Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Giveaway of "Your Best Birth"

I have 5 copies to give away of Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience, the new book about childbirth choices by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein!

To enter this giveaway, please share one of the following:
  • A satisfying, empowering birth story, or
  • Something you wish you'd known before you gave birth, or
  • Tips for creating a better birth experience
Giveaway ends Saturday, May 16th at 5 pm EST. US or Canadian residents only; no PO boxes.

More about Your Best Birth:

The national C-section rate is at an all-time high of 31 percent. Are all these C-sections necessary, or are some of them done simply for the sake of convenience? Inductions seem to be the norm, but are they always needed? Today, expectant mothers are often left feeling powerless, as their instincts are replaced by drugs and routine medical procedures.

What you are about to discover is that you have a choice, and you have the power to plan the kind of birth that's right for you--whether it is at a birth center, a hospital, or at home.

With chapters such as "Obstetricians: Finding Dr. Right," "Epidurals: You Haven't Got Time for the Pain," and "Electronic Monitors: Reading between the Lines," Lake and Epstein will encourage you to consider whatever your doctor, mother, and best friend may suggest in a new light. The book also includes inspiring birth stories, including those from well-known personalities, such as Laila Ali and Cindy Crawford. Packed with crucial advice from childbirth professionals, and delivered in a down-to-earth, engaging voice, YOUR BEST BIRTH is sure to renew your confidence and put the control back where it belongs: with parents-to-be!

To find out more, visit the book page or read an excerpt.


  1. Oh, I'm so glad I got my most recent birth story up and written! It was amazing, my perfect, ideal birth!

    Here's the link:

  2. My daughter's birth was a HBAC and was truly a life changing experience. I get a rush just thinking about it. Here is the link to my story. It is long but my labor was 50+ hours, and worth every minute!


  3. Here's the link to my birth story: http://synchronizedaxels.blogspot.com/2008/12/im-so-in-love.html

    And I also wanted to share something I wish I knew:

    How readily available midwives are, and that they're covered by my province's healthcare. Next time I will one hundred percent go with a midwive, and not a doctor.

  4. I knew a lot of cognitive information about the stages of labor, different laboring positions, the need to keep hydrated and nourished, etc. What I didn't know until after my daughter's birth was how much I needed privacy. There were too many people involved and too many watching eyes, which caused a great deal of performance anxiety on my part - all of these eyes just watching and waiting for something to happen. I wish, too, I had known that when I transported from a planned home birth to the hospital, that I was going to the wrong hospital! I went to one with a very high c/s rate. I thought because I was planning a home birth that I didn't need to research the hospitals. I was so very wrong....

  5. well right now i am at 39 weeks- so i will have to wait on telling my inspiring birth story. but i do wish that i knew a few things before my son was born 8 years ago. I wish i knew that my body was strong and could do it. I wish i knew that i could tell the docotor no. I wish i knew that i didnt have to let everyone who asked give me a vaginal exam (and those who didnt ask) I wish i knew that i had ptsd, and i wish i knew that the way my birth was handled would add to it.
    i wish i knew everything i know now, then too.

  6. i had a VERY empowering and wonderful birth - standing in my own bathroom; my husband delivered our son. i love sharing it b/c so many of my friends and family are only used to hearing the "horror" birth stories and I can always say "mine was amazing!"

    here is the full story written by my husband: http://www.karlandkat.com/2008/06/from-where-i-stand-heres-how-it.html

    and written by me:

  7. How exciting to have all these links to inspiring birth stories! Here's mine: http://adoulatoo.blogspot.com/2008/07/happy-birthing-day-to-me.html
    It rocked.

  8. Well, I've never given birth so I don't have an inspiring birth story, nor do I have any tips for a better birth. My husband and I are still trying to conceive our first child. I was present when my sister had her children. I watched in horror as she blindly let the doctors lead her. Whatever they said she did. I just couldn't understand it. Failed induction, artifical rupture of membranes, being made to lie in bed for hours on end, having a fetal monitor screwed into baby's scalp, being threatened with c-section for failure to progress, eventual c-section, all for a normal healthy pregnancy with no complications.

  9. Here is the story of my first birth... my second is also on my blog, and I will be posting my others in the next few weeks.


  10. Here is the story of my VBAC...it was beautiful and amazing :) Much better than my last minute, emergency c-section.


  11. I am pregnant now with #2 and hopefully having a very different prenatal and birth experience.
    We are midwife homebirthing this time around.
    I wish I had known enough to ask more questions about the "standard" prenatal tests. I would not have had such extensive blood work, ultrasounds or strep B culture. My son was born in a hospital with a CNM and I wish we had a doula.
    Congrats on the new baby, he's adorable.

  12. I wish I would have known about laughing. The relaxation of the mouth and the deep release of laughter aids the process of birth by helping the cervix to open wide.

    That's just one of the MANY things I wish I'd known, but I think it's valuable to pass on.


    Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. @ connie (and anyone this applies to)

    If you still haven't recovered from a traumatic birth, there is a great forum called Solace For Mothers.


    Go check it out. I've come a long way in recovering from birth PTSD because I found Solace and the women there.

  14. It took me a year to finally sit down and write out my birth story. I wish I wouldn't have waited.

    My midwifes (all 4 of them) have had such a huge impact on our lives. If I would have known how positive my experience would have been I would have birthed without fear or hesitation. I am looking forward to having a home birth with our next child.

  15. It's so nice Ricky Lake has been so bold about her experiences. I wish I could be more courageous and share how I veiw birth with more effectivness. It's too disheartening for me to see women continue to march down the lane of medicalized birth. My heart aches each time I hear another "typical" hospital birth story.

    I wish I'd known to be more confident in my own body's design...and had sought out something different from the start. However, my first birth still makes me mad

    My second delivery was much more triumphant...as was my third, a home, Waterbirth (but I never wrote that one down).

    Love your blog!

  16. Oh, I'd love that book!

    Here's my birth story:

    Also, prenatal yoga was awesome!

  17. I wish I'd have known about more than "What to Expect When You're Expecting" was available. I had a semi-awful 1st birth in the hospital and dug right in with all the AMAZING books available after. I was trying to make sense of the pitocin, epidural, 4th degree laceration mess I had been through....TOTALLY not prepared ahead of time. I think I have some good books now and would be ecstatic to read this one too! I had a wonderful homebirth w/ my 2nd (with an unexpected transfer to the hospital after) and would have LOVED to had a homebirth w/ my 3rd but the situation was a little out of my control, unfortunately. It was still actually great though.

    Just have to share: My fav. scene from The Business of Being Born was when they had the illustration of the lady on pitocin and how they "saved her life"....that should be mandatory viewing for expecting parents. I'm thankful for doctors when we truly need them but I wish childbirth was not so managed and treated as an illness.

    I'll be at this soapbox all week, thank you and goodnight. ;)

  18. Here is the story of my 2nd baby who was my first NCB (he is turning 7 in 2 weeks!!)


  19. Oh man. I would love the book more than anything, but alas, my husband and I are having a very difficult time conceiving, and I'm sure someone that actually IS pregnant needs it far more than I. I have been to several births though, and as a doula, I hope to be at many more!

    I wasn't aware of the book yet, but I think I'll buy a copy for my best friend who is due to deliver in June!

  20. My story is on my blog, www.jesslovesbeingamommy.blogspot.com, one of the first posts. I don't to participate in the giveaway, as I actually just received the book from my husband for Mother's Day and I'm reading it now...love it!

  21. I don't have any children yet (we are TTC) but I can't wait to experience my own best birth. I've been reading and re-reading the birth stories at the beginning Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I am starting to feel really empowered and I'm learning how important it is to trust your body. I always believe in being informed, so I would love to read this book too (I mean, I really loved the movie so I'm interested to learn more).

  22. I just went to leave the link to my homebirth and found out it was taken down by AOL! Grrr..!!

    I would have to say that for an easier birth, do your own research and know what you want. Reads lots of Ina May. And hire a doula!

  23. I am dying to read this book and was disappointed to find that my local library doesn't have it!!

    I haven't had a baby yet, but if I promise to blog about my birth story when I have my baby in October, can I still be part of the giveaway?! My birth will be in a birth center in Salt Lake City... I swear Utah is the epidural/episiotomy/induction capital of the world! I definitely wasn't prepared for the amount of criticism I'd receive for deciding to do things differently with my birth, but I'm sticking to my guns no matter what! ;)

  24. Here is the link to my last birth story: http://www.organic-birth.com/trust_birth.html

    The birth story is in italics. It is told in a different context to fit the page on our website.

    Congratulations again on Dio's amazing birth. :)

  25. If you haven't yet had a baby, you can certainly enter the giveaway. Just share something you've learned, something you'd like to know more about, etc.

  26. In lieu of a birth story. Here is my inspirational birth video.
    I would love to win the book!

  27. I wish I'd known that a breech baby does not necessarily mean a c/s. Going to try for an HBAC next time.

  28. Here's my story:

    Who knew it would propel me to train as a doula? I would love to read this book and add it to my lending library!

  29. I love your blog. I'm 34 weeks along with #2, planning on a VBAC. Our daughter was born by c-section after a long labor, 5 cm dilation and -2 station. The funny thing is I never knew about her station until I had a VBAC consult this year. During the labor they were concerned that the contractions weren't close enough together and supposedly our girl's heart rate dropped too low with each contraction. Also, by the time she was born it had been 19 hours since my water had broken. I wish I had chosen or switched to a midwife instead of an OB. Although the one who ended up doing the surgery was a better communicator than my regular OB, I feel like we could have done more (and I don't mean technological interventions) to have a vaginal birth. I wish I had known about ways to possibly help my baby descend. I wish I would have walked and moved more during labor; I did less once I was at the hospital. Darn IV and monitoring! I hope this will be a much better birth experience.

  30. Here's a link to my VBA2C birth story. Perfect, no. Empowering, yes.


  31. I'm so excited to share. I'm expecting #4 and with three amazing birth stories already, I still love to learn more about natural childbirth and how our bodies were created to give birth.

    Here are 2 of my stories (I haven't posted my third one yet.)



  32. I'm am pregnant with #3 and am hoping for a VBAC. #1 was c-section and #2 was VBAC. I wish I had known more about my body and nursing before I had #1. I had a kind of traumatic experience with the nursery nurse forcing me to feed my baby formula and not taking even a few minutes to try and help me nurse my baby. It was very frustrating and to this day I hate staying in the hospital for longer than minimal. I wish I had demanded more help from the nurse, another nurse, or a lactation specialist.

  33. My daughter was born at home, I am so thankful for that amazing experience! I wish, though, that I would have chosen to see past the temporary discomfort and enjoyed being present at that moment. I wanted so badly for it all to be over, where instead, I wish I would have quieted my spirit and mind and enjoyed feeling her moving down. I wish I would have thought to reach down and feel her crowning, something I plan to do next time around.
    I feel kindof silly saying that I want more next time, when I had such an amazing experience the first time around. My advice is to quiet the noise and be present in the moment, because it will pass all too quickly!

  34. Here is my empowering birth story.


  35. I am very proud and thankful to have had a natural birth - even though it was in a hospital. The first doctor who saw me proposed pitocin, and when I refused, she said, "why?" That was the most stressful moment of the day! I was so determined to give birth on my own terms that I spent hours walking up and down the hospital stairs, encouraging my reluctant contractions. Luckily, "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" worked to my advantage - they couldn't hook me up to stuff if I wasn't even in my hosptial bed! In the early evening, labour was well under way, and I was tired from all the stair-climbing, so my doula proposed a massage. (A doula who is a massage therapist is truly a gift from heaven!) Soon afterward, my body started to push, and my daughter was born 20 minutes later! I then proceeded to hold her in my arms for the first 2 hours of her life, as the nurses hung back, waiting for me to finally consent to having her weighed, etc. I'll never forget how joyful and confident I felt right after she was born!

    I really appreciate your blog, and would love to win the book!

    P.S. I'd love to know your thoughts on motherhood and academia. I'm currently writing a PhD thesis, but am increasingly feeling that the world of tenure-track professorships can't coincide with the time I want to devote to motherhood. ?!

  36. I am so glad BirthLove website is back up. My first son's birth story was on it (still is). I had a wonderful footling breech birth with my first, which you can read all about here http://birthlove.cyclzone.com/pages/stories/sherry_william.html


  37. I've attended many hospital births supporting families. Though the outcomes were positive I knew I wanted more freedom in my birthing experience. September 2008 I had an amazing experience having my baby girl at home. After an 19 hour labor, 5 doulas, 4 grandparents, 2 nervous parents and a great midwife we birth our first daughter at home. It was fantastic making the short trip from the bathroom, her birthplace, to our bed where I recovered. I love having my baby on MY terms and would do NO other way. I now have a renewed passion to share birthing options with pregnant women. If you don't know about your choices, you have NONE>

  38. I wish I had know that taking a hospital childbirth course and reading "What to Expect" isn't enough preparation for birth. I wish I had known that birth is safe for low risk women and that I didn't need the hospital with the level III nursery and would have possibly been happier at a maternity hospital. I wish I had known to tell the midwife that a tear is preferable to a cut. I wish I had known that just one bottle of formula in the nursery at night while I "was getting my rest" (yeah, right) changed the flora of my babies' gut.

    Thank G-d I was smarter for my 3rd and 4th unmedicated, freestanding birth center births :).

  39. oOOooooh - I'm terribly excited to have a chance to win a copy of this book!!!!

    Here's my birth story - I loved my labour and delivery!!


  40. Here is my brand-new son's birth story! I never was set on having a waterbirth, but wow, I'm so glad it worked out the way it did. His birth was so perfect that it almost makes me afraid to have another one, because I just don't see how birth could get better than this. One thing is for sure - when/if I have another child, I will be staying home for the entire process!


  41. A better birth experience? How' bout a VBAC next time. How about pushing my baby out insted of having him/her cut out and feeling as though I'd been gutted like a fish. How about feeling like I'd gotten the brass ring and not been overlooked by one of life's most magical and most basic experiences- giving birth! That would be better...

  42. Even when we "feel" the control of birth is "ours", it truly, truly is not....

    Not that we have to be scared of birth, but always mindful that the power of birth is not owned by "us", it is owned by the universe.

    It can all fall apart in a heartbeat. From my perspective, one's best birth, is any birth that results in a living breathing, screaming baby.

    sorry Rixa, I had to add my 2cents.

  43. Homebirth of my second child...a son. It was fast, intense, beautiful, and empowering!!!


  44. This is Campbell Stuart's birth story, born on the first of May. My first successful "normal" birth after trying so hard the first two times in the hospital! It turned out I needed to find a midwife and a fishy pool ;)


  45. Here's mine! thanks for the opportunity.

  46. Here is my first daughters birth story. It is very unconventional as far as birth stories go, but it has a moral to it. Thanks!

  47. I think the best tip I have for a better birth isn't directed at one woman, but us all: work together. We need to move back to the community model, where women pass knowledge. We need to support each other, with words, and hugs, and food, and laughter, and tears.

    For better births, pass along wonderful books to women you know planning o a family - BEFORE they're pregnant and enter the med system.

    For better births, tell the pregnant women in your life how strong and mighty and powerful they are, and how amazing it is that they can bring forth life.

    For better births, husbands should pass along stories of beautiful births to other husbands, so that there is support from all sides.

    For better births, we should be there for each other, bringing towels or juice or FOOD (yes, docs, I said it - FOOD during labor).

    For better births, we should gather after the births and CELEBRATE, not sit in a sterile hospital room and stare at each other.

    For better births, we should take back our power, take back strength, and have our wonderful, big and little, beautiful babies.

    For better births, we should put OBs back where they belong: in the operating room. Birthing doesn't belong there.

    For better births, we need to gather 'round. We need to circle, and support, and love, and honor, and respect women. We need to let each woman know that her body is amazing and brilliant and CAN.DO.THIS.

    For better births, we need to support and grieve with those mothers who do need help, and let them know that we are there, and will be there, and this isn't always it - things can be different later, if they want, and when they heal.

    For better births, we need to stand together.

    -Tara, mother to:
    *Gavin (born 7 Sept 2000 too early by forced induction for size)
    *Miriam (born 11 Oct 2006 on her own terms)
    *more to come, that I birth both physically and spiritually

  48. Boy, you have a big job ahead of you, reading all of these birth stories!




    Have fun!

  49. My daughter's birth was in the hospital. While I had no interventions or drugs of any kind, I felt disappointed, and not as empowered as I thought I should be. But I (or rather my husband) was not ready for home birth yet. So we were very pleased when a new birth center opened within 15 minutes of our house. Whereas before I had felt mildly belittled in my birth plan, which I had spent hours writing, this time I just told my midwife verbally what I wanted (water birth, me catching the baby) and she wrote it down in my chart so she wouldn't forget. She was actively interested in how I felt and actually recommended hypnobabies to me when I was expressing fears about my birth. Because of the caring I received, I gave birth in a third of the time of my first birth, pushing 26 minutes instead of 2 1/2 hours, catching my own son, and I feel today very empowered in my birth.
    I not so much wish I had known, but wish I had trusted, homebirth with my first birth. And I truly wish that I had a doula with my first birth. My tip for any woman who is planning on a hospital birth, even if you want to be drugged up the wazoo, is to hire a doula.

  50. What a wonderful idea--and how fun and empowering to read all of these birth stories.

    Here is a link to the story of my VBAC waterbirth: http://birthingbeautifulideas.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/my-very-own-vbac-waterbirth/

  51. Here is my daughter's birth story:

    I don't know how empowering the story comes off, but the birth definitely was a fulfilling and very empowering experience in my life.

    As for something I wish I'd known then...I wish I would have trusted birth more and would not have been so fearful of homebirthing and midwives. Being raised in a highly medically-minded family, it was hard to changed preconceived ideas, although I now realize they were based on ignorance.

    Another thing I wish I would have known was how badly it hurts to recover from a perineal tear along with ways to prevent it.


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