Pregnancy Must-read: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Sarah Olsen
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was an influential book for me during my pregnancy because some of the birth stories were so honest and relatable. It was one of the few books about birth where women were just telling their stories. Most captivating about this book was that every single story was different. Every woman’s journey held different obstacles, feelings, and details, but all with the very similar outcome in the moment that your baby breathes life into his lungs. As a pregnant reader I found myself imagining these women desperately trying to understand this moment in time that they were going through, hoping to harness this feeling for myself, knowing that I soon would embark on that very same journey.
It made me feel empowered, excited, terrified, and a part of something special. It helped me to see birth in a way that wasn’t the scary scene portrayed in movies and on television. Not to say the book doesn’t have its own level of anxious moments and truth about the intensity of birth; it just talks about labor differently, it gives new language to something that most of us have feared. It was a gift, and I am eternally grateful to Ina May for writing it and for all the women whose stories were shared.