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Book Review: DO/BIRTH A Gentle Guide to Labour and Childbirth by Caroline Flint

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Book Review: DO/BIRTH A Gentle Guide to Labour and Childbirth by Caroline Flint

Review By Jane Wines, Lecturer, Lead Internationally Educated Midwives Bridging Program. Midwifery Program, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Campus
Published: 2023
Publisher: The Do Book Co
Pages: 112
RRP: £9.99
ISBN 978-1914168338



This pocketbook, tailored for expectant parents, focuses exclusively on labour and the immediate postpartum phase, as its title implies. It offers straightforward, practical advice suitable for those giving birth or supporting the birth. The level of detail is just enough to give the reader great ideas on preparation and, even more so, confidence that they can do birth.

Flint’s enthusiastic writing style creates a reassuring atmosphere, like receiving advice from a trusted relative/friend and a good, no-nonsense midwife. Her reassuring tone helps readers view childbirth as an event to anticipate, dispelling some fear happily.

This is a rewrite of the 2013 edition. Updates include references for the safety of homebirth and the addition and description of labour position number five – I’ll let you find out what that is, a touch of Flint’s unique approach!

The book also addresses inclusivity by acknowledging diverse partners, though a more thorough representation of diverse family structures would be welcome. Throughout the book, the language and diagrams may feel geared towards a white, middle-class audience, with no mention of gender diversity among those giving birth. I would also caution that there is an assumption of having one’s mother available for support, which may be upsetting for some.

While ‘Do Birth’ excels in simplifying the preparation process, it could delve deeper into the accessibility of community care and homebirth. Accessing these services is becoming harder in many areas and not as easy as Flint implies.

A detailed description of the homebirth kit, particularly in handling emergencies, would offer added reassurance, highlighting midwives’ expertise in managing various birthing scenarios.

This lovely little book is for women, birthing individuals and their families. It proves exceptionally useful for birth planning, especially for homebirths. Whether added to a midwife’s lending library or given as a gift to expectant parents, this book is a wonderful companion for anyone preparing for childbirth. Keep it handy during labour – it is full of invaluable guidance and tips that can significantly enhance your birthing journey


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