Monday, March 28, 2016

Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth by William Camann with Kathryn Alexander | Book Review

Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth

While Easy Labor is very comprehensive, it's never repetitive or overwhelming or lofty in vocabulary.  So that's good.  However, I also felt that it was pretty biased toward pro-medical pain relief intervention.

I'm of the "knowledge is power" camp.  The more I know, the more reassured I feel.  The hubby and I recently took childbirth prep classes and he seemed pretty overwhelmed with the details.  I walked away feeling much less stressed about my impending labor and delivery.  So to each their own.  That's why I loved this book, and would recommend it to other women in the "knowledge is power" camp.  It covers, in detail, what to expect during each stage of labor, delivery, and recovery.  Everything from how long to labor at home to what will happen when you do arrive at the hospital.  The authors also suggest some comfort items that you could consider bringing from home, like a big fitness ball.  

Mostly, though, the authors cover what medical pain relief options are available at each stage.  They do cover them all fairly, telling the reader of the potential side effects on both mother and baby, and of how the various medicines will impact labor.  (For example, your movement will be severely limited if you receive an epidural, so you won't be able to easily shift position or walk to assist in the labor process.)

I also know that reading worst-case scenarios may scare some people... but even with that, I would still rather know ahead of time than be surprised!  So I appreciated the chapter on emergency c-sections.  Now I can make decisions about regular c-section and/or emergency c-section with my hubby before we're in the emotional throes of labor.  

While I am hoping to avoid as much medical intervention as possible, I did find it reassuring to be able to know all my options in order to make decisions beforehand.  I also appreciated that the authors invited many doctors, medical professionals, and new mothers to submit their birth stories so that the reader gets many perspectives.

*A friend lent me her copy of Easy Labor to read.  Thank you!

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