Birth Book, The Paperback – Feb 1 1994
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In The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth, William and Martha Sears, authors of The Baby Book and creators of the concept of "attachment parenting," here turn their attention to the birth experience. In this helpful resource guide, the Searses cover the gamut of possibilities, and teach readers what they need to know to take control of their own birthings. The Birth Book is divided into three parts: "Preparing for Birth," "Easing Pain in Labor," and "Experiencing Birth." You'll find details about vaginal births; cesareans; VBACs; water births; home births; best birthing positions; drugs; pain; how to design your own birth plan; the humor, chemistry, and sexuality of birth; and pages and pages of birth stories.
From Publishers Weekly
This guide will do more for new parents than a pacifier will for a newborn. It is a comprehensive, soothing work which will ease the fears and anxieties that explode during a pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. The Searses ( The Baby Book )--he a pediatrician and professor at the University of Southern California's School of Medicine; she a childbirth and labor expert--are themselves the parents of eight children. They explain clearly and reassuringly the array of options available to pregnant couples, from what to consider when selecting a birthing team and environment and how technology can be a mixed blessing during pregnancy to having a VDAC (a vaginal delivery after having had a Caesarean birth). The book's philosophy is that delivering a baby is often an event that parents are more caught up with than the end-product--the baby. But the book offers more than philosophy. It gives men practical advice on how to survive the changes, both emotional and physical, that arrive with impending parenthood. There are quick-reference charts on the medical tests commonly ordered by physicians during pregnancy, contraction timing and the stages of labor. The final chapter is devoted to 14 birth stories which illustrate how labor and delivery are different for each woman. While no two experiences are alike, all illustrate the importance of making conscious choices about the birth of one's child.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Although they believe that medical intervention is grossly overused in this country (in large part due to fear of litigation by obstetricians), the authors readily acknowledge that it can be useful and even necessary in limited situations, and they encourage mothers to plan ahead in case things don't go as planned.
Although I felt like the book is a bit more alarmist than the typical birth book (and I found myself summarily dismissing parts of it -- as I have found ultrasounds & the Doptone monitoring of baby's heartbeat at my regular OB appointments to be extremely helpful), on the whole, it seems like one of the more balanced and informative books available. It's not all about "trust the doctor completely", nor does it fault women who chose intervention. For example, although the authors do caution about the risks of epidurals, in several parts of the book, the authors specifically relate how epidural anesthesia can be very helpful in causing labor to progress. The book is also chock-full of information & detail, as well as being very easy to read. It provides much information to allow parents to become more active participants in decision-making regarding the birth of their child.
The authors (a pediatriction and a nurse) begin by making it clear that they are supporters of natural birth, and explain why using their experiences, published research and history. However, they go on to present the most unbiased collection of information I have found in any book promoting natural or medicated birth. They not only explain why you might not want a test or procedure (missing in most childbirth books), but also why and when it is helpful and necessary (missing in many 'natural birth' books).
If you are looking for a book that will tell you "what to expect" from your ob, this book is not it. The authors write about every decision that is made as the parents decision, supporting the parents right to choose how they give birth. Having both sides of the issue provides families with the information they need to make decisions for themselves. The authors provide the information in a way that makes it easy to bring the book with you to your doctor/midwife appointments as a tool to discuss your birth options.
Most of the "labor" information is how to labor without medication. This makes sense when you realize that it only takes a couple pages to expain what medications are available and how they work, but volumes have been written on other things that can be done to help a woman in labor. Additionally, because there is less health risk involved with natural birth any true review of the pros and cons of medicated vs.Read more ›
I have to STRONGLY disagree with other reviews that this book guilts you into a natural childbirth. The book is filled with examples of women who chose epidurals and other intervention and had satisfying births.
The overwhelming theme in this book is that it is the expectant parents' responsibility to educate themselves about their choices in childbirth, discuss their wishes with their caregiver, and write a birth plan to help convey these wishes to hospital staff (if they chose hospital birth). The Sears believe that if the parents are the ones making the informed decisions, rather than having decisions made for them, they will have a joyful, beautiful start to their family.
The Sears clearly lay out the benefits of natural childbirth, and do discuss in detail the risks of the various tests and interventions, as well as when they are justified. My favorite part is in the back, where mothers and fathers have submitted their birth stories. It is wonderful to read first-hand accounts of the emotions and sensations of birth. As I said, all kinds of births are included: planned C-sections, home births, epidurals, birth centers, high risk, etc. What is emphasized is that when the parents are informed and able to make their own choices, they are at peace with the outcome. It is when the parents feel that their wishes were not respected or that risks and options were not explained to them that they feel angry and bitter at their caregivers.
This is a great read for parents who know they want natural childbirth and for parents who want to consider it. You will never regret knowing your options. The birth and the child are your responsibility. It can be a time of joy and empowerment or a time of fear and helplessness. Having those choices, wouldn't you choose the former?
Most recent customer reviews
A great read for soon-to-be parents who want to be well-informed about pregnancy and birth-including their choices regarding antepartum testing, birthing options, and labor... Read morePublished 17 months ago by amanda
Factual book with more more positive and realistic perspective than the common "expecting" book series. Read morePublished on Dec 8 2011 by Cristina Wallace
I personally enjoyed this book as I am hoping to have a natural birth. However, if you are not planning on a natural birth I would NOT recommend this book. Read morePublished on March 11 2010 by Kimberly Dozois
with the interventions. I preferred the "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" which highlighted many of the risks involved with each intervention. Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by Christine Chain
I am the type of person who enjoys information that shows both sides. I have grown up going to doctors and I trust them when it comes to medicine. Read morePublished on July 9 2004
If you are pregnant for the first time and don't know much about childbirth, READ THIS BOOK ... and don't be afraid to make changes to your birth plan (birth plan?!? Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by Michele
It is fine to discuss other methods but not to be totally down on all others!! Yes, other ways are effective also and the author does not know everything as indicated. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004
I feel that many of the comments are to tell you the author's ideas, I would like to see more ways to feel good about a birth. Please read other books too! Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004
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