post by Odile Schalit, friend, social worker, and doula-
I had no idea the world that would be revealed to me when my Doula Mentor handed me "Spiritual Midwifery" some 5 or so years ago. Ina May Gaskin's name was but one I'd overheard in the circles I was, at the time, trying to "infiltrate." I imagined her as some sort of mystical birthing goddess. As it turned out, I wasn't too far off.
Spiritual Midwifery, her first book, which came out in 1977, speaks to Ina May's beginnings and work as a self-made Midwife on route to and eventually on the commune, called The Farm, that she and her husband founded. Since then, Ina May has established a renowned Midwifery Clinic on the Farm, written four books on topics related to birthing/breast feeding, written several articles, lectured around the world and appeared in documentaries - most recently, Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives (trailer below).