Recommended Resources

Jacket front of Birthwork

by Jenny Blyth

Review by Monika Boenigk

This outstanding book is much more than a workbook for holistic midwifery practitioners and birth attendants. It is a gentle, thoughtful and passionate wake-up call for the dire need in our society for harmonious, meaningful and respectful interactions with our fellow human beings, within and outside of country boundaries.

Many of the topics explored have immediate relevance for anyone caring for women and couples going through the mentally and emotionally challenging journey of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. At every turn, the book highlights the universal importance of childbirth and how it affords immense potential for change, transformation and healing.

Jenny addresses physiological, mental-emotional and spiritual aspects of the transformation to motherhood, particularly during labour and birth. Her attention to the ”counselling aspect“ of woman-care is a much needed, long overdue enrichment of conventional midwifery education.

The pace of the book reminds me of the pace of a woman in labour who feels in tune with herself, her body and her baby — taking it slowly, and chewing well before moving on to the next bite at progress.

Jenny’s use of language is full of warmth, understanding, patience and acceptance. She puts her arm over the reader’s shoulder and walks alongside for the duration, reaching deep and pulling things into the light for consideration and reflection. Each chapter is enriched with simple creative exercises (and the encouragement to find more), not only to enhance awareness and well-being of the women in our care but also for us as caregivers.

Today’s midwives shouldn’t be able to pass their exam without showing knowledge and understanding of the principles of holistic birthwork as taught in this book, since their education would not only be lacking a most important human dimension, but also the skills needed to bring this dimension successfully into the birthwork.

It’s the book (sometimes word for word!) I was going to write.

— Monika Boenigk

Jacket front of The Big Stretch

The Big Stretch (DVD)
by Alieta Belle and Jenny Blyth

Review by Shannon Morris

The Big Stretch is a beautiful film that imparts women’s wisdom. Women and their families share their stories, feelings, insights, comforts, priorities, fears, strengths, hopes, dreams and realities. For women waiting to birth, and for women needing space to reflect, this film will help many to normalise the intricate web of emotion and to connect with themselves as women and mothers. A slimline booklet included with the DVD features topics from the film and delves deeper to stimulate discussion about experiences, feelings and birthing options.

— Shannon Morris
Registered Midwife

Review by Monika Boenigk

This DVD and accompanying booklet are a valuable resource, not only for pregnant women and their families, but also for birth educators, midwives, doulas and anyone else supporting women in birth. Indeed, midwives and doctors not familiar with the range of thoughts and emotions a woman experiences as she journeys through pregnancy, birth and early motherhood, may struggle to appreciate why things might come unstuck and hence to respond sensitively and appropriately when their help is needed.

— Monika Boenigk
Last altered: 2010-10-16 [ISO 8601] Copyright © 2006 BirthRite. All rights reserved.