In Search of the Perfect Birth

In Search of the Perfect Birth details the journey of Elizabeth McKeown through the births of her three children, from the first, which took place in a hospital, to the third, which took place at home, unassisted. Her middle child's birth was an attempt at a midwife-assisted home birth, but turned into a hospital birth, and left her fearful, questioning her body's ability to give birth.

Elizabeth's is a story that needs to be told; One that details the experiences of so many women in “the system” of medical childbirth; their pain and birth trauma, their shame, and their desire for someone to trust in their ability to give birth. It is also a story of triumph, where even those who feel as if their bodies cannot function normally, go on to prove the system wrong, and give birth without intervention.

I appreciate that Elizabeth doesn't rely solely on personal experiences to explain why women choose unassisted birth. Throughout her story, she addresses common myths and scare tactics within the medical community, and backs up her claims with reputable sources.

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At a couple of points in the book, Elizabeth gives her advice to women who are planning an unassisted birth. Because of her bad experiences, she recommends that women mostly stay away from online birth communities. While I understand her words of caution, and empathize with her experiences, I disagree that online communities are not helpful. I found unassisted birth communities online to be one of my biggest sources of support while planning my own unassisted home birth.

In Search of the Perfect Birth seems to be written mainly for those who are contemplating an unassisted birth of their own, or for anyone who is interested in alternative birth choices and birth stories. Even with all of the factual information and resources, the majority of this book consists of Elizabeth's personal birth stories.

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I must admit that this book is obviously a bit amateur, and could have used more professional editing for grammar and style. Unfortunately, that is the case with many self-published books, like this one. Even so, I think this book is an enjoyable read in the hands of anyone who is interested in natural childbirth.

Available on Kindle or paperback at

In Search of the Perfect Birth: A Journey From Hospital to Midwife to Unassisted Birth

**Note: I received this book as a free review copy and was not compensated in any way for the writing of this review.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

3 thoughts on “In Search of the Perfect Birth

  1. I definately need to read this book! She probably writes a lot like I think. LOL I too have found the online community to be just what I needed when we were planning Tranden’s unassisted birth. Since that time things have changed. I have found the women of that same forum to be not so helpful and down right rude. Maybe it is just a matter of timing  though, I’m not sure. I definately would not shy away from suggesting them to others on the journey to unassisted birth, that’s for sure. Where can this book be ordered? 

    1. I believe you can order it on

      I agree, the boards can go back and forth, and sometimes are full of drama. I like the facebook groups now, they seem much more drama free, at least for now. Maybe that’s because you use your actual name?

    2. Hi there! This is the author, Elizabeth. 🙂 The one particular forum I joined when I started my journey was a forum that was over-run with “trolls”. People who were vehemently against UC would actually outnumber the UCers, and they were there to do everything from demonize the beliefs to just start trouble and make fun for their own amusement. Obviously I found this very…. counter-productive! Luckily there were other communities whose moderation was less backwards and more friendly to the people looking for information and support… but I always remain wary.

      The book is available largely online, from Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Amazon, and our website ( If you give your local stores in these chains the ISBN–
      ISBN-10: 0615481701ISBN-13: 978-0615481708– they will order it for you and you can pick it up at your store! You don’t even have to pay for it when you order, so if you change your mind when it arrives, you don’t lose any $. <3 Find us on Facebook: — thanks ladies!

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