Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage

Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage : Weaving ancient wisdom with modern knowledge

4.69 (94 ratings by Goodreads)
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It's time for a childbirth revolution. Childbirth has always been, and always will be, a significant rite of passage that transforms a woman into a mother. However, the modern approach to maternity care fails women, families and care providers with outdated practices that centre the needs of institutions rather than individuals. In this book, Rachel Reed demonstrates how childbirth can be reclaimed to centre women and support birth physiology. The book weaves history, science and research with the experiences of women and care providers to create a holistic, evidence-based framework for understanding birth. It takes the reader on a journey through childbirth physiology and practices and focuses on what can be done to create change one mother at a time, one birth at a time. Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage acknowledges that self-transformation occurs regardless of how the experience unfolds. It recognises that mothers hold the power and expertise when it comes to birthing their babies. This book encourages women to find their individual pathway through their rite of passage and requires care providers to consider how their actions and interactions influence women's experiences. Whether you are a parent, care provider or educator, this book will transform how you think and feel about childbirth.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 358 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 20mm | 526g
  • English
  • 064500250X
  • 9780645002508
  • 1,932

Review quote

I have always loved the way Rachel Reed thinks and this book is an extension of her thinking. Three hundred years ago Rachel would have been the wise woman of the village and 300 years later she is calling to that village of women, where childbirth always has and always will sit at the throbbing heart. - Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery, Western Sydney University

I love so much about the wisdom shared in this book. In particular, I love that Rachel uses as her central narrative a beautiful and detailed description of the normal undisturbed physiology of birth. She describes the birth-dance shared between mother and baby, including the hormones, instinctive body processes, brain changes, sensations and feeling states. - Rhea Dempsey, childbirth educator, birth attendant, counsellor and author of Birth with confidence: savvy choices for normal birth and Beyond the birth plan: getting real about pain and power

Brilliant! Rachel has deftly woven a rich fabric of 'ancient wisdom and modern knowledge'. It is durable, it is wearable and, in usual Rachel Reed style, refuses to conform. With sound logic, she confronts and challenges us to rethink and reject erroneous assumptions and behaviours around care-providing by exploring their origins, and why we acquiesce and cling to them. - Jenny Blyth, independent birth worker, birth educator and bodyworker, film-maker and author of The down to earth birth book and Birthwork: a compassionate guide to being with birth

Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage is the book we have been missing. The analogy of weaving is right at the heart of this book, giving shape and structure to the threads that run through the chapters. Understanding childbirth today requires that we explore the herstory of birth and how the rites and rituals that once served us were stripped away. Rachel Reed's description of childbirth is one of the most beautiful and illuminating I have ever read, illustrated as it is by the fictional narrative thread of Eve and her birth story. This book has positivity at its core, not only listing the birth rites we have lost, but recounting the many rituals that we can reclaim and integrate into the lived experience of childbirth and postpartum. - Maddie Mahon, doula, doula trainer, birth activist, breastfeeding counsellor and author of Why doulas matter and Why mothering matters

This book weaves together ancient knowledge, herstory, science, customs, politics and the ancient art of midwifery, all of which combine to create the understory or - as Rachel aptly names it the waft and weft, that the weaving, or the experience of birthing in the modern world, happens within. Rachel weaves this all together so we can see what's going on in birth today and invites the reader to awaken to the situation. She then puts forth a call to action to all to participate in reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage into motherhood for all women, no matter what. And her book offers all the evidence required to support this reclamation. - Jane Hardwicke Collings, founder of the School of Shamanic Womancraft, teacher of the Women's Mysteries, author of Ten moons: the inner journey of pregnancy

Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage is essential reading for all women, midwives, doctors and birth workers. In fact, anyone who is planning on being around women during birth needs to read this book! Dr Reed leads us through herstory with the story of Eve, weaving ancient wisdom and current research in such a divine way that makes reading this book an absolute pleasure. - Dr Clare Davison, private practice midwife and midwifery academic
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Rating details

94 ratings
4.69 out of 5 stars
5 78% (73)
4 17% (16)
3 3% (3)
2 1% (1)
1 1% (1)
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