I Don’t Know How to Give Birth (Manga Review)

I Don't Know How to Give Birth

I Don’t Know How to Give Birth is QUITE a title. This is a comedy autobiography about manga artist Ayami Kazama learning about motherhood firsthand. She goes from wanting a child to suffering through painful contractions and everything in between (as well as after).

It’s pretty bold to publish an autobiography of something that personal, but the nature of it in comedic manga form makes it a cute mix of educational and entertaining.

As the title tells you, Kazama is oblivious and nervous about the whole process. The story opens with the dreamy days of having a husband and planning for kids delivered to them by a stork before cutting to her doctor explaining that she’s not ovulating. Not only is she clueless to pregnancy, she now has to deal with infertility as well. Despite this, she keeps on going with a panicked but optimistic vibe through life.

I Don't Know How to Give Birth sample

I Don’t Know How to Give Birth is an enjoyable story full of personality

I can’t tell you how enjoyable this is with her actual personality in center stage here instead of just feeling like a generic sex-ed class. Kazama starting from zero knowledge makes this a great way for readers to learn a lot about pregnancy. She takes what her doctors explain, breaks it down, and regurgitates it to us in cute little diagrams. Then we see her dealing with it all first-hand, along with all the #relatable moments they entail.

Kazama frequently doubts herself throughout the journey, which I’m sure a lot of mothers-to-be go through. The fear of failure, the worry that they aren’t as invested as they should be, and just general cold feet creep in. For Kazama, she deals with this mainly by seeing maternity as her “animal instinct” and that based on evolution, she’s bound to be a natural at it. Her phrasing of it concerns those around her, but the gist of it is that she believes in herself and pushes forward.

There couldn’t have been a better person to make an autobiography like this. Her personality, art style, and simplified medical understanding make a great combination for a pregnancy story and educational experience.

Check out I Don’t Know How to Give Birth, available now.

Title: I Don’t Know How to Give Birth
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: August 18th, 2020
Type: Manga (One-shot)

Author: Ayami Kazama
Translation: Julie Goniwich
Lettering: Abigail Blackman