A few weeks ago I was sent a copy of “On Becoming a Mother” by Brigid McConville.
The book was written in association with the White Ribbon Alliance. For those of you who haven’t heard of the White Ribbon Alliance before, they are an organisation and charity who campaign to uphold the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth.
“On Becoming a Mother” begins with an introduction from McConville about why she has written the book and her association with the White Ribbon Alliance. It is then split into four parts:
Part 1 – Before Birth
Part 2 – Time for Birth
Part 3 – After Birth
Part 4 – The “First” Year
All parts contain anecdotes and stories from Midwives and Mothers all over the world. It’s very well-written, and even though it’s made up of different stories, it flows beautifully and doesn’t feel disjointed at all. The book also contains various recipes; from nutrients in pregnancy to boosting milk supply for feeding.
“On Becoming a Mother” covers pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care in countries from Australia to Holland. Unsurprisingly, there is a significant difference and quality in care in comparison to the UK. However, the community and support of women seems to be much greater in a lot of other cultures. For example, pregnant women and new Mothers are completely supported by their families; many aren’t allowed to lift a finger until 40 days after giving birth. In Nepal, both Mother and Baby are given hot oil massages to help them relax… Oh, how glorious that would have been! This left me feeling a bit sad that we don’t seem to have the same support network over here.
Below is my favourite part of the book (see paragraph about Moldova).
I am completely captivated by different cultures and religions, and this book did not disappoint! It was an absolutely fascinating read; I’ve always wanted to travel and experience the various traditions and ceremonies myself, and this book gave great insight into the fascinating world (and wilderness) of Motherhood elsewhere.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading “On Becoming a Mother” and I would definitely recommend this fabulous, insightful book to any woman; pregnant or not! It came across a little “hippy-ish” at times, especially from some of the British anecdotes, but this did not detract from how interesting the book is.
It stirred up so many memories from pregnancy to childbirth for me, and it’s definitely a book I will read again and constantly refer back to throughout life. It has also encouraged and inspired me to do further research into home-birthing for our next bundle of joy.
“On Becoming a Mother” by Brigid McConville retails at £9.99 and is available to buy on the Oneworld Publications website.