Friday, January 25, 2008

Birth Book

This week I also finished reading my brand new copy of the 1970's classic, Birth Book by Raven Lang. I've blogged about this book several times on the CfM blog, so I won't say too much more about it here. I also reviewed it for the spring issue of CfM News. Overall, I enjoyed it, though the slang terms for women's genitalia throughout made me uncomfortable--I'm a pretty "proper" type and linguistically conservative!

Birth Book was originally published in 1972--first book of the sort, even before the better known Spiritual Midwifery. It has recently been reprinted on a very limited basis and is being sold by Citizens for Midwifery. I wanted to share one quote from the introduction of the book that felt relevant to me when thinking about midwifery in Missouri:

“Birth has not only reached the absurdity of having to be relearned, it also has the absurdity of becoming a criminal offense if we are to go ahead with our ideals and do things the way we desire. And so, because of the system, midwifery as practiced in this book is against the law. It has become political. We didn’t make it that way. For us it is a beautiful, personal, spiritual, sexual experience. And for us to have that, we become criminals.”

The highlight of this book are the tons of beautiful black and white photos. Lots of photos of women birthing on their hands and knees which you don't see that often.

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