In The Spirit Of Homebirth: Modern Women, An Ancient Choice by Bronwyn Preece (Published by Seven Stories Press) is a new collection of stories that shed light on the beauty, strength, and magic of giving birth.
In the same tradition of Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery, In The Spirit Of Homebirth delivers a set of experiences to highlight and illuminate the often forgotten tradition of natural birth in North America. But where Gaskin's seminal work seems to speak of an idyllic past, Preece's tales are modern, diverse, and real. It's this honesty and 21st century approach that has set Preece apart from the old guard of natural birth greats such as England, Dick-Read, Simkin and Gaskin.
I was particularly moved and inspired by the stories of mothers with more than one birth experience and the evolution they undertook throughout multiple labours. A must read for anyone who is curious about the possibility and reality of home birth.
With stories, art, and photographs that present a multitude of opinions from First Nations to Chinese-Canadian, rural to urban, sage doula to first time father, water birth to emergency c-section, In The Spirit Of Homebirth seems to fill in the gaps that other birth story anthologies have left. It is this inclusion of diverse perspectives that makes Preeces work so rich and holistic.
In The Spirit of Homebirth is a thoughtfully curated collection of stories, that when held together, serve to empower women and their communities in the quest to define their own pregnancy and birth experience.