Written by a social anthropologist, one can expect a multi-cultural and cross-cultural perspective of pregnancy and childbirth in this book Rediscovering Birth. And indeed, the book is chock-a-block filled with all kinds of interesting trivia, facts, figures, personal stories, and anecdotes. The author has done her due diligence combining fieldwork, interviews, and academic research. The tone of the book is friendly, assuring and would be a fascinating read. One can tell there is great respect for people of all cultures, races, and those who have gone before us.
This book is great for those who seek to have a fuller and more complete picture of pregnancy and childbirth regardless of cultural background. Due to the comprehensiveness of this book, you’d find a piece of your heritage it in – Asian, Caucasian, Indigenous, and be able to relate to it. The tone is pro-natural birth, and pro-breastfeeding. One would leave with greater appreciation, admiration of the naturalness, and sacredness behind giving life. For those contemplating being a mother, or those already pregnant, this book would encourage you in your journey and to have more empowered choices for yourself.
I felt a distinct sense of reverence of women at large, women who have given birth, and gratitude for my mom. Through the stories, I have greater appreciation of my own culture. It allowed me to think and believe that there is no right or wrong way to be pregnant, to give birth, or to recover after birth. I enjoyed the different perspectives from different cultures, and the richness of it all.
I am a fast reader, and even then it took me while a few days to get through it. There was just so much information coming at me – and I am unsure how I’d be able to remember it all, or when I would ever be able to use it. The book could bullet-point the different cultural practices, or summarise the take-away messages at the end of each chapter, though it’d become more of a textbook, and this isn’t that sort of book.
Personally – I think the book reaffirmed what I already knew: women are amazing, natural birth is possible, and so is breastfeeding. It made me want to take my own birth plan seriously, and to plan for the birth that is right for me which means preferably a water birth (if I ever got pregnant).
Professionally – These trivia and anecdotes would be good research material for a possible presentation to parents, and plant seeds in them about the possibilities available to them when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and after-care. They do not know what they don’t know, and providing information and resources is part of their ability to give informed choice.
The book is a tool which will allow me to draw examples and references from about the different practices around pregnancy and childbirth.
The book allows me to be more informed about the different practices around pregnancy and childbirth, to have more appreciation and respect for those who are different from me.
About the Author
Renowned as the leading authority on women’s experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, Sheila Kitzinger’s campaigning work has increased awareness of maternal rights and contributed towards the many changes in maternity services in the UK. As a social anthropologist, Sheila has conducted research into antenatal care, lectures worldwide and has written 24 books. Sheila lives near Witney, Oxfordshire.
About the Reviewer
Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder, Relationship Counselor Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching and counseling for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the books Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga. She is also the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit www.ErosCoaching.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.