At 36 weeks pregnant, giving birth is at the top of my to do list so I was keen to read Gentle Birth Method by Dr Gowri Motha.
Gowri is an obstetrician and gynaecologist but was also born and raised in Sri Lanka so she combines her experiences of modern medicine with Ayurveda yoga and complementary therapies.
Emotional and Physical Preparation
I have been using Natal Hypnotherapy throughout my pregnancy and Dr Motha puts forward a similar view – women are capable of giving birth without fear and medical intervention. She encourages the use of self-hypnosis, visualisation and emotional preparation. However, she also looks at the physical preparation and making sure your body is in the best shape for giving birth, through diet, exercise and supplements.
It would have been more useful to start the book earlier in my pregnancy as she offers advice for each trimester but I will take a few things onboard in the final weeks, like curbing wheat and sugar to reduce pelvic water retention.
Gowri’s advice is sensible and straightforward, like not gaining to much weight for your frame, but I do think the diet may be too restrictive for many women. I found her approach interesting and encouraging. Although some of the treatments and supplements require specialist practitioners, the at home massage and reflexology techniques can be easily managed.
Realistic and Reassuring
One thing I like about the book is that she is non-judgemental and realistic. She says that if your labour is too long or difficult then it is wise to consider pain relief, and if you need a caesarean not to think of it as a failure. There is so much expectation and pressure on mothers-to-be that it is good to hear this.
She has reinforced my belief that a calm, natural birth is possible, and that trying to keep your body and mind in tune can help this become a reality. As strange as it may sound, I am looking forward to labour, although I hope Pumpkin stays put for another few weeks!
[Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes]