Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May Gaskin by Teresa Palmer
I actually read this book a few years back before I met my husband and I was in an unhappy relationship. As all of my friends know I’ve been reading baby and pregnancy books for as long as I can remember, looking back on it now I can recognize that I was seeking solace in reading these stories about woman becoming mothers. When I read this particular book I was in Big Sur with my ex boyfriend for our one year anniversary and I remember devouring the stories written by these women. I recall having this deep longing inside my belly, longing to one day be one of these woman and questioning whether I would ever have the opportunity. I actually credit this book for helping to identify these feelings of doubt surrounding my situation at the time. I knew how much I desired to have a story like these woman but I knew I was on the wrong journey towards that. It’s so nice to be writing this now having had my own story fit for a book like this.
Spiritual Midwifery was such a profound read for me in preparation for my birth. It certainly wasn’t a typical pregnancy and birthing book, it was very different in that it was a collection of birth stories by woman who birthed at the farm, a natural birthing community in Tennessee where home birth is very much celebrated. Whether you’re a woman interested in home birth or even natural birth this book is so empowering to a woman preparing to birth a child that I would go as far as saying every single pregnant woman should own a copy and read it regularly throughout pregnancy. The positivity and encouragement you feel from these birth stories is beyond any other birthing preparation book I’ve read. I felt instantly injected with confidence and really felt that I could trust my body to do what it’s naturally able to do. The first part of the book, the author, who is perhaps the worlds most influential and respected midwife Ina May Gaskin breaks down the birthing process in a really easy and supportive way. It seems very organic and yet it’s incredibly informative. Then the book moves in to the birth stories from woman who have had natural births. These stories are gathered from 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s and it’s amazing to read these stories. There are two birth stories written back to back by a mother giving birth to her daughter in the 70s and then her grown up daughter giving birth in the 00s both times they use Ina May as their midwife. I was often brought to tears throughout reading this book and it was exactly the confidence boost I was looking for. It really brought me to center and this book is still one of my favorite all time books.