Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

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Stars: ****1/2

Subtitle: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices and Take Back the Birth Experience

Summary: After making “The Business of Being Born”, Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein decided to pool their information on childbirth and create a book. The goal of the book is to help pregnant women make informed decisions about their birth instead of just doing whatever they are told by others. The authors seem to favour a more natural approach but give you the ups and downs of the different choices and ultimately let you decide what’s best for you.

Topics include: WHERE to give birth, Obstetricians and Midwives, Doulas, who should be at birth, section for sexual abuse survivors, epidurals, inductions, electric monitors, episiotomies/vacuum/forceps, C-section and VBAC, loving your labor and bonding with baby. I can’t find the name of it but I read a similar book when I was pregnant the first time (2005) and it seemed to have been an older book but it was very informative. This book covers most of the same topics but has less on each topic. This however is probably a good thing as most parents wouldn’t have read the first book I mentioned as it was very long and technical.

In between words from the author are short stories of “Birth Goddesses” which are real people (sometimes celebrities) who had an exceptional birth or stood up for what they wanted or something similar. These stories can be inspirational. You’ll also find some sidebars on such topics as breech birth, questions to ask your doctor, drug-free induction, breathing techniques and more.

My only qualm about the book was that it’s health information is U.S. specific. I’m Canadian and so the talk about insurance and costs of birth didn’t apply. However you can just ignore those parts and find out your own insurance info. But I do think it’s important to know.

I think knowing your options and making a thorough birth plan is VERY important to any pregnant women. If you are pregnant or plan to be soon, get this book.

Links of Interest
My Best Birth (ning community by authors), Your Best Birth Q & A Video, The Business of Being Born
Buy Your Best Birth at

Other Reviews
The Opinionated Parent, Devourer of Books

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.