Archive for January 25th, 2011

January 25, 2011

At some point, the baby has to come out

And that’s when you get Dr. Sears’ Birth Book.  Well, actually, it’d be better to get it a few months earlier than that…

Title: The Birth Book
Author: William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.
Genre: Parenting

Summary and Review: If you’ve read my other posts on parenting books, you know that books that don’t yell at me are what I like the best.  This book doesn’t yell, which I appreciate.  I do go back and forth on my feelings about the Sears family and their empire of books.  I think it’s always dangerous when one entity, even if the entity is a whole family not one individual, has so much influence.  Their “Baby Book” which I used as my bible the first year, still really pisses me off in places…but that’s for another post, I suppose.  I really like this book.  The “bias” is toward a natural birth, but the tone of the book is respectful and describes very thoroughly hospital procedures and the role of modern medicine.  And since every other book you read is likely to be hospital-doctor-medication-leaning (unless you are really seeking out a natural or home birth), this is a good one to read some of the other arguments.

They walk a fine line between describing birth as a natural process and talking about a woman’s body as something that is built for birth, rather than something that has to endure it and talking about the modern hospital setting and the things that it has to offer.  In other words, a woman’s body is strong, powerful, and capable and medication or a necessary C-section might make it even better.  As an example, I really liked a line about the use of an epidural–that they have seen an epidural used really well at the end of labor to calm down an anxious mom and help labor progress more quickly as a result.  In other words, while they value natural birth and think it has it advantages for woman and babies, they don’t view women who turn to medication and other intervention as failures.  They view them as women trying to have a baby, which seems logical.

They also talk about C-sections and when they are really necessary.  Now, they don’t really agree with planned C-sections or inductions that aren’t truly indicated, but they do talk about them.  They give a lot of time to VBACs and even talk about home birth VBACs.

Honestly, I don’t think there is much that is likely to happen during a birth that isn’t in some way covered in this book.  I highly recommend.