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Birth Book, The Paperback – Feb 1 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Word Alive (Feb. 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316779075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316779074
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

From Library Journal

With expectant parents confronted with a variety of childbirth choices, the Searses, a noted husband-and-wife team (he's a pediatrician and she's a nurse), have written a guide that outlines a number of options available for birth along with pros and cons for each. Their emphasis is on the natural birth experience--without drugs and with as little intervention as possible. They provide information on alternate settings and nonphysician birth assistants. The book is well written and well organized; references and additional reading provide avenues for further information. A complement to other books on the birth process, including Gayle Peterson's An Easier Childbirth (Tarcher, 1991); recommended for consumer health/patient education collections.
- Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hosp. Medical Lib., Lubbock, Tex.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Although the authors are a pediatrician/nurse couple, they chose to deliver three of their seven biological children (they have an eighth child, adopted at birth) at their home, and they show a noticeable preference for natural birth and for limiting medical intervention during the birth process unless it is necessary. They highlight the potential risks of what many people believe to be routine activities during pregnancy and labor, such as ultrasounds, Doptone monitoring, and such. Chorionic villae testing and amniocentesis are discouraged, and those fun 3-D ultrasounds available now are an absolute no-no in the authors' minds.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This was the first book I bought about birth, and it is still the best. Rather than being another version of the same old tired and useless "just be happy do what you're told" you get from other books, the authors have created a source of information that is relevant and actually helpful to parents.
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.
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Format: Paperback
While I don't agree with many of the Sears' approaches to child raising (family bed, etc.) I LOVE this book.
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?
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