Photo via Goodreads.
Book Title: The Basic Needs of a Woman In Labour
Book Author: Ruth Ehrhardt
Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Perhaps what makes this book the most interesting on all of my shelves is that it came from South Africa, but that doesn’t sound to exciting…does it? What if I told you it took seven months to make it to my home? And that I couldn’t stop wondering about the magnificent trip this little book had made across the globe?! Maybe it’s not as exciting to the readers as this excitable reviewer, but it made my heart jump a little just thinking about the adventure this book took around the world. In short, I’m super jealous of this teenie tiny book.
I have not given birth, nor have I watched someone (in live action, not as a film) give birth. So, this book seemed out of my territory of knowledge, yet I agreed with it at the same time. Ruth Ehrhardt discusses Dr. Michel Ordent’s theories regarding childbirth and she goes quite in-depth in such a little book!
One of the first pages of this book discusses women needing a calm, dimly-lit, comfortable and private area. To me, that makes sense. Childbirth is such a beautiful phenomenon and somehow it has been made into a business. When giving birth, who would want a million people yelling and directing orders, saying words you wouldn’t understand and giving you disruptive and concerning looks? Childbirth can be incredibly scary, and doctors and nurses do not always help in these situations. With the tremendous pain and opportunity for something to go wrong, a comfortable environment seems best – at least in my opinion.
I also agreed with her thought that words matter. As a population, we tend to use words in the negative atmosphere. Everything is bad and we complain about anything! It’s important to remember that your choice in words can affect your overall well being – so while being pregnant, positivity counts! Life will always have it’s troubles and not everything will be beautiful an smell of roses, but we can try to make the best of every situation! Assisting and caring for pregnant women – even if it’s just with a positive thought – can make a big difference! You don’t need to work on hands and feet to care for your pregnant friend on facebook, but positive thoughts and comments will help outweigh those negative ones if we all band together! It is better to assist with a small, happy comment than cause a world full of anxiety for a mother already facing her other worries in the world.
Ruth also discusses how childbirth is like sleep – something that can often happen when it’s least expected! I loved this little simile, because it’s so obvious and true yet I’ve never related the two together! While both can be forced in some situations, they have very similar concepts. We can make both easy or hard, depending on the situation.
Another concept that blew my mind is about oxytocin and how it can relate to women’s labouring slowing down. The hormone that revolves around love can disappear when she feels uncomfortable..And somehow, all the building blocks and puzzles pieces fit in my mind – these questions regarding how women can have their labour slow down when they hit the hospital makes sense! With such a simple concept…
The book continues to discuss a general birth plan and how birth takes place (without all the gory details) and how important it is for the mother to be comfortable and for the mother and baby to bond. In a few pages, such a beautiful and obvious experience is discussed. As I have said, I have never given birth but I agree with every word in this novel. It makes so much sense (at least in my mind). While every woman is different and not everyone will totally agree with everything in this book, I feel like most people will understand or be able to see it from the perspective of someone they know.
Overall, this book was beautiful and insightful. I felt like I learned a lot even though this book is so small.
Five out of five stars! I would give it six if possible! I believe all women who gave birth, will give birth or are just interested in how the body works should read this! And some men too, that might give them a couple hints about how the process happens.