another woman give birth by climbing into bed with her and crying/kissing her or something. Other stories were about how midwives would kiss the woman while giving birth to help it along. I'm sure this appeals to some of the yogis out there, but this is just not the scene or the book for me. There was nothing in this that I found useful.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-02-28

Read the actual book

I bought the book. Reading it was more soothing due the voice sounding very robotic. The information is very calming... it’s just the actual voice that distracted me.

8 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 2020-02-28

Solid book, but be careful of stories at the beginning!

Despite the author saying that her book is full of positive stories, there are at least three birthing stories that are not great to listen to as a pregnant. One story in particular ends in hospice care and eventual death for a baby. My hormones were not prepared for this story.

Let your partner go through these stories and tell you which ones to listen to, if you’re feeling sensitive and wanting positivity only.

The rest of the book is insightful and empowering I will say!!!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • kim
  • 2020-12-09

Loves the book but it had some quirks

This was overall a great book that had a lot of useful information, studies and knowledge of natural birth. The book starts out with a ton of stories from women who had given birth under Ina. I wish they would have put the stories at the end as there were a lot of them and some of them were a little out there but it was very nice to hear from so many women to help take the fear of the process away.

Another thing to note is this book is meant to give a bit of history of the evolution of maternity care over the last century and in different regions and it points out a lot of bad practices that some of today’s practices were based on that may be outdated or overused. It is also worth noting that this book was published in the early 2000’s with many of the studies from the 90’s or before many of which call out bad or traumatic things that happen at hospitals. This may make it a little hard to listen to if you plan to have a hospital birth however she does have a very good chapter on how to advocate for yourself and vet the hospital on those practices when choosing a birth center. Many hospitals have since changed the way they practice and adopted more practices that align more with midwifery and even have midwives that work in the hospitals which is a testament to Ina’s work in trying to influence practitioners to adopt a midwifery standard of care.

My biggest issue with this as an audiobook is the narrator sounds like a phonetic robot like Alexa and it makes it so much harder to listen too especially the stories.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Sean J. Ferguson
  • 2021-01-24

Terrible audiobook

I’m incredibly disappointed in myself for purchasing this without checking first. It’s a robotic auto-voice that has no tone, inflection, or emotion in the voice. There’s no connection to the reading of this book or the wonderful stories contained within. Do not buy this audio book, it’s a colossal let down.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adam Howard
  • 2020-11-07

Life changing!

Written by my wife: This book showed me that my body is made for labor and perfectly capable to have a comfortable time during the process. Mind over body ideals are so strengthening to the mind. I really feel prepared for the hard work ahead of me in a few months. I recommended this book to all women. Young and old. The sooner we can realize and internalize that our body’s are perfect for birth and that birth is normal, healthy and uneventful (unlike television where it is full of blood, commotion, and horror) the better we will all be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • paige
  • 2020-01-12

Such an incredible book!

Wow! So much great info! Makes me wish i could have a home birth with Ina May as my midwife! The audio was odd and kind of computerized but i didn’t notice it after about 10 minutes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-07-14

Trigger warning: Infant death

The birth stories are a mix of positive and negative experiences, one even including infant death. I was not mentally prepared for that. This book needs to warn people about that before casually slipping it in between positive stories. I feel more traumatized and fearful to give birth than before reading this book.

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  • Telani Meintjes
  • 2021-07-06

Difficult to listen to

This narrator is awful. I wouldn't purchase any other book she narrates.

That being said, the content is great. Some of the birth stories are a bit "out there", as some other reviewers have said, but these are few in comparison with the other powerfully positive stories.

Still.. This narrator sounds like the 1995 Microsoft Windows auto reader and is really difficult to listen to. I can't get over it.

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  • Mrs. R
  • 2021-06-25

Narration is AWFUL

I generally like the content of the book, but found the stories to be a bit much as I was looking for something more informative.

But that being said… it’s truly amazing that I’ve gotten as far as I have in this book because the narration is horrific at best. The stories are emotional and moving but the robotic and monotone narration of them makes them lose the immense amount of emotion. Its so disappointing and extremely distracting.