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  • Writer's pictureDeShanti Jones

"Why Did No One Tell Me This?" A Different Kind of Baby Book by Natalia Hailes & Ash Spivak

Why Did No One Tell Me This? by Hailes, Spivak & Reimer is a beautifully & colorfully written parenting book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The authors did an amazing job of easing any anxieties and answering questions that expectant parents may have. Readers will be delighted to flip through the art-filled pages written in such a familiar yet educational way. It covers just about every pregnancy, birth or postpartum topic there is. The authors set out to give an authentic and raw take on the perinatal experience and they did exactly that (often with little to no filter which I loved!).

The authors, Natalia Hailes and Ash Spivak are both doulas, childbirth educators and badass moms. Natalia, who currently practices in my hometown Richmond, VA, has worked with hundreds of families as a birth doula, lactation specialist and reproductive health advocate. Ash is a DONA certified birth doula, stress-reduction facilitator, certified prenatal nutritionist and is currently furthering her studies as a Childbirth Educator. Together they have plenty of combined pregnancy, birth & postpartum experience and knowledge to share with the world.

The book is designed to feel like an extensive manual covering every aspect of pregnancy. I love how they divided the content by mind and body. The entire first portion discusses ways for the birthing person to tune in with themselves mentally through various breathing, mindfulness & self-reflection techniques. I found this part to be particularly useful as someone who wants to incorporate mindfulness methods into my practice as a doula. I also enjoyed the way they addressed any “silly” yet common questions that many birthing people may have but are too afraid or embarrassed to ask.

Most of all, I was impressed by the contagious tone of the book. The authors used a lot of familiar and informal phrases along with occasional profanity reminiscent of your wise, no-filter aunties. It didn’t include a lot of medical jargon too difficult to comprehend. The fun and colorful illustrations are also a really nice touch and emphasize the information beautifully. The authors did a great job at relaying the critical information while still remaining relatable. This, as well as the humorous tone, made it especially hard for me to pull away from the book and can make the average reader feel confident but also competent.

Aside from using this book to create content and educate my clients, I will also be recommending this book to any doulas, childbirth educators and expectant parents I come across. It is an easy yet detailed read that can be consumed by most people looking for information on pregnancy & childbirth. It can also be useful for other birthworkers like me that also want to specialize in mindfulness.

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