Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert was going to have her baby in a London hospital,but a few weeks before giving birth, she decided to do it in a pool,assisted by a midwife. Fleur Davis gave birth to her second child without pain medication, only acupuncture. Sue Hargreaves, a recovering anorexic, had her baby under self-hypnosis. All three women deeply cherish theirmemories of childbirth, and the knowledge that they were in control of howtheir children came into the world.

"Labor Pain: A Natural Approach to Easing Delivery" is full of inspiringstories and useful advice ("Wild Yam: Good for Women who are Nervous") forany woman considering a more spiritually pleasing alternative to thesoulless hospital delivery room. However, at times author Nicky Wessonmakes claims that seem overly optimistic. Not only was her own naturallabor a deeper, more satisfying experience, she says, but it was actuallyless painful than her "hospital births, which involved induction,epidural, laboring flat on my back, forceps, and emergency cesareansection." It is hard to imagine this is true--surely anesthesia must begood for something. Nonetheless, any woman considering home birth willwant to consult Wesson's book.