Sacred Pregnancy: Book Review & Giveaway

There is a plethora of books intended for mothers-to-be that line the shelves of bookstores, and more than enough websites targeted to the same demographic. Most of these books and sites regurgitate tried and true advice or trite, cutesy rhetoric, making anyone wonder just what there’s left to discuss when it comes to pregnancy anymore.

However, Anni Daulter’s new book, Sacred Pregnancy, manages to find a much needed and unique place amongst the many pregnancy-related books that are already out there. This book is equal parts pregnancy “how to,” journal space, and inspirational moments, all woven together with flowing prose and absolutely stunning photography.

The book follows a week by week layout, tackling a new aspect of pregnancy with each section (along with describing what’s happening inside your body). From “body image,” to “expectations,” “romance,” “exercise,” “fear,” “nesting,” “sisterhood,” and many more. Along with exploring these topics, Daulter includes helpful reminders, reflections, ideas, and useful resources (websites, book, musical suggestions, etc… ) as well as space for journaling.

Throughout Sacred Pregnancy, Daulter emphasizes the necessity of creating a healthy, loving support system throughout pregnancy, and postpartum. Based on my own pregnancy, the one thing I found, was that beyond all the gizmos and gadgets available during pregnancy and during the first few years of baby’s life, a loving, caring support system trumps them all. (It should be noted that I came to this realization based on both a lack of and subsequent overflowing sense of community when we moved out of state midway through my pregnancy). Daulter went a step beyond talking about community when she created the Sacred Pregnancy website, which acts as a virtual community and resource for expecting women.

As I read through the book, I found myself shouting YES! at many points along the way. While I’m not currently pregnant (and have no plans to be so in the near future, if at all ever again), I was easily transported six years into my past, and I kept thinking about how useful, helpful, and reaffirming this book would have been for me, had I had a chance to flip through it while pregnant.

Beyond reminding us that each pregnancy is unique, and to treat our journeys as our own, Daulter does a good job of reframing the current way we look at pregnancy and birth, choosing to use empowering vocabulary to describe aspects of pregnancy and labor. This sentiment is felt throughout the book, culminating in the chapter on fear when Daulter writes, “Taking back our births as women is our right and our duty to our children.”

I whole-heartedly agree, and feel that this rings especially true to me as a feminist. While there is some debate within the feminist community surrounding birth and birth choices, I personally feel that the concept of “taking back our births as women” is a crucial feminist ideal. It goes beyond the concept of pregnancy to the notion of body politics and policing. Sacred Pregnancy does a good job of reminding readers of this, without delving into the heavier debates that sometimes tend accompany these thoughts.

While you can now purchase Sacred Pregnancy, I’m happy to be able to offer a free copy to one luck winner. To enter, please leave a comment below, letting me know your thoughts on “taking back birth,” and what it means to you. Entries accepted until 5/27.

9 thoughts on “Sacred Pregnancy: Book Review & Giveaway

  1. Taking back birth to me, means that we have to fight for the birth our bodies were intended to have. This is not what society, media, or the average Dr thinks, but what we as women have to redefine for ourselves. I had a 25 hr all natural labor with a midwife, but in any other circumstance I would have probably been forced to have a C-section. I’m so grateful I educated myself and encourage every woman to do the same!

    • Rana please update us and let us know that your beautiful child is normal after a 25 hour birthing. It would certainly ease some of the fears that we are taught.

  2. After my first birth experience, I totally get this. I ended up with a scheduled c-section because my son was breech and the OB told me I didn’t have enough fluid and he needed to come out. I wonder what would have happened if I’d tried to give it another day or 2 to see if I could fix it. To me taking back birth is about being informed and feeling confident enough to ask questions and be involved in the process.

  3. I am currently looking for a doula to support me in the birth of my second child. I have a lot of “issues” surrounding my first and I need as much support as possible. I want to feel proud of my body again, and as a high-risk Mama it’s often hard. I thought through support and education I can be a better Mama and a regain a better sense of self, and the wonder of pregnancy and birth.

  4. To me, taking back birth means offering women the spiritual, positive support to approach pregnancy and birth from a place of sacred wonder that supports women holistically. I want information, but I don’t want fear based propaganda. I want to approach the journey from a place of intuitive wisdom and through connection to my own body and its ever changing needs.

  5. This sounds like it’s is connecting motherhood to the divine. We definitely need that connection. I relate to the post-partum need for community as well!

  6. To me, taking back birth means not just doing it “my” way, but the way women have been doing it for centuries. Taking back birth means advocating for myself and trusting my body to know what to do, outside of a hospital and in a safe, sacred, comfortable space.

  7. “Taking back birth” means looking at birth holistically, not just the “medical” portion of it, but the emotional, physical, financial, familial, etc. I would really enjoy reading this book and make it a companion to the book I bought prior to my daughter’s birth “Birthing From Within” which also talked more about the emotional, psychic side of giving birth rather than just a medical view which says at “2 weeks, the fetus is this big, your body may experience this…”

    I also wish there was a book that talkd about the support side of things you may need after giving birth – meals, someone to wash clothes, etc. so that you and your partner can focus on bonding with your new baby.

    By the time we have number 2, we’ll have my in-laws living with us (who are from a more family centric country) who will help us in making the transition much easier.

  8. My firstborn’s birth was a scary, intervention filled, 20 hrs when my water broke with no warning at 34 weeks. All tests showed her lungs were not yet matured, and the plan was to not have a baby just yet. But she had other ideas, and her lungs were perfect.

    I started taking back birth with my second. I wanted the intervention free birth that I had dreamed of. With a not quite on board hubby, I dumped the OBs and switched to midwives. As the weeks passed, I grew scared. I doubted myself, like many of the naysayers in my life. In the end, I got the natural birth I dreamed of and a stunningly alert 9 lb 12 oz newborn in my arms – no stitches either!

    I don’t think my journey is complete yet. I want to enjoy my pregnancy. I want to be excited about birth, knowing that I CAN do this. Taking back birth means finding the strength to believe in me fully.

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