The role of birth partner is a tough one. A birth partner may be expected to help a laboring woman make decisions and help her get through the pain and discomfort of childbirth. During this high-intensity time, the birth partner--whether father, partner, or friend--needs a book that can give thorough information for studying ahead of time, yet can be easily referenced in an emergency or for quick answers during labor and delivery. The Birth Partner fills both needs.
Penny Simkin, P.T. (Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn) has written a clear, informative guide that includes a thorough description of everything a birth partner can expect. For a quick brush-up, or for sudden emergency situations where a birth partner is thrust into the role unprepared, the book also provides vital information and emergency tips that are clearly marked on pages with darkened edges. Every section includes a description of a stage of labor or circumstance, a description of what the caregiver (doctor, nurse or midwife) might do, and suggestions about what the birth partner's role should be.
The different sections include preparing for the birth, helping labor begin (in certain situations this is necessary), early labor , the stages of labor, strategies for special situations, the medical side of childbirth, and ways to assist after the birth. Of special note is a clear chart describing various drugs, their desired effects and secondary reactions, and the stages of labor in which each of them may be appropriate.
From Publishers Weekly
To give the birth partner a clear understanding of the process of bearing a baby, and the role that he or she is to play, Simkin thoroughly examines parturition, from essential supplies for mother and baby to how to handle an emergency delivery. She writes knowledgeably and in a readable style, but has an unfortunate habit of tendering gratuitous advice (she notes that the partner can help the mother during the "birth phase" by staying "close by"). She also fails to explain certain suggestions (why does the birth partner need a swimsuit to shower with the mother?). At her best, Simkin makes the birth partner aware of medical decisions that may lie ahead and of the importance of indulging the mother with constant tender loving care and encouragement during labor and delivery. But those who have attended a competently taught childbirth preparation class will find much of the text familiar. Simkin, herself an instructor, wrote Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: A Complete Guide for Expectant Parents. Illustrations not seen by PW.
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Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.