August 2009 Silicon Valley Moms Group Book Club Discussion: Birth Day, by Mark Sloan
There are a lot of books out there for pregnant women to read. You can read all about why C-Sections are good and why they are bad, you can read about diets that tell you to eat one hundred grams of protein each day, or to take certain vitamins or do certain exercises. You can read books that tell you week by week exactly how much constipation and nausea you probably have.
Or, you can read one book, about the history of child birth, how women in decades and centuries prior to now have negotiated the work of birthing a child. That one book fell into my lap, for this month's book discussion in my first trimester of my second pregnancy. Birth Day, by Mark Sloan is interested, detailed, intriguing, engaging and inspiring.
I am going to try and refrain from stating facts about this book but I must say that to a mother-to-be (again) the chapter about the first five minutes of life was riveting. If you have ever wondered what happens to the part of the umbilical cord inside the baby's body after birth, this book will you. I'm a super geek, apparently because I did wonder about that, just, you know, never out loud.
Did you know that the first successful Cesarean delivery was performed by a woman who practiced medicine disguised as a male because women couldn't be trained as doctors or join the British Army in the mid-1800s?
I promise, my final did you know is this: If you give birth in modern day Europe or Canada or one of several hospitals in California you might be offered a tried and true pain control option that fell off the radar with the popularity of the epidural. You might be offered Nitrous Oxide. It is safe, controlled by the laboring woman, and wears off with a few room-air breaths.
There is really no stone left unturned in this book that documents an exhaustive spectrum of issues faced by newborns and pregnant women. Every page was filled with information that made me think, consider and ponder my current state as a pregnant woman, the wonder that Noah was born via C-Section and we both lived through it and did NOT experience any infection or life threatening bleeding or injuries and made me aware of what my newborn will experience in his or her first seconds of life outside the womb.
This is a great read for anyone interested in this subject, pregnant or not.
Click here to read more discussions about this book from other SV Mom Bloggers.