Monday, December 3, 2007

The Official Lamaze Guide--Book Review

Excerpted from my Fall 2007 review of The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence:

This book is a refreshing presence on the shelves of my local bookstore (yes, there is only one retail book shop in my community and The Official Lamaze Guide is the only “alternative” birth book stocked in the store!). As I read the book, I kept nodding along and wishing it was in the hands of each pregnant woman in my community. Lamaze has a “name recognition” that gives this book the potential to have a wider and broader impact than other alternative birthing books which, though brilliant contributions, may only end up in the hands of “the choir.” The Official Lamaze Guide is written in such a matter-of-fact and comforting tone that I cannot see it being off putting to the average consumer as having “hippie” language or “extreme” ideas.

The blueprint for normal birth that the book lays out is extreme compared to the standard practices at most hospitals, but the way in which the information is presented opens doors of communication, understanding, and exploration as well as providing the evidence basis to back normal birth. The Official Lamaze Guide is straightforward and clearly written with an unabashedly honest and truthful message of what normal birth is and how it can either be supported or undermined.

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