Heather Armstrong of Dooce gave Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein and The Business of Being Born (directed by Epstein and featuring Lake) glowing reviews on her website yesterday. Beyond glowing, actually, but raving, shining, superbly fabulous reviews. This is a woman who ten or fifteen weeks ago was planning to ask for all available drugs in the hospital and hoping to be knocked out cold and not feel a thing when she delivered her second daughter, Marlo. And then, at about 30 weeks pregnant, she read Your Best Birth and she actually changed her mind about the birth process.
You can read her post The labor story, part 1 for yourself. (Or you've already read it because you're a normal American and everyone reads Dooce these days.) Her writing isn't usually to my taste, but this woman is a major influence on all 900 gazillion of her readers (okay, I estimate), and this is what she told those readers:
"I'm not going to get into the specifics and the really convincing and at times jaw-dropping statistics of it here, there are so many other places and people who can write about it better than I can, but I will say this: if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, GO READ THAT BOOK. From now on when someone asks me what is the one piece of advice I would give to a pregnant woman, it will be: GO BUY A COPY OF THAT BOOK. [...] IT CHANGED MY LIFE. I'm not even kidding, I'll say it again: IT CHANGED MY LIFE."
I think books on natural childbirth are about to start flying off the shelves.