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December 7th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Galveston, TX
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"The Attachment Parenting Book" by Dr. Sears - a book all about AP by the renowned author Dr. Sears. Practical and inspirational, it is the answer book to most childhood questions; ranging from breastfeeding, weaning, and solids to co-sleeping, carrying, and discipline.

"Rediscovering Birth" by Sheila Kitzinger - This is a work of social anthropology with political intentions. Kitzinger, a well-known birth educator and activist and author of the classic Pregnancy and Childbirth, wants to open women's eyes to the meanings of childbirth that have been lost through the adoption of the technocratic model of birth now prevalent in Europe and the United States. To this end, she uses observations from decades of original fieldwork, as well as research from the literature, to examine childbirth practices and beliefs in many cultures. We have moved away from the social model of traditional cultures, Kitzinger tells us, in which childbirth is a normal life process controlled by the woman and her community, and have allowed birth to become a medical event associated with pathology and controlled by specialists. The political task at hand is to take back control from the technocracy and put it into the hands of women so that the best elements of both models may be available.

"How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor" by Dr. Robert Mendelsohn – this is a delightful book, heavy reading, but a wonderful asset to any parent attempting to raise a healthy family. From infections and fevers to common vaccinations and childhood tests, Dr. Mendelsohn guides parents through each situation to choosing the best and safest route of care for every child.

"Heart and Hands" by Elizabeth Davis – this textbook, study guide, and historical record delves into the hearts and hands of midwifery. Explaining the art of midwifery, Davis offers information on how to choose a midwife, why to choose a midwife, and what to expect from the midwifery model of care.

"Gentle Birth Choices" by Suzanne Arms – this book explores the myriad of choices presented to expectant couples when looking forward to a birth experience and helps to clarify these choices. This text also dispels medical myths while maintaining that childbirth does not have to be a painful, fearful, or violent experience. Further, it explains the numerous gentle birth choices available, including birth center, hospital, and homebirth options; how to find a care provider who advocates NCB; and deciding how and when to use current technologies.

"Birth as an American Rite of Passage" by Robbie Davis-Floyd - An anthropological study on childbirth rites of passage in American culture and current society, this is a heavy read, but mind-provoking. The rites she speaks of in this book are medical in nature and, she argues, take away women's power over their bodies which are naturally designed to bring life into the world. “She believes that society, intimidated by women's ability to give birth, has designed obstetrical rituals that are far more complex than natural childbirth itself in order to deliver what is from nature into culture.” Full of childbirth stories covering the gamut of childbirth experiences, this book is a must when delving into the magnitude of childbirth choices and their importance to women and society as a whole.

“Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change” by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Christine Barbra Johnson – Again, Davis hits on the over-medicinalization of childbirth practices and what is lost in the process. She talks about laws, statutes, and cases against midwives in recent years and the past and what is lost and gained from every stroke of law on the way.

“Mothering the Mother” by Marsha Klaus – a required reading on many apprentice-doula lists, this book is easy to read with comprehensive and well organized information on everything ‘mothering’ to do and not to do to assist a laboring woman.

“An Easier Childbirth: A Mother’s Guide for Birthing Normally” by Gayle Peterson – not in line with traditional education, this book guides its readers through the subconscious, completely emotional, and personal side of childbirth. Speaking in terms of ‘realistic expectations’, she continues her journey in the line of thought that so a woman believes, so will her labor be. This book is written as a workbook to use as a personalized childbirth preparation.

“Giving Birth: A Journey Into the World of Mothers and Midwives” by Catherine Taylor – This book relates women who have employed the use of midwives, the midwives themselves, and their relationships and experiences. Not only a good read, this book also explores the economic and social factors that keep maternity healthcare locked into costly structural problems, block consumer access to appropriate care, and threaten the profession of midwifery. Insightful personal quips, medical, anthropological studies, and birth stories make this an enjoyable, but slightly more political, read.

“Mother’s Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth” by Kim Wildner – This hard-core and straightforward, politically incorrect book tells childbirth and western medicine/western philosophy of birth like it is. In it, Wildner explains in detail how what you believe to be true will affect your experience from pregnancy through birth and into Motherhood. Though it dwells to much on the negative side of thought, it has positive connotations: that what we perceive we will achieve.

“Obstetrical Myths vs. Research Realities” by Henci Goer - "Unencumbered by the burden of conventional obstetrical thinking, Ms. Goer takes a fresh look at current customs in maternity care. Using logic, common sense, and the latest scientific findings, she has written an incisive critique, inspiring us all--physicians, midwives, childbirth educators, nurses, doulas, and expectant parents--to rethink and question routine care as it exists today. This is "must" reading for all who participate in maternity care." - Penny Simkin
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