Friday, November 14, 2008

Immaculate Deception II - Myth, Magic & Birth

I'm reading Immaculate Deception II. I have it on loan from a friend but I must buy my own copy because it is very good and will make a great resource as I embark on a journey of researching midwifery and homebirth. This is the second edition and was published in 1994, so some of the more technical information is getting dated, but the concepts remain the same.

There is a note at the beginning of the book:
"The original Immaculate Deception was in print for two decades. It continues to be required reading in many medical schools and nursing programs. Suzanne Arms was an early champion of midwives and birth centers, and founder of The Birth Place in Menlo Park, California. Her film, 'Five Women, Five Births' is considered a classic in childbirth education."
It is wonderful that the original version of this book is required reading in many medical schools and nursing programs, and I also think it should be required reading for anyone who is pregnant or is planning on becoming pregnant. Heck, it's probably even an important book to read for ALL women!

I do have to mention that there is a chapter on religion and how it has affected and oppressed women, and it's not written from a Christian perspective at all. I don't discount the entire chapter, however, as I think there is probably some truth to the things she mentions. Such as how the Catholic Church labeled Jesus' mother the "Virgin Mary" and wanted everyone to believe she was forever a virgin, when it is clear from scripture that she was indeed a virgin when Jesus was conceived and born, she was not her whole life - Jesus later had siblings.

I believe this is an important read, you just may want to take certain parts of it with a grain of salt. The chapters on normal pregnancy and birth are great. I also find her philosophy on fear very interesting. American women have become so afraid of pregnancy and the birth process that they believe they NEED many of the interventions "modern medicine" has to offer. Not that there isn't unfounded basis for this fear. In the past century and more American women were treated horrendously in labor; and of course there are real problems that may arise in pregnancy or labor and delivery. But on the whole, problems are rare, and our fear mostly gets in the way of and complicates our bodies' natural process.

I am looking forward to doing more research and gathering more information on the topics of midwifery, homebirth, and pregnancy in general. As some of you may know, I had wanted a home birth with our first baby, but got talked out of it by everyone I knew, and after taking a tour of the local hospital, decided it wasn't so bad. I did end up having an okay experience there, but I think it would have been even better at home. We'll see if I can get my wish with the second one.

And no, the second one is not on the way yet...but maybe soon...


The Espinozas said...

have you read ina may's guide to childbirth? it helped me tremendously with aurelia who was born naturally (in the hospital). my two experiences have been fine so far, but i, too, want to keep it simple and natural as i can. i hope i can work with a widwife (even if we are in the hospital), if we have another. i look forward to reading more from this blog in the future, jenna.

Jenna said...

Thanks so much for posting a comment, Amy! Laina was not exactly born naturally, but it was pain med free. I can't say drug free because I was on pitocin. And did also end up w/an episiotomy. So no, not very natural, just no pain killers. I really feel like it could have been much more natural if I wasn't seeing an OB and if it wasn't in the hospital. So hopefully I will be able to do a home birth with the next one.