Second Edition, Hardcover, 2012
Forward by Michel Odent, MD
1. We’ve Come a Long Way – Or Have We?
2. The Dangers of Medical Intervention
3. The Psychological Effects of a Traumatic Birth on a Family
4. Why Physicians Insist on Intervening
5. Personal Beliefs and Expectations
6. Dreams, Impulses, Intuition and Emotions - Our Psychological Lifeline to the Inner Self
7. Stories of Unassisted Births
8. The Case for Autonomous Birth
9. My Story
Unassisted Childbirth Resources
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Contrary to popular opinion, prior to the advent of the modern-day hospital, women and babies in healthy tribal cultures rarely died in childbirth. Women in tribal cultures often had such a relaxed attitude about birth that some of them actually gave birth while sleeping. All told, Americans spend $80 billion a year on childbirth. Could it be much of this medical intervention is actually unnecessary?
According to Laura Kaplan Shanley, a renowned leader in the natural-birth movement, human birth is inherently safe and relatively painless—provided we refrain from physical or psychological interference. The problems often associated with birth can be traced to three main factors: poverty, unnecessary medical intervention, and fear. When these causes are eliminated, most women can give birth either alone or with the help of a partner, friends, or family.
This second edition of Unassisted Childbirth leads with a history of childbirth and then describes how most deliveries occur today, detailing why these processes don’t serve mothers or babies. The information in this unique book gives women yet another legitimate choice in childbirth that doesn’t rely on doctors and technology, and allows parents, birth professionals, and general readers to reexamine their most basic ideas about birth and learn to think in new ways.
Someday women will not give birth in hospitals because they will realize that childbirth is not a disease. They will not pay physicians thousands of dollars to probe them and cut them and tell them what to do. They will not submit themselves to IVs, fetal monitors, vaginal examinations, or Cesarean sections. Nor will they take the hospitals into their homes, bringing there the well-meaning substitute doctors – the midwives – with their sterilized instruments, rubber gloves, and breathing techniques. For, none of this will be necessary.
Instead, like their animal sisters, women will someday deliver their own babies peacefully and painlessly at home. Women will understand that birth is only dangerous and painful for those who believe it is.
Someday, both women and men will understand that childbirth (and every other event in their lives) is the result of their individual beliefs. They will no longer listen to the voices of officialdom telling them that their lives are beyond their self-conscious control. They will listen instead to the inner authroity saying, “Your life is your own creation. Believe in yourself and you have nothing to fear.”
My goal in writing this book is to help make that someday today.