Book review: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

Posted by Saraline , Saturday, August 30, 2008 7:02 PM

Henci Goer admits to being biased in her introduction to The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. "Yes, I will be trying to convert you with my way of thinking but with a couple of differences," she says. "First, I will play fair. I will lay out the research data behind my thinking so that you can make up your own mind."

Goer's opinion is that a home birth with a mid-wife is a healthy and safe option, while a birth in a hospital with an obstetrician is scary, impersonal, and sometimes dangerous.

She covers many different procedures that are often performed in hospitals during birth and pieces of equipment that she considers to be unnecessary: cesareans, episiotomies, IVs (although she makes an exception for IVs with antibiotics for women diagnosed with Group B Strep), epidurals, forceps, inducing labour, and machines that monitor the heart beat of the fetus while the mother is in labour. (Goer explains that the electronic fetal monitor is the machine that goes "Ping!" in the birth scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life. She says that the readings from this machine often lead to unnecessary action that could be harmful, such as a cesarean.)

Whether you decide to have a home birth or a hospital birth, this book will provide you with the right questions to ask your mid-wife or doctor, and being able to ask the right questions will help you make decisions about your birthing experience that are right for you.

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