While Spiritual Midwifery helped spur the natural childbirth and home birth movements by bringing the lessons and insights of the Farm’s midwives to several generations of readers, its authors’ approach is extremely typical of their generation: rebellion expressed through thoughtful, creative problem-solving. At the same moment that they said no to the systems they felt had failed them, they had the confidence to seek out resources that let them stay safe and healthy—that let them say yes. As Ina May and many other, less famous but equally committed, women around the country allowed themselves to discover and rediscover practices for safe, mother-and-baby-centric births, they opened the door for more flexible hospital birthing-room policies and commitment to breast-feeding and lactation support; they encouraged the establishment of birthing centers and midwife training programs; and they helped pave the way for today’s home birth and doula movements. Today, even in small ways, their influence is felt by parents and babies across the country—no matter where the birth itself takes place.
Spiritual Midwifery was still four years in the future and no one had yet heard of Ina May Gaskin, but that night in the tepee convinced my mother to become a midwife.
I learned how I wanted to give birth when I started reading “Spiritual Midwifery”. Many many years later I got my chance to have my first and only child at age 41. It was an unforgettable and spiritual experience like no other. Thank you, thank you for your wisdom.