Listen free for 30 days

  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

  • Written by: Ina May Gaskin
  • Narrated by: Randye Kaye
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

1 credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
The Plus Catalogue—listen all you want to thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks.
$14.95 a month plus applicable taxes after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth cover art

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Written by: Ina May Gaskin
Narrated by: Randye Kaye
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $26.30

Buy Now for $26.30

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

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

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book if you want to give birth naturally

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Awful Narrator, Great Content

The robotic narrator doesn't do the highly spiritual, emotional content of this book justice. I first read it in print and decided to get the audiobook as I prepare for my second birth. I swear, Siri would sound more natural reading this book. I don't know how the narrator managed to keep up such a robotic performance for 14+ hours, but somehow she managed. That said, the content of the book is very inspiring and comforting for those about to give birth -- I would recommend this book (perhaps in another format) to anyone in that phase of life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So Encouraging

I feel that every woman expecting a baby should read this. The narrator is a bit monotone but it's so worth it to get over that and just listen and be encouraged!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 2021-01-19

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Robotic Voice

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sylvia Lewis
  • Sylvia 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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • 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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for James
  • 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!!!!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for kim
  • 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.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sean J. Ferguson
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emma Long
  • Emma Long
  • 2020-07-23

Thankful to have came across this book

I am about to be a first time mother. I learned so much about birthing, what is “normal”, what to talk to my doctor about, what my options are, and it gave me peace of mind. I want to birth naturally and everyone has been resistant to the idea and it was making me terrified of giving birth until I listened to this book. I feel at peace and empowered to birth how I see is fit for me and my baby. ♥️

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for paige
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs. R
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for April
  • April
  • 2021-02-26

This is a MUST READ for EVERY expecting momma!

The stories in the beginning are powerful and educational (including the couple with poor outcomes). Education is empowerment ladies, and if you want to do your best to get the birth you really want... What better way to get that information than from long time birth professionals with real hands-on experience that actually attend births from START to FINISH as part of their training and experience. The fact that most OB’s are missing that, is such a loss for everyone, and needs to be re-evaluated amongst other things in maternal-neonatal care.

After having 2 emergency cesareans, an “elective cesarean” (not really because I was told I didn’t get a choice by multiple providers), a natural stillborn birth at 36 weeks gestation (and because she was deceased, that is the ONLY reason we were given the vbac option), and now currently preparing for a natural vbac with a doula at 36 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby...

I have completely immersed myself in the education and evidence-based information regarding childbirth, and continue to be blown away by what I am just now learning and what so many of us are never told and just accept and falsely trust more than we really should.

I felt this book was fair in giving credit to all birth providers and was not a blame game or witch hunt by any means...

It presents facts, shares real life stories, gives multiple solutions and enlightens so much of what has been hushed or down-played for waaaay too long.

So grateful to Ms. Gaskin for putting this wonderful resource together, and I will be recommending it to every expectant momma from now on. Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam Howard
  • 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

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allie Harris
  • Allie Harris
  • 2022-07-26

Not great for pregnant women

Narrator has a calm voice. She speaks clearly at a comfortable pace.

This book is full of detailed information about how the healthcare system in the US will do everything to make money off of your pregnancy and birth, often at the cost of maternal well-being, using unnecessary procedures and tests that will not help the baby. Overall, the anxiety-inducing language and themes of the book I find are too scary and unhelpful to women who are currently pregnant. The whole book is one long warning that you and your birth partner will have to mistrust the doctors and fight every step of the way to advocate for yourself, your baby, and a natural birth, which is good to know...

The boost of confidence pregnant women may benefit from in certain passages in the book (trust your body, you were made to give birth, preparing and informing yourself can help your achieve a heathy/natural pregnancy and delivery, etc.) I feel was significantly overshadowed by the stressful topics and graphic medical descriptions in the book. For example, the phrase "maternal death" is repeated constantly in one of the last chapters, which simultaneously claims that they are on the rise in the US since the 90s while also explaining that there is no reliable system for nationally counting the statistics on this issue.

This is probably better suited to health-care providers and students in the field of pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum care. For women who are pregnant and already know about the health risks and associated procedures and treatments, who are looking for a book for how to approach their pregnancy and giving birth with serenity and confidence through positive encouragement, keep looking.