Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices - a review

ISSN 2516-5852 (Online)

Complete list of book reviews on the AIMS website

AIMS Journal, 2021, Vol 33, No 4

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Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices

By Sarah J. Buckley, MD

Published by Celestial Arts, 2009 (2nd edition)

ISBN: 978-1587613227

352 pages

Publisher’s recommended price £12.99

Find this book on Amazon

gentle birth, gentle mothering book cover showing close up of a mother and baby

Reviewed for AIMS by Sue Boughton

Sarah Buckley’s book is an authoritative, incredibly well researched, guide to natural childbirth and parenting options. Some may find it reassuring that she is a family physician and a mother of four home-birthed babies. Skilfully blending ancient wisdom with up-to-date medical research, Sarah explains how a woman’s body is perfectly designed to grow a baby in utero, give birth without assistance and protect and nourish her baby. There are many aspects of preparation, mental, emotional and physical, that are important to ensure that the birthing process unfolds in the optimal way. One of the most important aspects is that the birthing woman feels safe, respected and does not feel observed during her labour; also, ideally she would be attended by a midwife that she is familiar with and feels safe with. Sarah Buckley’s book explains why these are the basic needs for an undisturbed birth.

This is a beautifully written book that doesn’t preach or try to tell you what actions and decisions you should take. It helps parents-to-be to become knowledgeable about birth physiology and medical interventions that will enable them to work towards trusting their bodies and their instincts. Sarah’s book continues into the postpartum experience with wise words and well researched information about all the essential topics such as breastfeeding, sleeping and bed sharing, and early infant development. Again the emphasis is on following your instincts, equipped with wisdom and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

I find that this is a great book for partners as well as mothers-to-be; it often appeals to them because it contains excellent medical research as well as lived experience. Many people feel reassured as Sarah Buckley is a medical professional as well as a mother of four children. I have been recommending this book to my doula clients for years, I love it!


Reviewer Bio: Sue Boughton is a longstanding AIMS member and is a massage practitioner and doula from the North-East of England now living in London.


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