Meeting a Midwife Mentor

Today I joined some friends (Melissa & Erin from her workplace, Sarah H. & her friend Karen, Sahar & Hubby) and a couple hundred other excited women (and a few men) at the Victoria College at UofT to hear a great talk by our mentor Ina May Gaskin!

Ina May is the pioneer of modern midwifery in north america and an inspiration to all who come to know her.

She has written several books that document positive birth stories and the awes and wonders of the female body and our abilities to have happy healthy babies NATURALLY.

I was given her first book Spiritual Midwifery by my mother long before I was pregnant — it is a fantastic resource of birth stories and technical manual for midwives, nurses, and doctors… or people like me who like to be informed about what can come up in birth and what to potentially do about it that doesn’t involve a scalpel!!

It includes information on prenatal care and nutrition, labor, delivery-techniques, care of the new baby, and breastfeeding… a very comprehensive text.

After enjoying that and becoming pregnant I decided to purchase her second book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, which continues on the path of her first book emparting wisdom that has guided thousands of women through childbirth with more confidence, less pain, and little or no medical intervention… my cup of tea!!!

At the event she talked a lot about topics covered in her books, the history of her becoming a midwife and the birthing centre she and her colleagues created in Tennessee called the Farm, as well at the history of birth and modern day revival of midwifery here in north america.  It was a lot of stuff I already was aware of but so wonderful to be in a room of like minded individuals listening to her speaking about it!!

Her latest book (just released this year) entitled Birth Matters, a midwife’s manifesta, was available to purchase — before it even hits stores — so I was quick to grab the very reasonably priced ($14.95) book and add it to my collection!  With a powerful forward written by Ani Difranco I am very much looking forward to diving into this book and am excited to share it with Blair as there is a whole chapter on “What’s a Father-to-Be-to-Do?”

She also wrote a breastfeeding book (2009) which I also purchased at the event – Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, I look forward to reading it also!  One of the reviews online said “The book is so well written it’s like having Ina May right there beside you every step of the way helping you learn the skills of breastfeeding and dealing with society’s un-baby-friendly views about breastfeeding. Can’t think of anything that hasn’t been not only covered but solutions offered…”  Sounds like it will be an invaluable resource!



What a special & intimate encounter I won’t soon forget!

At the end of this 3 hour presentation I felt enlivened with knowledge, spirit and confidence… knowing that I will bring into this world a happy healthy baby in just 10 weeks or so… and I’m not afraid at all!!

I  am convinced now more then ever that we have made the right choices for us in selecting a midwife and home birth and really can’t wait to be a mother!




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