Birthing From Within is a gem of a book for its meaningful guidance through the emotional landscape of birth preparation. It will help both mothers and fathers to promote inner readiness for birth, a subject sorely missing from other birth literature. There are a lot of “right brain” activities suggested in this book such as making art and journaling. Actually trying them out will exponentially increase the benefit of this book.
I have found that some people shy away from Birthing From Within because they aren’t looking for something “touchy-feely,” but rather want information. If you feel this way, I urge you to reconsider. There is very substantial information throughout the entire book, and what you will learn from the process work recommended is equally informative and even more purposeful towards practically preparing for birth.
If you are a “left brain” type you will probably find Birthing From Within‘s approach to pain coping techniques (Chapter 38) more clear and directive than any other natural childbirth book I am aware of. There really is something here for everyone.
I highly recommend Birthing From Within for all families, regardless of your birth plan, because I believe that the themes introduced in the book touch on the changes that childbearing brings into your life. I encourage an approach where you skim sections of the book that don’t move you and slow down and really take your time on those that inspire, anger, or interest you. Most importantly, be sure to share your process with another caring human present in your life while you work through this book.
A note of caution: there is a strong bias towards minimal medical intervention and natural birth (birth without an epidural) in Birthing From Within. Some of the information about pain options and interventions is out-dated and some is sensationalized. Gather ideas from the book, but take those ideas and have conversations with your doula, midwife, or doctor about their experience and the current literature relevant to your local setting.
Birthing From Within’s Authors, Pam England & Rob Horowitz
Pam England has a masters in Psychology & Counseling from Antioch, with an emphasis on Perinatal Psychology and Hypnosis. She is also a Certified Nurse Midwife, a doula, childbirth educator, and a mother, inspired by her own birth experiences. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Rob Horowitz, Phd, has been a clinical psychologist for 20 years. He lives and practices in Albuquerque, New Mexico.