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Review: A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth




There is no shortage of books on childbirth. In fact, there are probably way too many books on childbirth floating around these days. Combine that with a never-ending stream of reality television shows about the dangers of labour and birth, and the near infinite amount of information on the internet, it is a wonder that pregnant women today are able to come to their labours without suffering information overload and terrified about giving birth.

Katrina Zaslavsky’s book, A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth is a breath of fresh air and a welcome addition to an otherwise overcrowded shelf full of fear-inducing, confidence-eroding horror stories that solely focus on medicalised birth.

In the tradition of classics like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Dr Sarah Buckley’s book, Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering, A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth enlightens women to how birth can and should be – a joyous, transformative, emotionally powerful experience. Does it promise a pain-free, orgasmic experience? No. Nor does it condemn modern obstetrics or the wonderful life-saving procedures we have today. The essence of this book is alluded to in its title. Empowerment.

With record levels of Caesarean section and highly interventionist labour and birth being the norm today, it is no wonder that many women develop growing anxiety throughout their pregnancy and bring that anxiety into the birthing suite.

Zaslavsky’s book should be required reading for all pregnant women. The inspiring birth stories and tips peppered throughout the book, are also beautifully balanced with compelling current evidence and expert opinion, and presented in a very easily absorbed format. It’s the kind of book you can pick up and flip to any page and enjoy the wisdom you encounter.

If you or someone you know is expecting – get this book. Now!

A Modern Woman’s Guide to A Natural Empowering Birth is available at



Tanya Strusberg is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) and teaches prenatal education to pregnant women and their partners in Melbourne.

She and her husband Doron have two beautiful children, Liev and Amalia.

To learn more visit



Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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