This week I finished reading one of my birthday books, Labor Pain. I wasn't that thrilled with it. Not because it was bad, but because it didn't really have anything new in it for me. I wanted it primarily for additional coping ideas to share in birth classes, but there weren't any that I wasn't already familiar with. The writing style wasn't particularly engaging or inspiring, though it is possible that I'm just getting burned out on birth books and need to read something else for a while (this happens to me periodically). There was a lot of discussion of using TENS machines for pain relief, which aren't readily available in the US (the book was UK based). There were several good points made about birth politics that I will blog about in my other blogs as the time arises (the time seems to be getting smaller and smaller lately for blogging. That is okay though, real life is more important! ;-)
One of the birth stories towards the end of the book is about a woman recovering from anorexia who is so distraught by her body changes during pregnancy that her doctor agreed to do a cesarean at 28 weeks because he felt her "psychological symptoms warranted it." Whoa! However, she ended up seeing a hypnotherapist instead who taught her self-hypnosis techniques for birth and she ended up going overdue even and having a wonderful birth that she was really thrilled with. Yay!
I also read the book The Active Birth Partners Handbook that I had been waiting for. Again, nothing new for me really, but I like to read (or know about the availability of) books that are specifically for fathers, since most birth literature is directed towards women.