I am pregnant with my first baby and recently read this book. I have found it incredibly useful, especially for thinking through what I want from my birth and what is important to me. I especially like the clear categorisation of the 'midwifery (birth as a normal process) and 'obstetric' (birth as inherently risky) views of birth. It helps to clarify your thinking when people generally talk to you about their views and beliefs about birth, decisions and experiences, you can ask yourself - 'is this consistent with the midwifery or the obstetric view?
The real-life birth stories are really great to read, very well chosen in providing a variety of different scenarios and really give you an indication of the all types of challenges women face when giving birth, and some of the options to manage through these challenges. Other great things about this book include: the section on common interventions and how to avoid them, and, for someone who is yet to experience labour, there is lots of helpful description about what to expect.
This book emphasises the value of natural childbirth with minimal intervention. For me, it helped to inform my decision to plan a home birth - but it is in no way only suited for home birth and will definitely be useful for women who want to plan to have a positive hospital birthing experience. Given that every pregnancy and birth is different, I am sure it will also suit women who have had children before and want to think about how to do things different/better next time. Highly recommended!
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book's 2nd edition in order to provide an endorsement on the back cover.
I wish I had read it earlier as it would have helped me to prepare for the births of my two children.
Better Birth is a well-researched and easy to read book that aims to help women have the birth they want.
On the Bub Hub forum we see so many women looking for support after a disappointing or traumatic birth experience. Often the problem stems from them feeling out of control and left out of the decision-making process.
This book arms women with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about where, when and how they intend to give birth. And if things don't go as planned, it gives women the confidence to ask questions and ensure they are kept informed by health professionals.
I believe this book can give women a greater understanding of the birth process and the models of maternity care in Australia. This knowledge can help elimate fear and give the mother-to-be the confidence in her own body and her own decisions!