Every once in awhile, a book on childbirth comes along that is a standout. The Labor Progress Handbook is one of those books, but what else would one expect from Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta? The authors have produced a lucid, logical, beautifully organized, clearly written, bounteously illustrated, meticulously documented book that gives birth professionals a systematic, practical basis to prevent, diagnose, and treat poor progress in labor. Approaching dystocia holistically, the authors consider the effects of the woman's emotional state, her environment, and the impact of hospital or caregiver policies and attitudes in addition to the standard "powers, passage, passenger" explanation for labor progress. And they are woman centered: the laboring woman is the active agent in resolving difficulties, and the unacceptability of a recommendation always contraindicates its use. If you teach about labor, care for laboring women, or work as a doula or birth assistant, you should--no, must--read this book.
At last, a book for all birth professionals that is concise, informative and in an "easy-to-look-up" format! There is a bibliography at the end of each chapter, allowing the professional to give citations to clients and to allow her to actually read the studies if she so chooses. The size of the book makes it easy for a doula to throw into her birth bag or for a nurse to have handy on a labor and delivery unit. The amount of information packed into its' size is incredible. I now heartily recommend this book to all of my birthing friends and doulas who take my training. Bravo, Penny and Ruth! And thanks for making the evidence easier to access!
This book should be on the recommended reading list for all doula training programs! In a clear, concise, and thoughtful way, Penny explains what makes labor progress, how to recognize labor progress, and how to help with labor progress. My copy is always in my birth bag. I have used it at several births for various reasons, and have always found it to be helpful, with reminders or even just to reaffirm that I've done everything possible. I recommend this book for anyone in the childbirth field and for expectant couples as well!
This deceptively slim book is jam-packed with useful information that can be used by just about anyone involved in childbirth today. I have recommended it be added as a textbook to the midwifery program where I teach, and I am planning to purchase a copy for the nursing station of the hospital where I work. The illustrations are very informative, the text is well organized, and the suggestions are well-documented both from research and from anecdotal evidence.
This book is essential for everybody involved eventually with childbearing women, a friend, sister or a healthcare provider. Women are able to give birth. They need our help and our confidence in their capacities. This book is really empowering.