I am almost 5 months pregnant with my first child. The last four years of my life, I have spent teaching literature. I can tell you more than you ever want to know about Shakespeare and Sylvia Plath, but I admit, the thought of birthing another human being freaks me totally out of my mind. The only thing I really know about hang a baby is that it’s really painful and sometimes if the baby doesn’t come out, the doctor has to cut the mother open and remove it.
That’s why I decided to read Susan McCutcheon’s book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. She goes through and explains the three stages of labor and birth and how to recognize each stage. Not only that, she explains how to relax during labor and how to push during birthing working with your body to deliver the baby not impede its progress. This also makes it easier to endure the “pain of childbirth.” She also encourages husbands to be involved in the birth and explains how he can “coach” and support his wife during the whole process. Another section of the book that I found very helpful was the explanation on hospital procedures (especially ones that I may want to avoid) and questions to ask the doctors. It also included some exercises to help prepare the body for birthing. The book is 236 pages long with lots of diagrams and black and white pictures; it makes for a fast read.
The only thing that might be a little disturbing is the book has detailed black and white photographs of actual births. It really grossed me out at first, but I decided since I am going to have a baby, I might as well know what it looks like. There are also quite a few sketches and pictures of women in the nude to show proper positions for exercises, relaxing, and birthing. Other than that, I found the book to be very interesting and insightful. Not to mention, it has given me a whole lot of confidence in myself as a women. God designed my body to grow and deliver babies. It’s a natural process that is totally something I can do if I prepare myself. Labor and birth is still a tad scary, but it doesn’t freak me out anymore. I’m a woman! I can do this.