In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

Less and less is done.
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

Tao Te Ching

Friday, March 25, 2011

Birthwork - Book Review

Birthwork: A Compassionate Guide to being with Birth

By Jenny Blyth

A physically healthy mother and baby is usually regarded as a good birth outcome, but we know that there can be far-reaching emotional, psychological and spiritual issues for mothers. The holistic style of care advocated by Birthwork ensures that these issues, along with many others, are carefully considered.

Jenny Blyth has drawn on her experience of more than 20 years in support of women through pregnancy, birth and early parenting to bring us this volume of wisdom and inspiration. Birthwork is sure to become a point of reference for a whole generation of care providers.

The book delves deeply into the sacredness and spirituality of birth, and highlights the emotional vulnerability of birthing women, while also imparting loads of practical advice.

Birthwork clearly demonstrates how our actions and words can profoundly affect women in their birthing. If all birth care providers were to read and apply this text, I believe there would be much less incidence of birth trauma and postnatal depression.

A beautifully written and presented guide of over 450 pages, Birthwork is punctuated with real stories of women’s birthing experiences. There are also exercises at the end of each chapter to facilitate reflection and self-awareness.

Jenny Blyth’s style of writing is like that of her birth care – she offers gentle suggestions and guidance clearly from the heart. It often feels like there is pure love pouring from the pages as one reads.

One of the main focal points of the book is the relationship between the birthing woman and her care providers, offering guidance on communication, negotiation, group dynamics and other aspects of relationship.

There is also very practical information on working with labour, and a valuable section on the wider personal implications of the birthing journey. Jenny Blyth goes on further to examine issues in the birthing community and the culture surrounding birth.

Birthwork not only suggests how care providers may assist birthing mothers, but also discusses how they may manage their own concerns such as stress, personal boundaries, fear, intuition and more.

Essential reading for birth care professionals, Birthwork would also benefit anyone experiencing birth, including partners, support team members and mothers in preparation for birth.

Reading Birthwork evoked a variety of powerful emotions within me, but most of all it gave me a sense of connectedness. I found that the wisdom of Birthwork could be applied to life, not just birth.

We have the opportunity to create harmony in the world and texts such as this can show us the way. Birthwork may very well become the “Spiritual Midwifery” of our times.

Article Submitted by Natural Parenting Site.