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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth Paperback – August 1, 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 275 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"*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).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Revised ed. edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399525173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399525179
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on 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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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