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Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth Paperback – May 16, 2013
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About the Author
Grantly Dick-Read (1890-1959) studied at Cambridge and at the London Hospital. The publication of Childbirth without Fear caused widespread controversy but, encouraged by many women who had given birth using the 'Dick-Read method', he dedicated his life to promoting natural childbirth.
Top customer reviews
This book was recommended by some friends so I bought it.
It really gets to the heart of the matter on where fear of childbirth comes from and how we can deal with it and why why should not be afraid of a normal, event of life. Whether you are having a hospital birth or a home birth, I HIGHLY recommend reading this book.
As women, we've grown up learning that childbirth is dangerous, horrible, painful and stressful and something that we dread looking ahead to...when we should really be anticipating this day with excitment without fear.
The writer is from the early 1900's so the language is a bit different then we're used to in modern times here, but just focus and stick with it and it will be of great value. I'm very glad I purcased it.
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.
It contains sections on psychological preparationg for childbirth, good nutrition, how to prepare physically for labor, pregnancy, childbirth and related issues around the world and in modern society, breastfeeding, and other related topics. There are a number of stories of happy, healthy deliveries.
Not a Reference Book
The book is not a reference book. It has a number of benefits (including the force of a well-argued essay that will help to convince people with lingering fears) that reference books do not, and there IS an index. However if you want a reference book you would want to get that in addition to this.
Old Fashioned Style?
Some commented that the style is old-fashioned. I would just emphasize that this only refers to the *style* (think: C.S. Lewis or Bertrand Russell), and not the vocabulary. The book is obviously targeted at the general population and there are not a lot of fancy words.
I am seven months pregnant and I am so happy to have found this book. It's alleviated so many of my fears and given me so much solid information. I would recommend it to all pregnant women, even if they think they can't finish the whole book before they give birth, and to their husbands.
There are many methods of breathing etc for childbirth but the half of this book which discusses giving birth with today's misconceptions in our heads, is a must and may take the whole 9 months to "get".
of print for many a year. All that is told in this book is true and I am really impressed. She had her son in the
50s and by following this book, she was able to have him with almost nothing (except at the end the medical
attendants tied her hands to the table and knocked her out and used forceps on her son). I have had 8 children
myself and found the best experiences I actually had were the last 2 that were born at home with a lay midwife.
What he tells in this book is absolutely true. Fear-Tension-Pain cycle is the most problematic thing for the
mother and child!