Positive Pain: A Guide to Emotional Well-being through Pregnancy and Birth
by Adela Stockton

[2006, Dumfries, Scotland: Solway Offset, 64 pages, paperback.]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 99, Autumn 2011, © 2011, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Janean Douglass.]

Carrying a book around entitled Positive Pain, will get you some questioning looks from passers-by. And, in all honesty, who logically equates pain with anything positive? Yet, Positive Pain: A Guide to Emotional Well-being through Pregnancy and Birth, written by renowned doula, childbirth homeopath and teacher Adela Stockton, has some incredible information to absorb.

The book is directed toward helping those who are questioning not only the physical but the mental challenges of pregnancy and childbirth, and shows that having one’s mind in proper alignment is just as important as learning about childbirth breathing and the mechanics of labor. Oftentimes, one views pregnancy and birth as an exclusively physical experience; however, Ms. Stockton points out that nothing could be farther from the truth! The incredible benefits of clearing the psyche of old wounds include a greater ability to bond with the new baby and a more positive concept of labor and birth, among others.

The physical appearance of this book is as different as the subject matter. It is small (5 x 8 inches) and printed on heavier, more durable paper. The artwork inside (by Matt Baker) is often cryptic and haunting, and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter are thought-provoking. The book’s introduction contains a statement that perfectly sums up its usefulness: “…a support in clearing the past as best you can to prepare the way for an unhindered labor…a gentle, positive birth experience…and a joyful meeting with your new baby.”

Another attraction of the book worth mentioning is the abundance of incredible resources in the back, and well placed homeopathic and herbal remedies and treatments throughout. Ms. Stockton is very knowledgeable on women’s health and alternative treatments one can try before heading off to the doctor’s office for a pill.

This book would be an excellent read for expectant parents, those contemplating pregnancy and any birth worker. Easy to read, well organized and informative, Positive Pain is definitely worth adding to your collection.

Reviewer Janean Douglass is an EMT-B, student of Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute and a birth assistant/apprentice with MidValley Birthing Services in Albany, Oregon. A life-long Oregonian, Janean is the mother of four children and enjoys serving birthing women, writing, singing and Facebook.