Birthing From Within: Book Review

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Labor, Pregnancy

Birthing From Within in Summary

By Pam England and Rob Horowitz

Written by a midwife  and her husband, a psychologist, Birthing From Within is a MUST read for every pregnant woman in the United States (and beyond). This book is designed to help expectant parents really prepare for childbirth and parenting by connecting with what’s happening internally during pregnancy and labor and also emotionally. These factors are important because they can either enhance and also detract from having a positive birthing experience.

This book will guide you through original, creative, and fun ways for birthing women and their partners become more aware of what is happening during pregnancy, labor, and birth. It shows practical exercises and activities to help expectant parents get in touch with their own feelings and emotions, fears, and desires.

This is a book I’ve been wanting to purchase, and am thrilled to own it. It has already become a major contributor to my own Baby Planner tricks of the trade.


My Personal Take on It

I absolutely love this book. There is so much information and so many great suggestions to help new parents work through their worries and fears about childbirth.

I love the fact that the book is peppered throughout with images of expectant parent’s birth art. These are truly inspiring and helpful in understanding what other people are feeling who otherwise may not have been able to verbalize their fears or concerns.

This will be a highly recommended read for all my expectant moms as I will be using several of the techniques and art assignment suggestions with my own clientele. I’m very excited to have this new resource to share with potential and future clients.

Working with new parents and finding their questions is a unique approach to childbirth education. Most of us have an agenda to teach and educate new parents with the knowledge and information we have. But I love that this book recommends really finding the parents burning question and starting the childbirth education process from there. The beginning of this book poses that parents discover that question so as childbirth educators we can answer that question for them. They talk about the work of worry, the importance of connecting with other women, and eating in awareness. These are all great reminders.

What Surprised Me

A big part of this book I would’ve normally overlooked. That is because I am not what I would consider an “artsy” person. Incorporating art in childbirth education wasn’t something I would’ve even thought about, had I not read this book. While there are assignments and activities recommended in this book for which I have no interest in doing, they are still great suggestions for new parents. Some of the drawing assignments surprised me and I actually plan on incorporating into my own childbirth preparation education program. I have always known that art teaches, but Pam really gets the point across as she interviews the women and men after they’ve birthed the artwork. She incorporates several different art models, drawing, clay, and belly casting are examples, and I would highly recommend my clients look into each for self-discovery and awareness.

Preparing You Birthplace

Preparing your birthplace is a section of the book I could’ve written myself. The philosophy follows my core beliefs regarding the necessity behind having a “nest” to birth in and how vital it is to make it as comfortable and personable as possible to help ensure a positive birthing experience.

Being powerful in birth serves as a great reminder to moms that they were designed by nature to birth babies. The book does a great job teaching how having a pregnancy and support person can be vital, what dads can really do to make a difference in the labor and birth arena; and of course, all the necessary information new parents should have access for. Information is key to make informed decisions regarding their care and the care of their new baby.

The Role of The Father May Not Always Be What You Think

I do also like the fact that she mentions that not all fathers should be at birth and sometimes they need to be given a different assignment from “coach”. I think It’s dangerous to assume the father, husband, the partner is going to be “that” person. A pregnant person’s needs, in order to birth, are instinctive, and women should know how to become in tune with their own instincts and be bold in preparing their nest. Sometimes being the guardian of the nest can be the perfect role for expectant dads.

C-section vs Cesarean Birth

I was struck by the simple wording change from saying “c-section” to “cesarean birth” and how that can have a tremendous empowering effect on birthing women. I’ve gone so far as to change the language on my own website and plan to do so in any literature I have using the term “c-section”.

Birthing through pain really helps identify the capacity of a woman’s body. Helping women understand the necessity of pain and the difference between pain and suffering, hopefully, will go a long way in making the change in mindset for women who are wanting a natural childbirth experience with minimal interventions. She reminds us about exploring our beliefs and attitudes about pain and explains the natural pain-relieving properties our bodies possess. Particularly in labor and childbirth. Moreover, she reminds expectant parents to clearly know what role they will play as labor and birth unfold and how a doula (professional or appointed) can aid in a positive experience, regardless of methods and possible interventions. The study on outcomes using a doula vs not is staggering, even when you know that statistics already.

This book does a great job helping moms really understand the difference between pain and suffering and includes a compassionate use of drugs and what to expect about epidural. I believe that allows all expectant parents who read this book to feel validated.

More Gems On Birthing From Within

There is more besides all the gems on “Birthing From Within” I just discussed. Gestating parenthood, the afterword on birth as an adventure, and the appendixes are simply icing on the cake. This book has an amazing arsenal of tools and tips for helping parents achieve that positive personal birthing experience, unique to each parent, child, and birth.

This is a book I’ve been wanting to purchase, and am thrilled to own it. It has already become a major contributor to my own Baby Planner tricks of the trade.


About Me

Hi, I’m Susan Finazzo! I’m a certified Birth Doula, Birth coach, and Childbirth Educator from Port St Lucie, Florida. In addition to that, I am also a Faith-Based Counselor. I have over 10 years experience helping women having a positive birthing experience and would love to make a difference on yours too! 

Birthing From Within - A Must Read

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