...the perfect gift -- before the blessed event...
Hardcover, 384 pages
Before I had my first child, I took a childbirth education
course to find out what to expect when the time came.
The instructor, Mrs. Aviva Rappaport, a certified labor
coach and lactation consultant, plied us with many facts and
details to prepare us physically and emotionally for the
upcoming event. Then she remarked about one birth that she
"When the baby was born, the light of the neshama
filled the whole room."
A spiritual experience? In a hospital? I was floored. For
the rest of the course, I eagerly absorbed both the medical
information and the Torah hashkafa of an approach
that could make my birth the same elevating, meaningful
Indeed, it was.
First-time and experienced mothers alike can reap the
spiritual rewards of birth with Mrs. Rappaport's new book,
"HAPPY BIRTH DAY! A Jewish Woman's Guide to Childbirth."
Hers is a superb compilation of sound, up-to-date medical
advice, practical tips for the home and hospital, and an
illuminating focus on the spiritual dimension of this time
of intense personal closeness to Hashem.
The author, a seasoned professional who has attended
hundreds of births, put much thought and care into her
presentation to make it honest, accurate, and most
importantly, useful for mothers-to-be. Her reassuring tone
and user-friendly language demystify many complex aspects of
childbirth. Balanced, pro-and-con discussions of important
health care decisions will help mothers-to-be decide what's
best for them and their babies.
One of the outstanding themes of this book is its emphasis
on a mother- centered birth. Health care practitioners,
midwives, and labor support are enjoined to tune into the
needs of the mother-to-be, rather than call for "routine
procedures" that in reality have no medical value. In fact,
Mrs. Rappaport makes a strong case for why a woman's inner
feelings are a more accurate indicator of the progress of
labor than clinical measurements.
Mothers-to-be will be empowered by learning what they
themselves can do to ease the birthing process. Tefila,
tzedaka, segulos and a firm reliance on Hashem top the
list, followed by time-honored coping techniques, relaxation
exercises, and offbeat yet effective methods such as music,
bubble baths, jacuzzi, and aroma therapy. By gaining control
of the tone of the birth and her attitude towards it, the
author maintains, every woman can create a more relaxing and
rewarding birth experience.
HAPPY BIRTH DAY! also makes mothers-to-be more confident and
better- informed consumers of health-care options. The
author explains the benefits and risks of common hospital
procedures and medications in layman's terms, and offers
safe, natural alternatives to avoid emergency situations.
Even mothers many times over will gain from valuable
"insider" information such as how to ensure a good monitor,
how to establish rapport with a midwife, and what time of
day to check into the hospital.
Above all, this is a book written by a religious woman for
religious women. Mrs. Rappaport encourages mothers to see
the Hashgocha Protis in every birth, to judge
favorably and look for the good in hospital protocol, and to
meet physical and emotional challenges with emuna.
Issues that are ignored in secular books on the market, such
as the Torah outlook of birth, modesty and the yiras
shomayim of birthing attendants, lay the foundation for
this work. The author gives full deference to halachic
authorities at every stage of the process, according them
their rightful role as members of the "birthing team."
HAPPY BIRTH DAY! carries warm blessings and endorsements
from Harav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and Harav Yisrael Ganz,
leading authorities in matters of childbirth.
If you, your daughter, relative or friend is expecting, you
may already be thinking about what type of baby gift to buy.
Give this book as a present before the blessed event. Your
recipient and her baby will thank you many times over!