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The Big Book of Birth Paperback – February 27, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Big Book of Birth
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  • The Birth Partner - Revised 4th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
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  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Total price: $33.40
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Not only thorough, but written in a warm, coaching style, which makes for easy reading.... Highly recommended. -- Library Journal

About the Author

Donald Matheson lectures in mass communication at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He worked previously at Cardiff and Strathclyde Universities in the UK, where he taught both critical and practical courses on journalism. Before that he was a news reporter in New Zealand. His research focuses on journalists' writing practices and new media writing such as weblogs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452287686
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have read this book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and Ricki Lake's Your Best Birth. I am 32 weeks pregnant and will be delivering in a hospital. Frankly, I have grown weary and tired of childbirth books with an agenda. The Big Book of Birth is the only one of these three that doesn't politicize birth. Ina May's Guide and Your Best Birth made me afraid of what I might encounter in the hospital. The Big Book of Birth conveys even more information, without instilling fear. There are many instances where the authors say things like "The pros and cons of this intervention are X,Y, and Z. If this happens to you, guess what, you'll still have a beautiful baby to hold at the end!"

I highly recommend the Big Book of Birth, especially if your plan is to deliver in a hospital.
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I have never written a review about anything, but this book is so awesome! Being pregnant with my first child and as a registered nurse I felt I had a lot of understanding of pregnancy and labor and delivery. Also, I prepared myself for becoming a mom by reading a book on pregnancy and taking a child birth class through my local hospital. However, my labor and delivery did not go as planned and I felt soooo disappointed at how things went.

When I got pregnant the second time I knew I wanted things to go differently. I realized I needed to be much more informed. I realized that nine months of pregnancy pretty much boils down to the labor and delivery, and that that was where I needed to focus and prepare myself. With baby number one I was not prepared for the unexpected, and that is why I decided to read this book before having baby number two. If only I had known I had different options other than what my provider gave me, I could have made a couple simple choices about my care that would have made things so much better that first time around.

In this book Erica unveils the pain of child birth (she also talks about several other fears many mothers have) in a way that made me no longer fear, but rather gave me an understanding of child birth pain. Her detailed description of the entire process of labor and delivery empowered me, giving me the strength to believe that I could have that all natural childbirth I'd been dreaming of. She lets you know all the possible variables that can be encountered during the labor and delivery and what your choices are. The birth of my second child was that all natural childbirth I'd been dreaming of... I made the choices in my care, I used the tools she taught me to deal with the pain of labor and it was awesome.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author describes every aspect of birth, from early labor, to pushing, to c-sections, in a very objective manner. Some of the other books I had read were very biased and judgmental on women who choose c-sections over vaginal deliveries, or who chose epidurals. Not here, the author lets you make up your own mind about what is best for you, while informing you of all the pros and cons of everything. This book is a must read for pregnant women who want to make informed decisions at the time of their delivery.
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I bought this book after reading reviews that said this book was a little biased toward "natural" birth, but was informative and less biased than other books. All I have to say is, if this is the most neutral book on the market, the market is in serious need of an objective point of view. I would say 4 out of the 12 chapters of this book, or about 25%, contained objective information, and these were the "least important" sections (i.e. before active labor and postpartum). The rest was full of subtle and not-so-subtle discouragement of epidurals. One of the most obvious examples of this bias is the many testimonials in the book. Most of the testimonials in the book that involved an experience with an epidural were, shock, a negative experience, from disappointing to horrific. The testimonials about "natural" birth were generally positive, from all's well that ends well to absolute rainbow euphoria. Almost every testimonial also involved a doula and/or midwife (I don't know about you, but this is not my reality or that of anyone I actually know). Overall, the book does have information on the process that is helpful (and could probably be attained online), but if you are interested in/planning on getting an epidural, or, god forbid, voluntarily choosing a C section, this book will probably anger or upset you more than it will help you.
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Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely amazing. I am pregnant with my first child. My doula service recommended this book. It is modern, easy to read, realistic, will give you some laughs & is extremely informative. I am grateful for this modern book that empowers women to feel good about the ability to give birth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It gave me so much information regarding managing pain naturally, various pain medications (and their side effects), and natural and surgical birth. The author does seem to favor natural childbirth, and after reading the book, you probably will, too. However, she does present LOADS of instances when it is necessary/good to take advantage of medical advances, and many stories of women who had all different types of birth are included. If you're at all interested in learning about natural childbirth (or why it might not work out and what might happen, if so), I HIGHLY recommend the book.
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