Tag Archives: Childbirth

After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

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The Midwife by Gay Courter

Synopsis: The tale of a Russian midwife who emigrates to America during the pogroms of the early 1900s. Review: The Midwife was a completely satisfying reading experience, not just because the plot and characters were so engaging, but because I loved the author’s perspective on birth. It’s as if Ina May Gaskin were writing historical fiction–it’s so rare to see birth treated like a normal event, not an emergency. I am not a birth junkie but I did have both my kids at home and…

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The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain

Synopsis: After the suicide of their friend, an underground home birth midwife, best friends Tara and Emerson discover a mare’s nest of secrets that threaten the happiness they’ve worked so hard to create. Review: I found no surprises in The Midwife’s Confession, which is a decent but not great read. I found the whole thing a little frustrating, waiting for the characters to catch up with me. But it was nice to see home birth portrayed as a safe and reasonable option, rather than an…

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Labor of Love: A Midwife’s Memoir by Cara Muhlhahn

Synopsis: The autobiography of a homebirth midwife in New York City. Review: Labor of Love is a book that really meant a lot to me. I had both of my daughters at home with midwives and worked quite hard this spring lobbying Albany to pass the Midwifery Modernization Act. My first midwife is featured heavily in the book as she is a good friend to Muhlhahn, and it was nice to encountar her in a different way. Muhlhahn became a divisive figure after an unflattering…

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Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Synopsis: A young woman discovers that she is cursed to go mad on the birth of her first child unless she can complete three impossible tasks. Review: Woven from the lyrics of the ballad Scarborough Fair, made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, Impossible successfully places a fairy tale in the context of modern life without sacrificing any magic at all. Lucy Scarborough was raised by foster parents after her mother, Miranda, went mad on Lucy’s birth. Now Lucy finds herself pregnant at 17, and discovers…

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Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf

Synopsis: The personal is political, as feminist thinker Naomi Wolf uses her c-section as a springboard for the way in which the maternity care system in America infantilizes women. Review: There’s nothing in Misconceptions that hasn’t appeared in any number of other exposes of the state of maternal care in the US, such as Jennifer Block’s Pushed, which I reviewed a few months ago. However, it’s the way in which Wolf presents the information that makes this a must read, even if you’ve read it…

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Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block

Synopsis: A muck-raking expose of what happens in labor and delivery wards across America. Review: Pushed upset me–so much so, that I considered not finishing the book. I have an innate mistrust of doctors and hospitals after some rough treatment I received during a miscarriage last year. where I was not informed of all my options and wound up in the ER with an infection. My quest to find a new care provider ultimately led me to choose home birth with a midwife for my…

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Non Fiction Meme

I’m late getting to Gautami’s Non Fiction Meme. * a) What issues/topic interests you most in non-fiction, i.e, cooking, knitting, stitching, there are infinite topics that have nothing to do with novels? Books about food, books that explain scientific topics for general readers, biography, memoir, history, travelogues. I love reading books about my hobbies, particularly knitting and cooking. My library is filled with books of film history, criticism, and theory. I like some books on Christianity by authors like CS Lewis and Dan Allender. Lately…

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The Big Book of Birth by Erica Lyons

Synopsis: A comprehensive, non-judgmental overview of labor and delivery. Review: I have a dear friend who is a doula and a childbirth educator, and she gave me this book when I became pregnant. The Big Book of Birth is written by the woman who runs Realbirth, where my friend used to teach (before she moved) and where my husband and I will be taking childbirth classes. Share on Facebook

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