::Book Review:: Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel

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Review by Sara Skiles of "Natural Hospital Birth", by Cynthia Gabriel

Although we are delighted to support families in any type of birth plan and location, we find that a lot of our clients are desiring and planning for an unmedicated birth in the hospital.

This book is definitely one that would appeal to those families as they work toward that goal!

In "Natural Hospital Birth", Cynthia Gabriel, a doula and medical anthropologist, delivers some real talk about exactly

what is to be expected from the birthing culture in present-day North America

and how expectant parents planning an unmedicated delivery can navigate that culture to get what they want. I enjoyed her approach of self-education and an attitude of collaboration in order to get the desired experience.

This book also goes into depth on selecting a care provider, selecting a hospital, selecting a doula, writing a birth plan, and other prenatal preparation details that can make a big difference in the unmedicated birth experience. As a big advocate for postpartum mental health, I enjoyed the detailed section on planning for the postpartum period and how to preserve it and make the most of it.

Although there were a few things in this book that may not line up with the current best-practice research, parents are smart and can glean great info that works for their family from this book. I would recommend parents planning an unmedicated hospital delivery to give this one a read and do the activities it suggests during pregnancy!

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