Gentle Birth Choices: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions about Birthing Centers, Birth Attendants, Water Birth, Home Birth, and Hospital Birth

Excerpts & Samples

By Barbara Harper

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Barbara Harper

Barbara Harper
Barbara Harper's passion for natural birth led to the founding in 1988 of Global Maternal/Child Health Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and research about natural childbirth. She lectures worldwide on maternity care reform and water birth and is the author of Ge More...



Barbara Harper outlines the elements of gentle birthing: support from loved ones, a reassuring and quiet environment with soft lighting, and minimal medical intervention. She shows you how to plan a meaningful, family-centered birth experience and discusses the many alternatives available, providing a new model of maternity care that reduces the need for high-tech crisis intervention and focuses instead on preparation and good health for mother and child. 

With Cesarean section rates in some hospitals at more than 50%, women are acknowledging that childbirth reform is an essential aspect of reclaiming responsibility for our bodies and our lives. 

Includes information on:

•Giving birth in a freestanding birthing center, at home, or in a hospital birthing room.

•Finding a primary care-giver who shares your philosophy of birth, whether midwife, doctor, or both.

•Deciding how to best use current technologies. 

•Practical advice for couples wishing to explore the option of waterbirth, a choice  that maximizes the attributes of water as a natural, pain-relieving relaxant and an alternative to drugs and their unwanted side effects. 

"Exactly the sort of guide that pregnant women have needed to help them sort throught the myriad number of choices and options." 
Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

"Harper is among the most active, enthusiastic, and effective writers and advocates in the field of childbirth education today."
Michel Odent, M.D., author of Birth Reborn

"One of the Top ten recommended books for pregnant women and their families."
Lamaze International, Fall/Winter 2001

" . . . guides expectant mothers through a maze of opinions and unquestioned 'best practices' while offering a host of information on both the physical and emotional aspects of holistic prenatal preparation."
Alec Franklor, EdgeLife Journal, April 2008