Babble has a nice little "10 things every expecting woman should know" post, and the first one was to throw out your What to Expect book.I know I don’t need to say the whole name of the book because I am sure every one of you have it, probably from a baby shower, or coworker, or sister in law or whatever.It is like the Baby-Book-Bible.In fact, I received two copies-one from my sister and one from a free new-baby care package through my insurance company!
Looking back, it is no wonder I walked into my medicalized birth that ended in a failed induction/c-section and never questioned it.It was, after all, all in The Book!Nowhere in that book does it say to get away from your OB and see midwife, do not get induced unless absolutely necessary (and what absolutely necessary even is or how to find out), question your OB, say no, believe in your body, and so on.Right?Or did I miss that?Maybe there were little things like explaining what a midwife is (thought I cannot remember reading this), or even avoiding an unnecessary induction. Maybe. But they didn’t tell me that the OB would order an unnecessary induction.They did not tell me that my body could birth and intervention should only be rarely used.They never, ever said to question any medical protocol at all, so it never occurred to me.They never mentioned any sort of difference between the medical model and midwifery model.If they did and I missed it, my apologies, but I certainly do not remember any.That book helped to support my basic unquestioning belief that there was one right way to have a baby-in a hospital with lots of machines and ORs, and that birth is scary and dangerous and thank goodness for modern medicine!!The only good thing I can say about it was there was a little paragraph about childbirth prep classes and they mentioned Bradley.I ended up buying a Bradley book in my ninth month (too late), and then took a Bradley class for my next birth, my VBAC.
So anyway, Babble has a funny post about the book, and also the 10 tips for first time moms.The tips are good, though I would also add DO NOT WATCH A BABY STORY or any of those TV shows, and to take a long, comprehensive birth class like Lamaze or Bradley.And to ask someone from ICAN if they were to do it all over again, who would they have catch their first baby…..
I always tell people to throw that book out too, and get one or all of the many other fabulous books out there—Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth, Henci Goer’s The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth, and so on.I have often complained to the bookstore when I see their huge section devoted to the What to Expect franchise and really nothing of any quality otherwise (they look at me like I am insane).Helping women to have an empowered birth is still a steep uphill battle, but well-worth the fight!