This brilliant woman has been one of my heroes since I started my yogic journey - specifically when I started teaching Prenatal Yoga.
In honor of my 4 Prenatal classes I'm teaching tomorrow, I'd love to share some of her wisdom with you. Ina May Gaskin is repeatedly described as the "mother of modern midwifery," and she truly is. She's the author of several life changing (to me) books (my favorite being Ina May's Guide to Childbirth; her latest is Birth Matters which is an unbelievably important read!) and helped found The Farm Midwifery Center, which is the place where if I had my druthers, I'd have all my future babies!
There's so much I love about Ina May, but one of the main things is her dogged determination to quell fear and ignorance with knowledge and humor. Birth is a wonderful, horrible, peaceful, excruciating experience depending on who you are and what your experiences are (sometimes all of those things at once!). The more you know about it, whatever your experience winds up being like, the better off you'll be going into it - and the better prepared you'll be to throw all preconceived notions out the window when the time actually comes.
Obviously, for me all of this is second hand. While I haven't yet experienced this for myself, and so in a sense am as ignorant as can be, I hear birth stories from my students constantly, as well as from my own mother and mother-in-law (both of whom are strong advocates for epidurals!) From my students I hear experiences that truly run the spectrum - natural, epidural, c-section, wonderful, terrible, challenging, a breeze. Each one is as unique as the woman who lived it.
I always encourage my students, as my teacher Juliana encourages me, to never take anyone - even Ina May's! - word as gospel and to always find their answers through as many avenues as possible.
Spare about 15 minutes to watch this - and get a load of the staggering statistics toward the end comparing the national US C-section and instrumental delivery rate versus the rates from births on The Farm!