Reviews for the Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour

“There are two important published documents about birth physiology and the basic needs of labouring women. The first one is an enormous book written thousands of years ago.  In the very first pages of this bestseller, there are some lines suggesting an association between the consumption of the fruit of the tree of knowledge (translate knowing too much or having developed a powerful neocortex) and the difficulties of human birth. At the end of this book, we can read about the birth of a legendary man whose mission was to promote love. His mother found a strategy to overcome the human handicap: with humility she gave birth among non-human mammals, in a stable.

The second document is the opposite of the first one in terms of size. It is a booklet by Ruth Ehrhardt. To bring together what is important in such a small number of pages is a feat. I hope that, on the five continents, all pregnant women, midwives, doulas, doctors, etc. will take the time to assimilate the contents of this chef d’oeuvre:  it will be a turning point in the history of childbirth and therefore in the history of mankind.” 

Dr Michel Odent

“It is a thoughtful account of how to create conscious and meaningful births for mothers and their babies, and will encourage more compassionate care. Every woman should read it before going into labour, and then they should share their copy with all the maternity staff and vice versa. “

– Robyn Sheldon

“I can not forget Ruth, her calm presence, quietly absorbing, our Paramana Doula Course in London many years ago. I can still see her…she impressed me. And then her little book came out…a jewel, a very precious one. Perfection. 

All men and women should read it and absorb it.”

Liliana Lammers

“Ruth Ehrhardt, I really LOVE your booklet. You’ve combined the most wisdom regarding birth in such a short powerful read. I wish I had something like that before my births! I only read it after having 5 babies yet I learned things about the birth process because of your simple powerfully informed presentation that had escaped me in all my other reading! I recommend your booklet to all pregnant moms and try to give them a synopsis if they don’t have time to read it. I especially focus on the brain research i.e. “don’t engage the frontal cortex – don’t think – while in labor”, just stay in the amygdala and have a “gatekeeper” for all thought. I explained that to a pregnant friend who was planning a natural birth but probably with an epidural. We spent about 10-15 minutes together a week before her baby was born. It made a powerful impact on her and she was thrilled to report when I next saw her at church, that she had a totally natural birth (no epidural), it was less than 5 hours and that what I had told her had made all the difference. Her baby was actually 9 pounds 7 ounces (4.28kg) and she is a very tiny girl. So your information is multiplying and bearing fruit.”

Becky Hastings

“My reason for writing to you is that, being involved with the movement of natural and home birth in Brazil, I found your booklet one of the most useful pieces I have read about a woman in labour.”

-Vanessa Schultz, mother of three, successful VBAC mother, and translator of the Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour into Portuguese

“These days it is possible to buy or borrow thousands of different books about pregnancy and birth. Most of them outline the stages of labour and the various physical events that can occur; some of them touch on the emotions that accompany labour and birth. However, Ruth Ehrhardt’s booklet The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour is perhaps the only one that describes the most fundamental things that a woman needs in order to labour easily and effectively. The simple things that are almost always overlooked at modern births, to the point where these essentials are almost never discussed anymore. This booklet describes labour in a way that makes it much easier to imagine, for those who have yet to experience it. And without becoming overly technical, it explains why the seven basic needs are so important.

A lot of other pregnancy and birth books liken labour to a physical endeavour such as running a marathon. Being an athlete of sorts myself, I seized this definition and began to prepare myself for the feat of my first birth. However, I was completely unprepared for the fact that I would not be able to make measured, logical decisions during labour; nor would I be able to advocate for myself in the way that I am accustomed to doing. For my second birth, after reading The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour I was much more empowered for labour and had a very positive birth experience.

 With additional information about pregnancy, the ideal birth attendant, the fetus ejection reflex, and the all-important first hour after birth, this booklet covers essentials that every mother-to-be should have the opportunity to read. I would also recommend it to all husbands and partners, doulas, midwives, and obstetricians.”

-Jessica Ter Wolbeek, successful VBAC mother

“A great book that explains well the basic needs for women in labour. Every midwife, student midwife doula, obs and trainee doctors should read. A copy should be kept in your pocket and this wisdom shared with all pregnant women who you meet or have the privilege to be with during labour. Do not disturb the neo-cortex should be on the wall of every labouring room.”

– 5-star review for The Basic Needs of a Woman in labour

“Dear Ruth, your book is really really crucial for all pregnant mothers and midwives, gynaecologists and other health professionals engaged in the maternal-infant field and desireful to promote health in general. Your book is also crucial for breastfeeding activists AND politicians and institutional leaders and the whole community  should read, digest and interiorize it!!!!

Because  from the moment that the contents  of this book will be interiorized on cultural level and  basic needs of women in labour will be understood, respected and protected…then automatically the basic needs of the mother baby continuum after birth will be understood, respected and protected better… Motherbaby-attachment and optimal breastfeeding initiation, quality and duration will be physiologically promoted and primal and general health and wellbeing of the whole community will be spectacularly improved!”

 – Hilda Garst, mother of three and translator of the Italian The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour , Sardinia

“Your book was incredibly valuable for my husband to feel calmer about the labour process – I do believe it contributed hugely to the turning point that allowed him to give over to trusting me, and in doing so allowed me to trust myself.”

Jacqueline Flint, home birth mother

“This little book will give the basics of all a mom needs in pregnancy, birth and during the first hours after birth. It is a must for your lending library!”

Jan Tritten, founder and editor-in-chief of Midwifery Today magazine