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Creating Your Birth Plan: The Definitive Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birth Paperback – Bargain Price, June 6, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S, an independent consultant on maternity care, has been featured in US News and World Report, Health, Mother Jones, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on Dateline and Good Morning America. He is a former director of Women's and Children's Health for the World Health Organization, and the author/editor of eight books.

Stephanie Gunning is an author, editor, and publishing consultant specializing in books on health, spirituality, and personal growth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade; 1st edition (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399532579
  • ASIN: B000LMPLKQ
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,616,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stacy Crosby on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book was published in June of 2006 and I honestly have to say that I am utterly amazed!

The author gives women the voice that they need to be heard in the delivery room, by giving them statistically-based information on when interventions are not necessary (but why they are often forced on us), and also explains the situations in which they could be necessary.

Things such as "failure to progress" (hospitals watch the clock!), routine IVs, why episiotomies should NOT be done (think of how hard it is to rip fabric, and then of how easy it is to rip after you've made a small cut!), electronic fetal monitoring (a stethoscope is just as good... and why!)... He discusses all of these things in an easy-to-understand manner.

He also talks about the differences between midwives & doctors, the importance of doulas, and also the difference between home births with midwives and hospital births with midwives (very big difference!), as well as discusses the option of a midwife-centered birth clinic which has been growing in popularity over the years.

There is also information on the 3 stages of labour, and techniques to successfully manage each of them, including various positions and styles (squatting, birthing stool, waterbirth, and more).

The author headed up many research studies into the effects of evidence-based labour/delivery care, as opposed to "common practice care" and compiled this knowledge in a fascinating book that should be a must-read for all expecting moms and their birth partners.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best book on birth I have read so far, and I have done plenty of reading. ;-) I hadn't heard of it -- it is not on a lot of the Listmania lists here, nor does it have many reviews. My husband selected it because it seemed authoritative, with an author who is an OB and the former head of the Maternal Health section of the World Health Organization. Unlike some of the slow-going tomes out there, this packs a lot of information into digestible chunks. It is definitely "biased" in favor of a midwife-attending, out-of-hospital birth and natural alternatives to drugs, technology, and surgery. Most persuasive were the statistics comparing practices and outcomes in various developed countries -- what we take for granted as necessary in the U.S. is not the norm, and European babies thrive just fine.

Even (especially!) if you are planning a hospital birth, as I am, it is worth reading because it goes through each medical procedure ("intervention") and its benefits and risks. This made clear how one intervention can "cascade" to more, but also made clear the circumstances in which I might want certain interventions. It highlighted certain danger areas where an overly cautious caregiver might hook you up with more interventions than you want, but it didn't have a full rebuttal to how to deal with that (perhaps there is none). I thought that demanding a second opinion was not very useful because wouldn't someone else with rights at the same institution just back up the original opinion?

It also has thorough lists of questions to ask a potential provider (OB or midwife or doula) or location (hospital or birth center). The one caveat I would add is that most hospitals in the U.S., at least not where I live, will give the "right" answers to all of Dr.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resource for coming up with a birth plan that fits your needs and desires. A must-read for all pregnant women! Very informative, especially if you have been questioning the safety of hospital routines for you and your baby.
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Format: Paperback
This is a useful book, though the author is certainly not "neutral" in her opinions. If you are hoping for a natural birth, this book will likely make you feel more confident in that decision. It is definitely anti-medical intervention.

My only complaint about the book relates the the chapter on pain management. As it's laid out, the only two options you have are 1) completely natural (position, hypnosis, aromatherapy, etc.) or 2) an epidural. I would have liked to see a little more information about other drug options. More than just that, "they are not in common use anymore."

As a soon-to-be first-time mother, I've looked to my own mother's experiences for guidance. She had 4 healthy vaginal births (all over 8 pounds, one over 10 pounds) without epidurals. However, she swears by the "wonderful" drugs she was given. She doesn't remember the name but only that it was administered through an injection in her hip.

So for me, even if the author advises against drugs for pain management, I would have appreciated some discussion of her reasons why as well as the relative flaws and merits of the non-natural alternatives to an epidural that are available.

But other than this omission (and likely I'm in the minority here), it is a very nicely written book with a lot of helpful information.
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Format: Paperback
This book with supply you with every tool possible to prepare for a calm, natural birth in a hospital. It teaches the best approach to take in a hospital with nurses and doctors. A must read for anyone who has the goal of a natural birth in a hospital. We ended up using a birth center, which does not require as many tools since natural birth is the standard in those facilities.
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