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Pregnancy and childbirth are not to be feared; they are divinely appointed processes that can be joyful, spiritual, and bring families closer to God. The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth offers something that no other pregnancy book has before–a spiritual look at pregnancy and birth by and for LDS women and other women of faith. Through moving stories women in the scriptures, women from early Latter-day Saint history, and dozens of modern mothers, The Gift of Giving Life assures readers that God cares deeply about the entire procreative process.

The Gift of Giving Life does not advocate for any one type of birth or approach to prenatal care, rather it intends to unify our families and communities in regard to the sacredness of birth. We also aim to provide you with resources, information, and inspiration that you may not have had access to all in one place before.

Topics covered include: constant nourishment, meditation, fear, pain, healing from loss, the physical and spiritual ties between the Atonement and childbirth, the role of the Relief Society in postpartum recovery and more. Birthing women, birth attendants, childbirth educators, and interested readers of all faiths are invited to rediscover within these pages the divinity and gift of giving life.

About the Authors

Felice Austin

Felice Austin is a mother, writer, Certified Hypnotherapist, Hypnobabies(R) Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor, prenatal yoga teacher, and spiritual childbirth educator. Felice's passion for creativity and helping other create positive change drives her in her daily life and in motherhood.

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Lani Axman

Lani Axman finished her studies in English and editing at Brigham Young University in 2003. Following the birth of her second daughter, Lani put her pen to work for her new-found passion-childbirth advocacy. In 2007, Lani created her blog, where she continues to share her thoughts and research and is followed by thousands of readers each week. Lani became trained as a birth doula through DONA International in 2009 and in neonatal resuscitation in 2011.

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Sheridan Ripley

Sheridan Ripley has always loved all things pregnancy, birth and babies. Her first son was born by emergency cesarean at 34 weeks. Her second son was born by VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in the hospital with an epidural. Her third son was also born via VBAC in the hospital naturally using Hypnobabies(R).

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Heather Farrell

HEATHER FARRELL'S love for the scriptures began young, when at the age of eleven she hid a flashlight under her pillow so she could read the Old Testament late at night. Her love for the women in scriptures began when her oldest son was born around Christmastime and she felt a kinship with Mary, the mother of Jesus. As she began to research Mary, she realized that there were hundreds of women in the scriptures, but very little had been written about them. Excited by all the women she discovered, she began sharing what she learned on her popular blog, Women in the Scriptures ( Primarily self-taught in the scriptures, Heather is a testament to the truth that becoming a scholar of the gospel is not beyond anyone’s reach; it just takes a inquisitive mind and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Heather grew up in Idaho but currently lives in Boone, Iowa with her husband, four children, two sheep, a goat, and a flock of chickens.

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Robyn Allgood

Robyn Allgood is a doula and childbirth educator affiliated with the Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth. In addition, she leads a local ICAN chapter offering support to moms after cesarean birth, supporting vaginal birth after cesarean, and offering information to prevent unnecessary cesarean sections.

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Average rating:

(based upon 8 reviews)

Hands down, the BEST birth book out there!!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

This is probably the best birth book I have ever read! I love the spiritual connections drawn. Every story and essay I found myself thinking, "Yes! THIS!!!" Many of the ideas shared were ones I had already begun to have in my own heart, and as I read along, the scripture came to mind "Out of the mouths of two or three witnesses shall my truth be established" (not sure the exact wording or reference). I felt a confirming witness from the Holy Spirit that this book contains truth. I am passionate about pregnancy and childbirth, particularly natural birth, but I love how this book really gets at the heart of the matter, regardless of the circumstances in which babies are born (vaginal vs. c-section, epidural vs. drug-free, home vs. hospital), and unites all women everywhere by focusing on the universal truth that we are daughters of Heavenly Parents with divine purpose. I LOVE the emphasis on personal responsibility and accountability to choice given to women when it comes to pregnancy and birth- we are not simpy bystanders at our births- we need to take an active role! This book is very sensitively and thoughtfully written. If you have a soft and open heart, you too will feel the Spirit confirm truth to you as you read. I just can't believe I waited so long to buy and read this book (for budget$$ reasons...). A definite must-read!

Take a journey of discovery inside the pages of this book!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

It is hard to find the earthly words to describe what this book means to me. As I read I felt the spirit strongly bear witness of the truths contained therein. I also felt something deep within my soul stir- a part of me that is much older than my earthly body. It truly did help me discover my divine nature as a daughter of God. I will forever view the life-giving powers God has given us in a new light. I only wish I had read it before we started our family, but I did thoroughly enjoy reading it while pregnant with my fifth child. A must-read for all women!

The most important birth preparation book
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

There are so many birth preparation resources and books out there that focus on the physical aspects but it is less common to find a book about the spiritual preparation for birth...which is just as or more important! This was my go to book during my pregnancy when I just needed to get off my feet and relax. I am so grateful for the insights and perspective I gained from it. Birth is beautiful!

Beautiful book full of light! Highly recommend!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

When it comes to "likening the scriptures unto ourselves" this book does it best for the childbearing stage of life! I love this book! It is full of tender,miraculous, exciting, and intriguing birth stories and well researched essays that speak truth and light about pregnancy and birth. It is the perfect book for anyone preparing for motherhood or interested in birth. While a mom at any stage would benefit from reading this, I am a birth savvy mother of 9 and read it throughout my last pregnancy. It was just what I needed and even though I have read many awesome books on birth, I learned some new things and gained some really awesome insights. I also felt a lot of comfort throughout the book that I really needed. I could feel the spirit testify to me of truths I once learned and ones I was just being introduced to! I have many favorite parts that are now dog-eared throughout the book, and quotes waiting to make it to my wall! I love that it touches on the 4th trimester - postpartum. That is a topic that I feel is often wrongly ignored. They have some good research and personal insights on the postpartum stage that I enjoyed reading.
The pictures are all very family friendly. This book is tactful, respectful, and as spiritual as birth books get!

Unique, Spiritual Birthing Journey
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

When I read this book, the most impressive aspect I thought was that it was written by LDS women and written for LDS women. All too often birthing books view giving birth as a technical approach and not as a spiritual journey with unique aspects that occur with each woman. I loved that it presented a divine nature of woman as creators of life.
Everyone should read this unique book!

LOVED, faith building, strengthening, empowering
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I read this entire book in the two months prior to giving birth to my first child. I am an incredibly anxious person and as we went through the scare of possible pre-term birth, and then the preparations for a natural birth, I was able to find peace through reading these stories. It helped me to move forward with faith rather than fear. It also helped me to focus on the sacredness and beauty of what I was about to experience rather than dwelling on the discomfort. I have already loaned it out once, purchased a copy as a gift for another friend, and will recommend this book to many women for years to come.

First book of its kind - wonderful information, easy-read, comforting to this Mother-to-Be
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I read this book before I was even married, and the peace that I felt as I read was incredible. I love the authors, and their willingness to share personal stories, and to sacrifice so much to give women all of this wonderful information. Having a book like this on topics that seem to be taboo not only in general society, but in Latter-day Saint culture is a true blessing - so very inspiring. Every single woman, wife, and mother should read this book. I was so happy to see it on Deseret Book shelves in Utah County! It is one that I will be reading more than twice, and it is definitely worth the price.

Every woman should read this!
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I read this book just before giving birth to my fifth child. It reaffirmed the Sacredness that pregnancy and birth has. I was also pleasantly surprised and humbled at how much more there was to this book. I read it from cover to cover in a short period of time and learned so much, not only about birth, but marriage, motherhood, being close to our Heavenly Father and more. It is amazing and I continue to share it with Mothers-to-be, whether it's their first birth or their 10th. I do wish I had had this book before I became a Mother because like most women in our culture, even in the LDS church, I was very nervous and scared of birth. I knew it had value and a purpose and I've discoverd that on my journey as a Mother. Thank you for expanding on how so many of us feel and adding more than I could have imagined!!!!!!!!

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