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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing pro-birth book
There are two kind of women out there: Those who want a traditional doctor who will "take care of everything for them" along with a traditional hospital birth with lots of medication options and an episiotomy, and those who want something more personal--who want their own body to do the work, who want help from experienced women and who want an intimate,...
Published on Sept. 19 2001 by Girl on the go!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One-sided and leading
I haven' actually finished reading this book. I was caught by language this is blatently biased and a lack of information on comman, current, MEDICAL techniques and practices. While the actual medical diagrams and descriptions are helpful and informative, they do not outweigh my uneasiness with 95% of this book's information. On the very small section on circumsicion...
Published on May 8 2008 by Loryn


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing pro-birth book, Sept. 19 2001
There are two kind of women out there: Those who want a traditional doctor who will "take care of everything for them" along with a traditional hospital birth with lots of medication options and an episiotomy, and those who want something more personal--who want their own body to do the work, who want help from experienced women and who want an intimate, memorable experience they can share with their partner. This is a book for the second type of woman. Those who are a little more, ahem, "traditional" should get "What to Expect When You're Expecting" (a book that I happen to think treats women like morons). "The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" is an amazing, amazing book. It is so pro-family--talking about the importance of including husbands and even other family members if you should so choose. I am baffled by the anti-man comments in another review...this book is so incredibly pro-husband! In fact, it is my own husband's favorite pregnancy book. I'm also baffled by the criticism of waterbirth. Yes, the book does touch on waterbirth, which may sound strange to a middle-American, but is a very popular option in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, Seattle and other modern American cities--as well as a popular option in England, Canada, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, etc. That said, the book also objectively--Kintzinger does no bashing--discusses hospital-style procedures such as forcep deliver, episiotomy, epidurals, etc. Kitzinger is a big believer in having supportive, experienced, compassionate people around you, which is why she is such a fan of midwives, but she also discusses how to find such support in the hopsital among nurses and doctors.She even has pictures of a woman giving birth in a hospital using physical positions other than the flat-on-the-back position we all associate with hopsitals. As for the alcohol criticism, it's true. Kitzinger does say alcohol is okay in very small amounts. Before you get all hot and bothered, it's important to remember that Kitzinger is a European, a Brit. Having had personal, direct experience with French midwives, I know that not every country shares America's belief that women need completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. Most European midwives and doctors do say small amounts of alcohol are safe once you're past the first trimester. (In fact, I was told by a French doctor to have one two three glasses of red wine each week to "strengthen my blood" and "raise my iron levels." So go figure.) As for alcohol units, an earlier reviewer's translation isn't quite correct: In Britain a unit isn't an entire glass of wine, bottle of beer, etc. It's more akin to a half-filled small wine glass...what would only be a few ounces. Something to think about before everyone starts witch hunting! It's important to remember that not everyone wants the kind of hopsital births their American mothers had--and to appreciate that there are terrific options out there for us all. This book is a godsend for those of us who prefer options!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for expectant mothers ....... could save a life!, Nov. 18 2003
By 
Streakblondie "streakblondie" (Lower Hutt, Wellington New Zealand) - See all my reviews
That is 5+++++++++ ......

I purchased this book as an informative book to help me with my first pregnancy .... it is a very detailed, thorough book and I felt it a great help during my pregnancy as my partner and I followed the week by week pictures and information so that we knew (how or rather) what our baby was up to!
Pregnancy should be a straightforward process but unfortunately it is not always that way and you definitely need to be able to refer to information that can help you in an emergency.
When I had spot bleeding in my 7 month of pregnancy I went straight to the section in the book that talks about spotting and what could be happening and it encouraged me to go to my local hospital which was very, very, very fortunate because I was actually in labour and my baby was coming!!!!!!!!!!
Without this book for guidance I may have had my 3 month premature baby at home and she would never have survived! I thank this book for it's existence and wonderful advice! For this very reason, I recommend this book to any first time mums .... or any expecting mums out there .... just so you know, I chose not to read the section on "things that can go wrong" in your pregnancy but thank goodness it was there because I really needed it in the end!
Goodluck in your pregnancy and good reading, Kristina
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very infomative, Dec 22 2012
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This review is from: The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) (Paperback)
I liked reading this book. It was very informative and made you really think about pregnancy and delivery. I do think it is pretty one-sided and the authors view on midwife births and home delivery is very noticeable. Although I agree with the authors opinion I still found the writing very negative to hospital/ OBGYN delivery.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best one out there..., May 17 2004
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This review is from: The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) (Paperback)
This book makes "What To Expect When You're Expecting" look like a cookbook. During my first prenatal appointment, my midwife suggested this book to me and I thought it would be another pregnancy book in the library of childbirth; but it truly stands out. Oddly enough, I, my sister and 3 good friends are pregnant at the same time. I've looked through their books with lots of questions, they looked through this one and couldn't believe how informative it is! I found that other books are very scary when it comes to little things that happen during pregnancy, but this book helps you realize that EVERYTHING that is happening to you is natural, wondering, can be expected and what to do about it (except the truly serious subjects i.e. miscarriage). It conquers everything from conception to reinstating sex after birth, even grieving processes if you've lost a pregnancy or gone through still birth. If you truly want to have a pregnancy book that doesn't stir a panic with every symptom, a book that allows and encourages you to enjoy every minute of this wonderful time, this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Lovely, May 25 2002
By 
Kiddos mom (Seal Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I bought almost every pregnancy book around and this is THE one I felt was the most balanced. It doesn't preach to you that there is ONLY one way; it presents the facts and offers good advice. It doesn't leave you feeling cold and remote from the whole pregnancy experience; it actively involves you and empowers you. I can't understand why anyone at all would buy the "What to Expect" series - they just made me feel incompetent, inept, and uncomfortable. This book was obviously written by someone who want to share what an amazing experience pregnancy can be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Pregnancy book ever!, Jan. 7 2000
By 
Maura O'Toole "Maura O'Toole" (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this book while alone and pregnant living in Japan. It was with out a doubt the most informative book I read. I first bought what to expect, stressed myself out trying to eat by their meal plan, and was really offended by their bordering on racist remarks about beliefs of other cultures ( such as sleeping with babies or using babycarriers.) Kitzinger's book helped me to feel confident that I was healthy and able to take on the challanges of pregnancy and childbirth. I did not think that she was too new age in fact she opened my eyes to medicated childbirth as well as water births. I remember reading the part about alcohol, and I feel that it comes from a British perspective. I think that in the U.S. people tend to take things to extremes, and I do not think that having one glass of wine or beer is harmful. If anything I think that it is better to mellow out with a glass of wine then to be stressed out through out one's pregnancy. All in all this is the book I recomend to everyone, the pictures of the different childbirths are themselves worthy of buying the book. The last thing that I would like to point out to the person who wrote such a nasty review is that Shelia Kitzinger is a mother of 5, and an anthropologist who studied childbirth practice all around the world. I think that she is quite qualified to write a book on childbirth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Expectant Moms-Very Informative and Complete, Nov. 12 2003
By 
Veggie Queen (UT United States) - See all my reviews
I loved reading this book as a mother and an in-training doula. I wish I would have had this book when I was pregnant with my first baby. It covers questions that I wanted answers to, but I didn't know what to ask. I felt like the author prefers a home birth over a hospital birth, although she did a great job of giving a hospital vs. home birth atmosphere without making me feel like one way was the right way. Sheila Kitzinger gave healthy options in both atmospheres so I could choose what would work for me. She was very informative and gave enough information to make me feel like I didn't need more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make your own decisions about YOUR childbirth natural or not, July 24 2002
After reading these reviews here I bought and read this book during the last 3 months of my first pregnancy. It lived up to my expectations and then some. The bonus was that my husband also got a lot out of it and he said he wished he had read it cover to cover much earlier. Note: he decided to start reading it while I was in the early stages of labor at home, he said the "cramming" helped him tremendously to be a better birth partner and I have to agree with him.
If you find many of the birth books out there a bit patronizing or superficial ("what to expect...") and if you want to consider alternative or natural options for birthing without having them shoved down your throat then this book is definitely for you.
For me it offered the perfect combination of information (detailed) and anecdotes so that it was fairly easy to read. Having said that, if you are looking for cute baby pictures and a "sound bite" style of writing then this may not be the book for you. It is for those that are willing to invest some time reading and thinking about how they want to manage their own pregnancy and birth experience. Some may find a few of the photos of women giving birth rather direct, but hey that is what childbirth looks like and it certainly helped me to deal with my fears and expectations about the event.
In the end I had a natural childbirth(on a birthing stool) that I felt in control of and would not have changed anything about. I am sure that my positive mindset had much to do with the preparation I did reading this book. If I have a second child I will pull this book out first and put away the others.
There is nothing man-hating (my husband would have picked up on that in a heartbeat) or anti-Dr about this book. She just presents the facts and information as they are without bias. The fact is that the rest of the developed world (outside the US) has significantly lower C-section rates, medicated birth rates etc... and just as low infant mortality rates so maybe we should listen up and learn something from our European friends?!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One-sided and leading, May 8 2008
This review is from: The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) (Paperback)
I haven' actually finished reading this book. I was caught by language this is blatently biased and a lack of information on comman, current, MEDICAL techniques and practices. While the actual medical diagrams and descriptions are helpful and informative, they do not outweigh my uneasiness with 95% of this book's information. On the very small section on circumsicion the author takes a completely one-sided approach using loaded words like "mutilation". She does not go into the religious history or even the possibly medically relevant reasons for circumsicion. I'm sorry I wasted my money on this and while I never get rid of books, this is one for the trash heap.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Men and doctors are NOT the enemy!, Sept. 2 1998
By A Customer
A reread of Kitzinger's book has forcefully reminded me of her hostility to both men and medicine, and her concomitant dedication to Age of Aquarius birthing techniques. In the world according to Kitzinger, everyone is against the pregnant woman, the hitherto victim of society who, up until the groovy New Age of childbirth, was the cowering captive of males and the Medical Establishment. Listed below are just a few examples of Kitzinger's distortions and New Age baloney:
* Before the New Age birthing techniques came along, women's childbirth fears were due to the "socially inculcated lack of confidence we felt in our bodies and in ourselves..." (p 7)
* Women are likely to argue, and are encouraged to argue, with their doctors, who are too stupid, backwards, and generally not with it to be able to understand a pregnant woman's needs. (pp 48-9)
* Women may dread going to prenatal appointments because of the "cool indifference, rigid authoritarianism, or patronizing behavior" of their caregivers. (p 153)
* "Some men see their partners as their mothers" (p 160) NOTE: the word "husband" has been banished fom Kitzinger's book; all that's left is "partner." What a wonderfully sloppy word. What are they going to do after the child is born--form a joint corporation?
* "In the atmosphere of a busy doctor's office women often feel they have become part of the factory process." (p 163)
* "The language used by men about women's bodies--especially their genitals--is often degrading..." (p 240)
* More pages are devoted to water birth (pp 284-91) an extremely uncommon birth technique that seems to be mainly employed by Russians and ex-hippies, then pages devoted to C-sections (pp 336-41).
One more point. Someone reading Ms. Kitzinger's book may think it's the gospel truth because Ms. Kitzinger is a medical doctor. Um, well, you see, Ms. Kitzinger--Sheila--is NOT a medical doctor. But she's at least a licensed midwife, right? Actually, no. A nurse at least? Nope. A "doula"? Uh-uh. Sheila is an ANTHROPOLOGIST. Think about it.
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The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised)
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) by Sheila Kitzinger (Paperback - Dec 30 2003)
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