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Paperback Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience Book

ISBN: 0446538140

ISBN13: 9780446538145

Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience

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Book Overview

The national C-section rate is at an all-time high of 31 percent. Are all these C-sections necessary, or are some of them done simply for the sake of convenience? Inductions seem to be the norm, but are they always needed? Today, expectant mothers are often left feeling powerless, as their instincts are replaced by drugs and routine medical procedures. What you are about to discover is that you have a choice, and you have the power to plan the kind...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This book changed my life!

I had my first child in a hospital. It was a good experience, but I felt like I was missing out on something more in my birth experience. The Business of Being Born and My Best Birth inspired me to have a home birth. It was THE most magical choice of my life! Thank you Abby and RIcki!!!!

A must read for every pregnant woman

There are a lot of fabulous books out there to get pregnant women to start thinking about taking charge of their births (Ina May Gaskin, Dr Gowri Motha etc) but these titles are often only picked up by women 'in-the-know' who are used to looking for obscure titles and enjoy reading. This book covers all the basics incredibly well and is a fun, enlightening and enjoyable read. This book wasn't out when i had my daughter but i was already of this mindset and had a fantastic, empowering, natural and ENJOYABLE labor - this book totally mirrors the journey i went on to find the right care providers and the importance of doing so. Anyone giving birth in the USA should make it their priority to 1) learn how different the system is in the USA to other developed countries 2) Understand how this contributes to the USA having the second highest infant and mother mortality rate in the developed world and 3) arm themselves with all the knowledge in order to have a birth which not only places their child's wellbeing at the top of the list but ALSO takes the mother's needs and enjoyment of the birthing process into consideration. If you would like to take this further, I would also recommend the following: DVDs: Pregnant in America, Orgasmic Birth and The Business of Being Born - all 3 dvds are available on Netflix. Ina May Gaskin's The Guide to Childbirth still remains the most powerful and amazing book re. preparation for labor. The first half is taken up with positive birthing stories - it helps you to start to move away from the ER scenes of 'scary' labor that we are all brain washed with and move towards a more gentle, magical way of viewing giving birth. It really is true that if you put in the preparation (physical and mental) you can have an amazing experience - it doesn't need to be something to fear and dread.


This is a good resource for those who are interested in finding alternatives to hospitals for childbirth. The birthing experience is vividly described and many options discussed. it's heavily slanted in favor of home childbirth. I find one negative and that is when Ricki is describing her child's birth; she uses unnecessary profanity. Otherwise, it's a worthwhile resource.

Must Read Before You Go into Labor

[...] First Impressions: I must say at a first skim through the preface and various chapters of this book, I immediately got turned off. At first blush, the book seemingly has a heavy focus on Natural Vaginal Births and that is a very sour subject for me, a woman who delivered each of her THREE children via C-SECTIONS. For a long time, I used to feel inadequate about not having given birth the "natural" way as God intended, if you will. I even used to get a rush of jealousy when I would hear of a friend who had a birth without medical surgical intervention. I belabor the point, but I did not think I'd come away from the book feeling good at all. Second Chance: Well, I decided to give the book a chance anyway and, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually liked it and would recommend it! Ricki and Abby use a very conversational, down to earth tone and language to provide a matter of fact, real perspective of their personal experiences and the experiences of other women. They explain, without too much medical terminology and jargon, what a mother-to-be can expect during the birthing process. In any event, Your Best Birth is all about knowing your options and decoding the language of the hospital. The authors take the time to interpret some of the reasons hospitals give mothers for making their decisions. It is a useful resource even for that discussion alone, because it is a very stressful time during labor and who has time to psychoanalyze what's being said at that very moment? Getting educated on some of these issues in advance is crucial. Demystifying the "Hollywood" portrayal of Birth The book opens with summaries of Ricki and Abby's birthing experiences with their children. The remainder of the book attempts to address the stigma associated with "home births" by providing matter of fact and straight forward explanation of what they are like and what women considering these options can expect. Mothers-to-be Giving in... I do wish I had that type of book 7 years ago when I was about to deliver my first child, because I would have been more empowered and would not have succumb to pressure from my doctor to deliver via C section. One thing they point out in the book is that women are very eager to please and a too quick to not want to offend. We, as women, are often guilty of wanting to accommodate a doctor who has had a long night with you and may be eager to go home, or a nurse who insists you should get the epidural even though you feel you may be able to bear with the pain a little longer. For my first child, he simply was progressing slow and the doctor said she felt the labor was going to be too long for his poor little heart. I could have asked for medical or natural options to progress my labor and kept at it, but I gave in to the surgery because she said I could have my baby by noon that day! After 24+ hours of inactive and active labor, who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to know the exact time you'd be getting your ba

A must have birth book for expecting moms

When I was pregnant my childbirth educator recommended her favorite books to the class: The Birth Partner, and Birthing from Within. I'll bet that she will soon be adding Your Best Birth, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, to that list. Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein's film The Business of Being Born has been called the "Inconvenient Truth" of birth. Their new book, Your Best Birth, continues in that spirit - enlightening, advocating, and trying to "take back" birth for mothers and families. Your Best Birth is devoted to helping mothers "explore the full spectrum of choices you have in giving birth." The authors define a "best birth" as "one where you feel empowered because you know all your options and are confident in the decisions you have made about your birth." They state, "we believe that you can place the health and well-being of your newborn as your highest priority and still have an optimal, empowering experience that is right for you both - whether that is in your bed, in your bathtub, in a hospital room, or on an operating table." Ricki and Abby talk frankly about the current record high c-section and induction rates, the disappearing VBAC, and describe what a typical hospital birth looks like now. They share their own birth stories and the stories of a number of celebrities along the way, as well as profiles of some well known birthing pioneers. I'm very pleased that they include a chapter on sexual abuse survivors and birth, and Ricki even shares her own story of abuse and its connection to her experience of motherhood. I found many of the birth stories very moving. They offer practical advice on assembling your 'dream team,' including doulas and other support people, and walk you through questions to ask of providers and how to create a birth plan. They debunk some of the myths about midwives, and explain what different interventions mean and how they affect your experience. I was pleased to see that they address how birth affects breastfeeding. To be clear, this is not a general pregnancy/birth guide book. It doesn't walk you through the stages of labor, or show pictures of labor positions, for example. For basic birth information you'd still want to take a childbirth class or at least read a more general book. And I think it's fair to say that this is a book that would be most useful for women who are trying to have a vaginal birth with few interventions, as well as those who are open to exploring their options. Most importantly, this book addresses the current state of birth in the U.S., which has changed dramatically in the last ten years. If you're reading a book that was written longer ago than that, chances are it's describing a world that no longer exists. Ricki Lake says that she has been so inspired by learning about birth that she once considered becoming a midwife. Whether that's in her future or not, I'm grateful that she used her talents and time to bring her film and this book into the world. (origina
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