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Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth (Import) Paperback – July 1, 2005


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Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth (Import) + Ina May's Guide to Childbirth + Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd. (July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953096467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953096466
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The most influential birthing book of the last 100 years. (Fit Pregnancy)

From the Publisher

'Reading Childbirth without Fear at age 16 provided me with the basis of knowledge of childbirth that I used as a first-time mother and still use as a midwife of more than 35 years. A brilliant, courageous classic that is still relevant today.' Ina May Gaskin - author of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

'Childbirth Without Fear is the book that began the childbirth revolution. Dr. Grantly Dick-Read's insights about women, their bodies and birth began the transformation of pregnancy and birth. Though we are still at the beginning of this long battle, the reprint of Dick-Read's masterpiece will help.' Jan Tritton - editor Midwifery Today

'So great was my fear of childbirth that as a young girl I decided I would never have children. All that changed when at the age of 18 my husband-to-be presented me with a copy of Childbirth without Fear. I remember so clearly turning the pages and feeling my fear suddenly subside. I will always be grateful to Grantly Dick-Read for opening my eyes to the truth about birth.' Laura Shanley - author Unassisted Childbirth

'Dr Grantly Dick-Read has always been an inspiration to me. His humanity, love and above all faith in women and their innate mothering skills is truly remarkable. In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics Dr Dick-Read’s philosophy is still as fresh as it was when he originally wrote this book. I highly recommend it.' Yehudi Gordon - obstetrician & author

‘A fascinating insight into normal birth at a time when endorphins were not known, modern midwifery did not exist and women had already learned to fear labour. Dick-Read, possibly the world’s first childbirth activist, celebrates women’s innate capacity for safe and easy birth in a challenging book that will excite, amaze, infuriate and uplift its readers.' Andrea Robertson - independent childbirth educator and author

'A 21st century edition of this historic - even legendary - book must be warmly welcomed.' Michel Odent - obstetrician and author

'When I was heavily pregnant with my first child 25 years ago this book fell into my hands. That was the start of my belief in natural childbirth which eventually led to four great births of my own and the founding of my life's work in the Active Birth Movement. Grantly Dick-Read's message is inspirational and even more relevant today than when this book was first published. Every pregnant mother should read it.' Janet Balaskas - Author of New Active Birth

'Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how birth education started as well as the vision that stimulated the birth movement. Dick-Read remains an inspiration for the humanisation of childbirth.' Sheila Kitzinger - author


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Customer Reviews

I read Childbirth Without Fear and took Natural Childbirth classes.
VasudhaMama
I *highly* recommend this book to every woman who is pregnant for the first time.
Lisa G. Bennett
I read this book between my first and second babies over 20 years ago.
Mama J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book describes why and how all women can and should go through pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and all of their reproductive functions without fear or pain, but rather in joy. While acknowledging the hard work and courage involved, the author (Grantly Dick-Read, by the way- only the forward is by Michel Odent) writes to help women understand what is happening in their bodies as they make their babies.

The Philosophy of the Book

What I love about this book is that the author continually re-emphasizes his faith in women, and his belief that all women are strong enough to successfully bear healthy, happy children and that this is one of their great purposes and one of the great joys of humankind.

Above all the author seems to have used his common sense when writing. He respects the common sense and experience (though not always supersitions) of ordinary women around the world, especially those who have successfully borne children happily and without pain or fear. I love that he points out that no male OBGYN has never actually done this- though being a doctor himself he does respect medical science for what it can provide.

The book has a healthy respect of religion and Dr. Dick-Read includes an entire chapter on the curse of pain on Eve and the translation of the Bible on this particular point. Humanists can skip this chapter if they don't care and I think they will find the book very inspiring from the humanist/naturalist point of view. A number of times I felt like there should be a Walt Whitman poem inserted at the beginning or end of a chapter.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A. Chin on July 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read an earlier edition of Grantly Dick-Read's book and it was extremely enlightening for me. I had taken the Bradley Childbirth classes in preparation for the birth of my first baby and, unfortunately forgot everything I had been taught as soon as labor started. When I got pregnant with number 2, I decided to prepare a little better. Upon the suggestion of a friend, I read "Childbirth without Fear" and that, combined with hiring a doula and learning self hypnosis techniques (hypbirth.com) made for a very easy, quick (less than 6 hours from 1st contraction to delivery) labor. Get this book!!!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Becky on January 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that there were times that this book made me giggle simply because its age dates it and there were times that I felt that he was far too repetitive. That said, however, the ideas in this book are incredibly powerful. I was one of those people who wanted a natural birth but didn't want to spend a lot of money on classes and didn't get around to practicing much with the exercizes we learned in the hospital lamaze class (or the ones in this book, for that matter). It was the ideas in this book, in particular those concerning the fear-tension-pain cycle, that got me through what turned out to be an easy, unmedicated birth. I am firmly convinced that it was the relaxation that Dr. Dick-Reed recommended that made my labor both relatively easy and quick.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Yael on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, everyone, especially future moms and dads, should read this book. God put this book in my path during my pregnancy, and my husband and I prepared for the birth according to Dick Read (except for the outdated nutritional suggestions). We had a wonderful birth, and I suffered no pain. There was only a few contractions at the end of the first phase of the birth where I felt overwhelmed and I got scared - Dick Read actually mentions this in his book, and had I remembered, I would not have gotten scared, and it would not have felt so overwhelming. Our baby was born naturally, without pain relief, without pain, and without complications. It was hard work though, but the book mentions that as well. One big factor is faith. Without God, I would not have found this book at the right time, nor would I have been able to fend off the fear that attacks from every side (especially other women!), nor hang on during the birth. If anyone wants to know more about our preparation or birth, [...]
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mama J. on March 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this book between my first and second babies over 20 years ago. I had a normal amount of pain with my first child, but no pain and no fear with the second one. IT IS POSSIBLE! I had a completely natural birth with each baby. I only wish I had read it before my first child! I would encourage any woman to read this wonderful book!

The key for me was simply allowing myself to believe that painless childbirth was possible. This is harder than it sounds. I had heard so many stories about how frightening and painful childbirth was, but none about how wonderful it can be. It is a completely natural process, and I just needed to hear that and embrace it.

Admittedly the book is a little tougher than some to get through due to the style of writing. Please stick with it. If you read with an open mind it can make a big difference for you.

Best wishes!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K. Townsend on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
While in the Navy back 1990, I was told I could never deliver normally due to my small hip size. The combination of a good midwife and this book changed my course of life. Instead of checking out the cesarean books from the military library like I had been, I checked this book out and learned how to have a natural birth. It affected me so that I began teaching natural childbirth classes and became a doula/doula trainer, and ultimately wrote the book Christ Centered Childbirth of which the foundation is based on the principles in Dr. Dick-Reed's book. (Even dedicated my book to him!) Get this book if you want to have an easier birth, the birth God intended!
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