Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger

Stars: *****

Summary: Find out how pregnancy and birth is experienced around the world from the feelings about pregnancy, the physical and spiritual experience of giving birth, how babies and mothers are taken care of after birth and more. With real photographs from around the world, you’ll find out how different pregnancy and especially birth is in the rest of the world.

First a word of warning for the faint of heart. The photographs in this book are not just of pregnant tummies. They range from bare breasts to statues of women giving birth to “crotch shots” to show what an episiotomy looks like. I had no problem with the photographs but I know not everyone is as okay with the body as me. There are plenty of photos of mostly clothed pregnant women, babies and birthing locations.

I really enjoyed this book. It did make me a bit sad though as I know I have to have a C-section this time and reading the book reminded me of the beauty of labour that I won’t be able to experience this time.

It was really eye opening to see how much pregnancy and birth has been changed in the western world. Some of it is for the good because we can catch high risk pregnancies or diagnose twins but it’s also not so good because we take a beautiful, natural event and turn it into a medical procedure. We aren’t meant to give birth on our backs with our legs in stirrups and although home birth isn’t for me, I do think we need to work towards a more natural experience and provide more help for those who do want to do a home birth.

However there are aspects of birth in some other countries that aren’t for the better. In many cultures, colostrum (the pre-milk a mother’s breasts have before her full milk comes in) is considered dangerous and is expressed and thrown away. In the meantime the baby is breastfed by another women or fed substitute fluids. We know that colostrum provides lots of benefits to the baby including immunities and antibodies.

If like me, you are interested in pregnancy and childbirth around the world, you will find this book enlightening. Unfortunately Rediscovering Birth is Out of Print. I got my copy from the library. However if you can find a copy, it’s well worth it.

Links of Interest: Sheila Kitzinger,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.