Book Review: Secrets of Confident Childbirth
By Vanessa Turner, Jackie Fletcher, Janay Alexander
HotHive Books, 2009
160 pages, paperback, £24.99
Reviewed by Molly Remer, MSW, ICCE, CCCE
“Your body is a complex work of art that functions perfectly” –The Birth Specialists
In an era when much pregnancy and birth literature seems to written in a “climate of doubt,” books like Secrets of Confident Childbirth offer a welcome and affirming alternate perspective—that of celebration and anticipation.
Accented with many beautiful, artistic photos of pregnant women, babies, and couples, Secrets of Confident Childbirth was written by a team of childbirth educators–“The Birth Specialists”–in the UK. The book emphasizes mind-body preparation for birth, with a special emphasis on hypnosis for childbirth as well as other methods of using the mind in a positive way to achieve healthy birth outcomes. The book includes information about the benefits of natural childbirth, prenatal bonding with your baby, the powerful impact of words and language on the birth experience, the role of hormones and the impact of fear, visualization, relaxation, pain management, labor positions, massage, and more. It also includes a brief section on birth planning and evidence-based care.
I do have a slight concern that the emphasis on “focus on what you want and you will achieve it” can possibly lead to self-blame or to “blaming the victim” if a woman’s birth does not work out the way she hopes and dreams. My observation about approaching birth with only “positive thinking” is that it can discount or undervalue the very critical role that the birth environment and the attitudes and fears of the others within that environment can have on the birthing woman’s experience and outcome. That said, I truly love the confident approach, affirming language, and positive attitude towards pregnancy and birth expressed in Secrets of Confident Childbirth. This book is a tremendous gift to the birth world!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.