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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth [Kindle Edition]

Henci Goer , Rhonda Wheeler
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $11.52
You Save: $5.48 (32%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC


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Kindle Edition $11.52  
Paperback $12.13  
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Book Description

As an intelligent woman, you are probably used to learning as much as you can before making major decisions. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions of your life--how you will give birth—it is hard to gather accurate, unbiased information. Surprisingly, much of the research does not support common medical opinion and practice.

Birth activist Henci Goer gives clear, concise information based on the latest medical studies. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth helps you compare and contrast your various options and shows you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests. The book covers:

Breech babies
Inducing labor
Electronic Fetal Monitoring
Rupturing Membranes
Coping with slow labor
Pain medication
Vaginal birth after a Ceasarean
Deciding on a doctor or midwife
Choosing where to have your baby
and much more . . .

Editorial Reviews


"*The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth* puts the power of the latest scientific research into the hands of women to help them discern the facts from the myths and make informed decisions about their maternity care." -- Maureen P. Corry, M.P.H. Executive Director, Maternity Center Association

"In Henci Goer, thinking women have a champion, and maternity caregivers have a challenger. Henci has applied her impressive intellect, wisdom, writing skills, common sense, and wit to produce *The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth*. She analyzes and makes sense of a prodigious amount of recent obstetric research, boils it down, and summarizes its findings. And, on the basis of these findings, she makes practical recommendations for better births. Not one to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, Henci lets the reader in on her whole thinking process, providing scientific references, summaries of the articles, and logical recommendations--all in a highly readable, user-friendly format." -- Penny Simkin, P.T. internationally known speaker, birth educator, doula, doula-trainer co-author of *Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn* and author of *The Birth Partner*

"With the help of this book, any intelligent person can obtain the information necessary to make informed choices. This unique book will provide the tools and confidence to have the best possible birth experience." -- Don Creevy, M.D., FACOG obstetrician-gynecologist Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University Medical School

About the Author

Henci Goer is a certified Lamaze instructor and a doula (professional labor support). She is a founding member of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a group made up of organizations and individuals involved with maternity care in the US and fighting for a mother-friendly childbirth environment. Her articles on pregnancy and childbirth have appeared in Readers Digest and Childbirth Instructor Magazine. For twenty years, Goer has been a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and labor support professional (doula).

Product Details

  • File Size: 2324 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee; 1 edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
218 of 229 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Important Information for Birthing Couples July 31, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best book I've ever seen in regards to condensing current research on childbirth into readable and understandable terms. The author gives clear and concise descriptions of various OB procedures and interventions that are easy to follow. She gives pros and cons of each [working within her own bias, which she does freely admit]. I think this would be an excellent book for any couple expecting an uncomplicated birth to read. This is information that every pregnant woman *should* have access to in order to make good decisions.
However, there is definitely an anti-OB bias [which the author admits] and this isn't a book designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about a hospital birth. Be aware of that going into this - the author raises very important but possibly disturbing points for those planning a hospital birth with an Obstetrician in attendance.
My only dissappointment with the book is that there was no chapter on assisted delivery [vacuum cap and forceps]. I would very much have liked to see a chapter on the pros and cons of these common procedures and their safety for mother and baby. There is only one page that has a small bit of information on this, but no extensive discussion or gathering of the research data available. It seems a glaring omission from an otherwise excellent and complete book.
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133 of 143 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Information- A Few Drawbacks June 8, 2003
Although I expected a natural birth perspective (which I share), I was disappointed in the book's overwhelmingly negative tone toward OB's. I would have prefered a balanced, relatively objective discussion. I expected it from a book called The Thinking Womans Guide.... If the stats are so glaring, a balanced discussion is better than dogmatics.
This is an excellent book for those who have decided to give birth naturally. It is not one to recommend to friends to help them make the decision about their birth. It will turn many women off. A better book for an introduction to the benefits of natural birth and the drawbacks of managed care is Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an "All Approaches to Birth are Equal" Book August 12, 2007
You will NOT like this book if you're looking for a book that presents all options as being equal. You will not read, "When it comes to giving birth, you could do "A." That's a great choice. Or you could do "B," which is just as good. And then there's "C", and if you choose to give birth that way, well that's as good as "A" or "B"." Do not buy this book if you want all your "options" laid out as perfectly equal and beneficial choices for birth. The author clearly states that she is not "neutral" and that she is no more objective than anyone else about what makes for optimal care.

The author clearly states that she believes that "midwifery care is superior to medical management for low- and moderate-risk pregnant women" and that obstetricians are specialists who should only care for women who have high-risk pregnancies. She claims that her book "establishes that the routine or indiscriminate use of medical tests, procedures, drugs and restrictions - the hallmark of obstetric management - does far more harm than good." This claim she backs up with an amazing amount of studies and research.

This book will cause you to think about all the things you thought were "normal" and "necessary" parts of labor and birth. It will make you question why the huge majority of Western women are cared for by obstetricians and deliver in hospitals, when most of them have healthy pregnancies. And if the author accomplishes her goal, it will give you the ability to decide what is right for you.

You WILL like this book if you believe childbirth to be a fundamentally normal and healthy event in a woman's life, not to be treated as a medical procedure that needs to be "managed.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Important Information, highly recommended October 22, 2003
By Erka16
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a first time mom, I was somewhat scared about going through chilbirth. As far as talking to my mom about my fears was useless because I was adopted, and talking to my aunts just made me more scared. So I decided to purchase "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Child Birth" by Henci Goer.
Now to be honest with you, this book didn't put most of my fears to rest, instead it made some things about childbirth more scary. After thinking about most of the stuff that scared me I relized that what was so scary was the fear of the unknown.
However, Goer presents a somewhat biased opinion(she even admitts it). The information that she presents is comprehensive and well supported, the appendices accounts for about a third of the reading volume of the book which includes Literature Summaries and an extensive bibliography.
Goer presents information on the following topics: cesareans, inducing labor, IVs, epidurals, home births, midwives and obstetricans, hospital births, birth centers, and alternatives to hi-tech birth. Most of the information that she presents on the before mentioned topics will not be mentioned by your OB/GYN.
I highly recommend this book as a tool to compare and contrast information and your options for childbirth. You may not agreee with everything that Goer says but it is good to know all of the information and make a decision that is both beneficial to your baby and to yourself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good information.
Published 4 days ago by Sade Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched book.
Henci writes this book in a most readable format, yet the book is loaded with research that backs up every statement. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Asela M Calhoun
5.0 out of 5 stars The Thinking Woman's Guide to a better Birth,
For a first pregnancy, bought for a gift, so far it seems very good. My daughter is really loving it.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening
This book brought to the table so many things I had never even thought of when it comes to childbirth. Read more
Published 4 months ago by nlrookie98
3.0 out of 5 stars Outdated Studies
This book is good, however, the studies in it are out of date. There are far more recent books out there. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JoyNoel
5.0 out of 5 stars Birth research conclusions in accessible format
I love this book! I will loan it to my sister, who is trying to convince her scientific-minded husband that a birth-center birth (attended by nurse-midwives) would be safe for her... Read more
Published 7 months ago by K. Huntermoon
5.0 out of 5 stars Most inpactful birth book of my life!
This was the first book I read while pregnant and was just thinking that maybe, just maybe, getting an epidural was not all it was cracked up to be. Read more
Published 7 months ago by thebirthpro
3.0 out of 5 stars Truth with a side of terrifying
It hasn't been updated since the 90's, but it's fairly accurate, except the part that makes you feel like doctors are like the gods in Greek drama, trampling you and inflicting all... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Katawomba
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but biased
I think every woman who is going to have a baby should read this book, but understand that it is incredibly biased. Read more
Published 8 months ago by LiteracySpecialist
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs Updating
This book has a lot of great information that can help women make decisions about labor and delivery. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Henci Goer specializes in birth issues. Her previous book, Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities, is a highly-acclaimed resource for childbirth professionals. Goer has written consumer education pamphlets and numerous articles for magazines as diverse as Reader's Digest and Childbirth Instructor. For nearly 20 years, Goer has been a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and labor support professional (doula).


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