One of my 2015 goals is to share a doula book review each month, and here is January's - huzzah!
A few days into January, I finished reading Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices by Dr. Sarah Buckley.
When this book arrived at the library for me, I was excited. Surely this book will offer great perspectives on both the medical and natural views of childbirth, I thought to myself, and how exciting to read a bit about parenting as well. I expected to find balance and straightforward information from both sides of the discussion.
This book was not what I expected. I thought that a medical doctor who chose home births would offer a balanced, well-rounded perspective of the various choices women face in childbirth; I was disappointed. For making a living in the medical field, Dr. Buckley was shockingly anti-medicine. This was not the evenhanded discussion I was expecting and hoping for.
I believe Dr. Buckley to be at the far end of the “natural birth” spectrum. The emphasis she placed on several procedures seemed a bit “holier than thou” and not at all accepting of any other choices. In fact, several times I thought her general tone was preachy and condemning, which is not what mothers and mothers-to-be need.
The part of the book that I did enjoy was the chapter on the body’s chemicals during birth and how they cycle into birthing the baby. I can appreciate how medicine interferes with the hormonal cycle, but I also believe that there are going to be instances when medical intervention is necessary. Again, this “all-natural or nothing” stance was quite shocking coming from a doctor of medicine. I was disappointed in this book.
There were several times I put the book down and asked myself, "what the hell did I just read?" and "did she really just say that?" Again, I was very disappointed with something that had the potential to be great. I'm not even going to use affiliate links in this post, because I do not recommend this book.
Never fear - I've got three other book reviews up my sleeve, plus a guest reviewer coming soon. Stay tuned!