Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds by Cynthia Gabriel is a fantastic resource for women wanting a natural experience, but also the peace of mind of birthing in a hospital with all the technology available in the small chance that anything would go wrong. It is empowering, accessible and smart. Gabriel’s passion for birth is evident and she knows her stuff – it is a great resource for first time birthing mothers because she references so many of the natural birth schools of thought. It is also one of the first birthing books I’ve read that gives an extremely detailed account of not only the physical stages of each part of labor, but also the emotional stages women might go through as well.
Gabriel has an extensive section on birth plans and why they are important. She guides the reader through questions to write a dream birth, a detailed birth plan for themselves and their support (partner/doula), and a medical team birth plan (much shorter and focused). She even recommends how to phrase certain things to ensure a higher level of respect and cooperation in a hospital birth setting. It encourages a partnership between parents and medical staff to bring about the best birth experience for families.
It is a great contribution to the natural birth literature out there and a must read for birthing women!