Author and illustrator, Kelly Mochel, recently donated a copy of her wonderful children's book, We're Having a Homebirth!! to the peaceful parenting library. I have to admit that we took the book on a 'test drive' (literally - on a road trip to visit a birthing friend and her family!) before adding it to the lending shelf for others. Mochel's engaging book is perfect for children prepping for an upcoming homebirth experience.
Various subjects are covered with natural ease and clarity - how the baby grows inside, the role of the midwife, what to expect on birthing day, being good labor support for mom, noises and moves she may make, placenta delivery, cord clamping, and breastfeeding. I especially appreciate the manner in which each image and description highlights the normalcy of birth and the immediate post-partum period. (Truly, my favorite may be the freshly born, newly latched baby at mom's breast with a "gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp" dialog).
Mochel's illustrations are simple, colorful, and easy for young viewers to grasp, but still "real." Mom goes from swiveling her hips and sitting backwards on a chair in a tshirt and socks, to soaking in the tub and hanging on dad - au naturale. A fair number (most?) homebirthing mothers are going to be sans clothes at some point in the birth process, and I am thankful that Mochel did not shy away from the reality and naturalness of this.
The text is fun for little listeners and simple enough for beginning readers to work through on their own as well. While I'm not trained in children's literature, it seems We're Having a Homebirth!! is especially geared to kids from about age 3-8. However, the images are laid out clearly and make for easy ad-libbing for younger toddlers (my two year old stays engaged by pointing out the activities we see taking place rather than always reading word-for-word the text).
The book is a perfect size for little hands, and as a small paperback, it is thin and light enough to stick in your purse to take along to read at the park or on the subway (we can't be the only family who reads birth books on the metro...).
Mochel's book began as a grassroots effort to empower homebirthing families with a children's book addressing birth in a familiar fashion. After birthing her first daughter, Lucia, in New Zealand, Mochel realized there that, "families enjoy a much healthier birthing culture than we have in the states." It was then that she appreciated just how much room there is for improvement in the U.S. in terms of our overall approach to birth.
When Mochel was pregnant with her second daughter in Colorado, educating and preparing Lucia for their upcoming homebirth was of the utmost importance. Mochel tells me, "I was shocked to find a real lack of resources for families like ours, so with a background in graphic design, I set out to make one. I wanted it to be very simple, affordable, colorful and 'contemporary' (it's not just hippies that give birth at home!)." Today, Mochel is thrilled to provide a resource that fills this gap in the homebirthing community and she is honored to be a small part of the lives of so many families during the very special time that surrounds their birthing day.
If homebirth is going to be a part of your family, I highly recommend adding this text to your children's book collection. It may just become the new staple in my gift bag to second (and third, and forth...) time birthing moms! :)
To learn more or order your copy, visit the Homebirth Children's Book site. Books available for shipping to international locations.
**We're Having a Homebirth!! book give-away coming soon...
Check back for details to enter.**
That is SO COOL! I'll definitely have to get that book for my little guy when we have any future babies!ReplyDelete
I wish I was strong enough to do that. I'd love the privacy of a home birth. My main reason for giving birth in a hospital is because an epidural is available.ReplyDelete
Anon - birth at home (especially in water) is a 'natural epidural' - blissful, powerful - you can move around in your own home, eat whatever you desire, not have monitors and IVs hooked up, etc. It is a whole different experience. I've done both (hospital and home) and birthing in a cold, sterile environment with nurses and doctors all around (as a patient) is much more uncomfortable (even with an epidural!) than birth at home. There's a reason that 'once you go homebirth you never go back...' ;)ReplyDelete
Really, it isn't about strength birthing at home - it's about ease, comfort, gentle, peaceful birth. May sound crazy - but ask around to women who've done both and they'll likely all say the same.
I had a HBAC in May and it was the most empowering thing I've ever done. My almost 3 year old woke up just in time to see the birth and wasn't phased at all about what he saw. My midwife had this book and lent it to us several months before the birth - we gave it back after bubs was born. It was a great book and i think it really did help my boy understand what was going on as I was only in labour for just over an hour. Birthed so fast not even the midwife made it to the birth let alone a support person to be with my son.ReplyDelete
Also I am from New Zealand and have to agree from what I've heard if the American birth cuture we gave it heaps better but home birthing is not the norm here and I only know one other person who did homeburth before I did. But in most cities we have birthing centres and if you're low risk you're recommended to go there rather than the hospital.
Wonderful we need more books like this. I'll have to add this one to my kids library along with 'Hello Baby'ReplyDelete
we got this before our homebirth, and the boys LOVED it (4yo and 2.5yo). they both understood what was going on, and i was especially appreciative of the part about the noises - i grunt when pushing, and i really DID sound like an elephant! LOL it made it easy for my highly sensitive 4yo to not be phased by what mummy was going through. both my boys were present when their little brother made his grand entrance, something i will never forget, nor could i ever have engineered better.ReplyDelete
anon - i totally agree with cassie. my last birth was a water birth, and the difference between it and my first two (a highly interventionist hospital birth, and then a completely natural hospital birth in a birthing centre) was astounding. my birth team was astounded at how calm and collected and happy i was through out it all, and how i didn't get "crazy" - not ONCE during the labour.
it isn't about strength, it's about the best place to be for you, your baby, and your entire family unit. :)