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Did Heather Armstrong Make Ricki Lake Pee Her Pants Today?

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Heather Armstrong, author of Dooce which has, like, 90 billion readers just gave Your Best Birth and The Business of Being Born a glowing review. Not just a review, THE review.

Prior to reading the book and seeing the movie, Heather had never given the idea of out-of-hospital birth much thought. She received a copy of Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s book, Your Best Birth, from the publishers, read a few paragraphs and things changed.

And then, oh God, the worst thing happened. And I didn’t even see it coming, but I’m sitting there reading that book, gritting my teeth, shaking my head when all of a sudden it started to make sense. I started to see just how medicalized labor and birth have become in America AND THERE GOES MY WORLD VIEW.


Heather’s advice to pregnant women:

…if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, GO READ THAT BOOK. From now on when someone asks me what is the one piece of advice I would give to a pregnant woman, it will be: GO BUY A COPY OF THAT BOOK.


IT CHANGED MY LIFE. I’m not even kidding, I’ll say it again: IT CHANGED MY LIFE.


She summed it up with the following.

Making it out alive with a healthy baby was my top priority, of course, but if there was no need for pitocin or an epidural or intravenous drugs or a vacuum or forceps or an oxygen mask or an emergency c-section, then that’s what I wanted.

And really, that’s not a lot to ask.


It’s really not a lot to ask.



Read the post The labor story, part one at Dooce.com. But who are we kidding— you’ve already read it along with the rest of the English-speaking world.


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Reader Comments (19)

Yep, even I read it, and I don't read her blog (I know, where have I been.) I have to say that if I'd found her blog when she was being all "epidurals rock!" I would have gotten twisted up and vowed to trash her on my own blog. I'm glad I found her Post-Epiphany. ;)

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheFeministBreeder

Well, it's news to me! So thank you for the happy, Jill.

RIGHT ON RICKI. Fist is in the air.

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDou-la-la

Rixa did a review on her blog, Stand and Deliver, and there was some discussion about how the book would be great for someone who has never considered questioning cultural attitudes toward childbirth. I loved it, but only after I started reading, then went back and reread it as if I had never read anything but What to Expect. It would be a great starting place for a newly pregnant woman... like BoBB.

July 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Yes, for the record, I did pee my pants!

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterricki lake

Did you just pee your pants that Ricki Lake commented on your blog? (Ironically I am writing a post on how women can prevent peeing on themselves, ie, perineal integrity).

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

Ricki, you're awesome. :)

July 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Fabulous! Hi Ricki Lake. Go read RR's story on how NOT to pee your pants!! I am only becoming aware of this blog/author also ...don't feel bad Gina. I shall follow Dooce now. Thank you Thank you. On another note, I just got an email from AWHONN about a webinar conference they are doing about upright positions for labor... the promo reads: "Are your registered and advanced practice perinatal nurses, OBs and family practice physicians still caring for laboring women like it's the 20th century? Then you need to attend Nursing Care and Management of the Second Stage of Labor. This educational webinar will present current evidence-based information about the benefits of upright positioning and delayed and non-directed pushing. Strategies for implementation of these techniques, including preparation and education of the mother for the second stage of labor also will be presented."
I'm happy to this and hope to help spread the word to help educate those who WONT go looking to educate themselves!

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBirth_Lactation

Hi Birth_Lactation,

That sounds like a great webinar. I'll help spread the word, too. See you on Twitter!


July 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

I am heading over to read it right now!

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSheridan

yes! i've been anxiously awaiting to read Heather's birth story because from the clues I'd gathered before, I got the impression that her view of birthing has changed and I wondered what could've caused that. Just think how many people will actually go and check out that book and documentary now :) Really exciting times, ladies!

On a side note, I never read the book but I did watch the documentary before my 3rd baby was born over a year ago. Even though at that time we were set on having a homebirth (which we ended up having), my husband and I really enjoyed the show and felt so at peace with our decision to finally have a homebirth...

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterolya
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