Childbirth Choices Guide: Pam England -- Birthing from Within

"Women have to prepare for birth in their heart and soul, not their head... giving birth is something a woman does in her body, not in her head."
-- Pam England

Midwife, nurse and author Pam England offers a process of preparing for birth that balances practical information with multisensory and creative activities such as painting and storytelling. England looks at childbirth as a rite of passage and teaches about birth from the perspective of mother, father, baby and culture.

The Basics
-- England's teachings are presented in six two-hour sessions
-- Practical information offered through dialogues, videos and exercises rather than lectures
-- Methods for giving birth naturally and making birth a positive, conscious experience, even if complications arise
-- Pain-coping skills
-- "Compassionate" use of drugs and epidurals
-- Use of visual art and writing in the preparation process

What You Might Like
-- Acknowledges the pain of childbirth and at the same time presents many strategies for coping with it
-- Acknowledges birth as an emotional, psychological and spiritual experience
-- Incorporates creativity and many teaching styles into the process

-- If you consider yourself a traditionalist or even a mainstream mom, you may be turned off by some of the "new age" language and methods. One doula suggested that women who fall into these categories start at chapter 16 of England's book.

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