Who Says Childbirth Needs to be Painful?

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Secrets of having a great birth are uncovered in this newly released book. 48 moms share their stories and wisdom through their own inspirational birth stories.

Studies show that nine out of ten first-time mothers are afraid of giving birth and worried about the pain. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Childbirth educator Sheri Menelli has discovered that hearing childbirth “horror stories” can have a profoundly negative effect on pregnant women’s birth experiences. When fear and anxiety about childbirth are passed from woman to woman, these intense emotions create additional stress for the mother and baby. Doctors call this the “Fear/Tension/Pain” cycle.

Menelli set out to collect inspiring stories of successful labor and delivery experiences to help calm women’s fears. “With so much negative media about birth, it is time to bring back positive stories,” Menelli said. “The culture of fear surrounding childbirth in the U.S. is shifting, and women are eager to share their wonderful birth experiences.”

Menelli’s just-published book, Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth (White Heart Publishing, November 2004), offers a collection of 48 true stories of natural birth, told in the mothers’ own voices. As diverse as the women who wrote them, the stories include hospital births, home births, unassisted births, emergency deliveries, births attended by young siblings, outdoor births and more.

These stories describe the strategies and tools that can make birth a much better experience. Journey into Motherhood is filled with proven techniques to help women have a powerful and positive childbirth, including:

• How women can experience painless labor

• Insights and advice from mothers who’ve been there

• Options for easing labor and delivery—including yoga, doulas, hypnosis and water birth

• A resource guide to childbirth classes, magazines, websites and audios/videos

“What a fabulous book. All women and girls need to hear these stories and know, really know, that natural birth is full of magnificent, life-changing wisdom,” said Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of "Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom" and "The Wisdom of Menopause."

Sheri Menelli has dedicated her career to the education and empowerment of pregnant women. As a certified HypnoBirthing educator, she taught hundreds of couples how to have an easier, more comfortable birth. Sheri previously produced and co-hosted a San Diego radio show, "The Real Side of Birth.” She also authored and produced two guided meditation CDs: Light Meditation and Breastfeeding Meditation. A San Diego County resident, Sheri has one daughter and is expecting twins.

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Sheri Menelli