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The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Revised) Paperback – December 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

One of the most celebrated British authors on the sociological and anthropological aspects of birth, breast feeding, and early parenthood, Kitzinger has completely revised her classic Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (LJ 3/1/81) to guide readers seeking a woman-centered birth experience through the newly researched alternatives now available. Organizing her book into five major sections (Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn), Kitzinger provides candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth. Her "empowerment language" no longer assumes there is a marriage, replacing references to "a man" with "birthing partner." Discussing "birth rooms" rather than delivery rooms, she encourages readers to construct a birth plan, make their own space, and choose an effective birth companion. Other changes make the text more logical and accessible. The "Pregnancy Week by Week" section has been moved from the appendix to the introduction, and section dividers include tables of contents with page numbers. With revised appendixes and 300 updated photographs, drawings, and diagrams, this guide is a valuable resource for all health collections.?Rebecca Cress-Ingebo, Wright State Univ. Libs., Dayton, Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

An updated edition (it's been seven years since the previous publication) of Kitzinger's must-have compendium for expectant mothers offers new insights into having a healthy pregnancy and what's happening in today's birthing rooms. Like other reliable sources, Kitzinger's book gives women (and their partners) an in-depth look at both the baby's and the mother's physical and emotional development during pregnancy. But no other source offers such a complete and educated look at childbirth choices for mothers-to-be. More than 500,000 copies of this title have been sold since 1980, but it is obvious that the author has not rested on her laurels; rather, she has thoroughly re-researched all aspects of childbirth, updating the reader on current trends in hospitals and women's health centers across the country--as well as in other countries, where appropriate. Along with Penelope Leach's Your Baby & Child (also published by Knopf and last updated in 1989), every library should be sure that its collection contains several copies of this exhaustive, thoughtful work. Mary Frances Wilkens --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 4 Sub edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375710477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375710476
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Christine Hartman on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I just don't understand all these reviews that says that Ms. Kitzinger hates men and doctors! I found nothing in her book hateful! She may be a tad pro-natural birth, but probably only because she had natural births herself. Honestly, I thought she was VERY unbiased. She presents all of your different options for location of birth, pain medication versus natural methods, waterbirth, etc., in a pretty neutral manner. And some of the things that she says about doctor's visits is VERY TRUE, such as the woman feeling like she's on the birth mill. I feel that way at regular doctor's appointments sometimes when I sit for 45 minutes and the doctor sees me for a hasty five minutes. Who doesn't feel like they are on a medical assembly line when this happens?
She also talks to you like you are a competent adult capable of making informed decisions instead of a drooling idiot, unlike SOME pregnancy and birth books (What to Expect When You're Expecting comes to mind.)
Oh, and by the way, for that reviewer down there who thinks that waterbirth is backwards and New-Agey and uncommon; I think you would be surprised to learn how many women from all walks of life are now choosing this method of birth. It's not just for hippies in tye-dyed clothing, like you seem to think it is. And it is very safe.
First-time mothers, if you want to know all your options and weigh the pros and cons of each choice you will have to make regarding pregnancy and birth, GET THIS BOOK. Also try Dr. Sears "The Birth Book". Pregnancy and birth are not diseases, and you ARE competent enough to make your own choices regarding them.
Enjoy your pregnancy and the birth of your baby!
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Professor May on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Seven years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I came upon The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth with no particular expectations - I read it because I planned to read every pregnancy book I could get my hands on. Eventually I read twenty some pregnancy books, and I came to the realization that Ms Kitzinger's book is the best one.

I liked every book I read; they were all well written and informative, including What to Expect When You're Expecting, which some people don't seem to like. However, Ms Kitzinger's book stood out because her attitude came through the tone of the book. It is an attitude of respect, encouragement, and assurance. It made me feel good about being a woman, about being pregnant, and about giving birth. The entire tone of the book makes me think that childbirth is an awe-inspiring process to be enjoyed, not a painful ordeal to be dreaded.

I read the book 3 times during my first pregnancy; it felt like going to the best pregnancy counselor in the world. I was so comfortable reading it, it was like listening to a best friend, or a beloved grandmother who is full of wisdom and experience, but still thinks you are an intelligent young woman capable of making your own choice. (For this reason, I always think of Ms Kitzinger as "Sheila", but I don't call her that here out of respect.)

All the encouragement is done between the lines. Ms Kitzinger never throws trite lines around: "Birth is wonderful! You can do it!" And yet, she gets her message across beautifully. Ms Kitzinger is one of the few people I've encountered who is gifted at confidence-instilling. When I first realized the quality of this book, I read it carefully again, not only to solidify my pregnancy knowledge, but also to imitate this method of encouragement.
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147 of 172 people found the following review helpful By Girl on the go! on September 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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.Read more ›
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