As you might glean from today’s title, this blog post is about an amazing new book written by Marie-Ange Bigelow, MT, ADVCD, who is a certified birthing doula and has assisted many new mothers in bringing their babies into this world. Her book is written with the LDS audience in mind but really, just about anyone can benefit from her knowledge and experience.
The most refreshing part of this book, for me, is the perspective that Marie-Ange gives on the very act of childbirth being a very spiritual experience because it enables a woman to feel more closely to what the Savior feels for us. She also explains how a woman’s body is designed to release certain endorphins throughout the process to help her bond more fully with her baby, especially if the baby’s birth is “natural.” I love how the author further explains the benefits of a natural birth while at the same time helping expectant mothers to accept that it’s okay if their bodies are unable to deliver their infants in this way or if they need medical intervention (she goes on to explain the difference between an expectant mother needing medical intervention as opposed to wanting it or doctors wanting their patients to use them.)
For my review purposes here, I will say a few things about my own birthing experiences while trying to keep them modest. I am a heart patient. Although I was never a candidate for a completely natural birth because of the medication I have to be on, I’ve personally experienced a birth that was as natural as possible otherwise (not my firstborn), induction with Pitocin, two epidurals, no Cesarians but an almost-Cesarian which thankfully was prevented by a neat trick that my OB doctor decided to try at the very last minute after the nurses had begun prepping my husband for the C-section (and that’s about the most description I’m giving on this very public forum concerning that birth! Lol) so even though my family is complete, I still found this book to be extremely insightful and informational for women in general. I also appreciated the fact that the author didn’t bombard the reader with a bunch of statistics but rather interspersed them to provide more clarification to her premise. Childbirth is a very special gift. We are allowed a glimpse of eternity in that sacred moment when our eyes behold the face of the tiny person we’ve been carrying inside of us for the past nine months.
I wish that every expectant mother could read this book! Two chapters in particular caught my eye: one on post partum depression which provides strategies to deal with it in a spiritual way in addition to the medical ways that most other books list and another chapter dedicated to the husband/father-to-be that lists real, integral ways that he can be a support to his wife before and after the birth. I have to add as a side note that one of my hubby’s tendencies when we were in the hospital was to watch the monitor and mentally prepare me for the next oncoming contraction. He was funny in his commentary, almost like we were watching a football game on TV and he was doing the play-by-play (because monitors show the contraction before the pain actually hits, I guess he thought it was helpful.) But you know, having my husband there for me was exactly what I needed. I hold many special memories of those times of being together in the hospital in my heart and I hope that every expectant mother can have a special person with her who provides that kind of love and support through the delivery of her child.
So even if you, like me, are already finished having your babies, I would like to encourage you to keep a copy of this book handy for the women in your life: daughters, nieces, visiting teachers, etc. It’s a terrific guide to one of the most special gifts and responsibilities that Heavenly Father has given us: that of being a mother in Israel.
About the author:
Marie-Ange Bigelow’s fascination with childbirth began when she was a teenager taking voice lessons. Her voice teacher had just given birth and compared delivering her child to singing a high note and holding it for a long time. Over the next decade Marie found a way to combine her love of music and her interest in childbirth as she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy, and then went on to specialize in Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth. Marie also became a certified doula and childbirth educator, and was recently awarded the prestigious Advanced Doula Designation. Marie has not only helped couples prepare for birth through her popular childbirth classes, but has supported hundreds of parents during the births of their children in hospitals, birth centers, and homes.
Marie is passionate about childbirth and positive outcomes for mothers and infants. It was this passion, along with her belief that women should be empowered by knowledge and gospel truths, that led her to write The Sacred Gift of Childbirth: Making Empowered Choices for You and Your Baby.
Along with her own childbirth-centered blog, Marie’s work has been featured in International Doula and on popular websites such as TheMommyMethod.education.com, SheKnows.com, and Parents.com. Marie and her husband, Todd, are enjoying raising their four beautiful children in Boise, Idaho. As a family they enjoy biking, traveling, music, and movie nights.
To read more about Marie, visit www.mariebigelow.com.
You can purchase Marie’s book on Amazon: Sacred Gift of Childbirth