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Best book on childbirth

(47 Posts)
IWishIWasAFrog Tue 21-Jul-09 17:53:30


Could anyone recommend a book on childbirth please? Had a look on Amazon, but there are loads! Can't buy them all! Which is the best one? Am 30+4, hoping for a homebirth in Sept, first baby! I read Michael Odent's book, but it doesn't relly tell you HOW to do it, iykwim.


Picante Tue 21-Jul-09 17:54:51

I'm currently reading Ina May's guide to childbirth. V good so far.

I've also got the Lamaze book (sorry it's upstairs can't be bothered to get exact title!) which is v good.

bringonthetrumpets Tue 21-Jul-09 17:59:55

I second Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. She is absolutely amazing (as a midwife and as a writer). Love, love, love her.

happyfaces Tue 21-Jul-09 18:14:02

I recently bought "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" which is VERY detailed on what actually is happening in your body during childbirth and how best to help it.

That being said, this is my first time being pregnant, so have not been able to test it out yet! Perhaps will ask on MN if anybody else has.

GinaFordAteMyBaby Tue 21-Jul-09 18:32:06

Join your library! Ours does baby singing classes and has been great for a variety of children's books to stop me getting bored.

I've just read a Hypnobirthing book by Marie Mongan. I've been rubbish at practicing the breathing techniques, but even without that it's a really nice book and have found it very calming and reassuring.

MrsBadger Tue 21-Jul-09 18:45:28

def go to lib

get out all of them and compare and contrast

I liked Ina May and Grantly Dick-Read's Childbirth Without Fear (the latter is a bit of a period piece)

Naomi Klein's Misconceptions was valuable reading too.

littlelamb Tue 21-Jul-09 18:46:28

Ina May. Do not even open a Miriam Stoppard book.

littlelamb Tue 21-Jul-09 18:48:37

And yes, Misconceptions. Mine is under Naomi Wolf though. A book that makes perfect sense, even though it may be a bit daunting to read at first. Life after Birth by Kate Figes too.

MrsBadger Tue 21-Jul-09 19:56:47

oh yes, Naomi Wolf

am sitting next to No Logo and typed the wrong Naomi

Hormonesnomore Tue 21-Jul-09 20:30:45

Sorry, can't recommend Grantly Dick-Read - he had me so convinced that just by doing breathing exercises I wouldn't feel any pain, I actually asked my mother 'how will I know I'm in labour then?' She just snorted at me. grin.

I idolised Michel Odent when he had a tv series many years ago - I wish I'd had him with me when I gave birth - from what I remember, he's very anti-drugs though.

Sorry, it's been a long time since I gave birth, can't make any recommendations but wish you all the best & hope it goes well.

ohmeohmy Tue 21-Jul-09 21:16:29

Birth & Beyond by Yehudi Gordon is good. S is Stand & Deliver think her name is MAhoney

MamaLazarou Wed 22-Jul-09 08:31:01

I wouldn't recommend reading Misconceptions if you are pregnant. I think many people would find it too upsetting. It made me feel quite angry before I was pregnant - coupled with the hormones, I think if I read it now I would want to punch N Wolf in the chops.

MrsBadger Wed 22-Jul-09 08:35:45

I found it made me want to punch her OB-GYNs (stupid term) in the chops rather than her

I was very militant when first pg blush

but agree it is daunting

Pruneurs Wed 22-Jul-09 08:40:02

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is excellent. She is a bit of an old hippie, which doesn't appeal to all, but she is on the side of women everywhere.

Agree about Stoppard books! Also What to Expect. Actually, Naomi Wolf is brilliant in her deconstruction of the What to Expect books and how they subtly groom you to lie back and let your dr do labour to you. But agree that Misconceptions is a hard read, has a few holes in it too.

Penny Simkin is a good writer on labour and birth but not so well-known here.

ruddynorah Wed 22-Jul-09 08:42:54

sheila kitzinger pregnancy and childbirth. get it from library.

CarmenSanDiego Wed 22-Jul-09 08:51:31

I had a homebirth and found the hypnobirthing book useful and reassuring, and I also found Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way a really good book to get dh to read. Nicky Wesson's Homebirth is nice too!

McSnail Wed 22-Jul-09 10:43:31

What's wrong with Miriam Stoppard? I've got one of her pregnancy books (well, it's the ONLY pregnancy book I have)

Possibly I should be reading others...

MrsBadger Wed 22-Jul-09 10:50:15

yes yes get more books

variety is the key

you need a wide spectrum of options, from the lentilly to the hectoring, to find the style that is right for you

get thee to the lib

(NB the best basic pg book I had was the free NHS one. Not so hot on childbirth but v good on pg and new-baby-care without undue fuss or ishoos)

BonsoirAnna Wed 22-Jul-09 10:53:17

I don't think I read a single book about childbirth blush. I did listen to my NHS midwives a lot and go to the antenatal classes in a very assiduous way.

It was all very easy and untortured.

MrsBadger Wed 22-Jul-09 10:56:34

I think no books is different

it's having one book that gets dangerous IMo - you start believing it...

BonsoirAnna Wed 22-Jul-09 10:58:45

The advantage, with hindsight, of reading no books and doing what the midwives recommened was that I was (from their perspective) a very cooperative mother and we all got along extremely well indeed! So I got very good treatment!

mrswee Wed 22-Jul-09 11:11:05


I have be recommended this book and it's really great especially for gaining confidence in yourself and your ability to give birth!

- Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth: The Essential Guide to Feeling Confident at Every Stage of Your Pregnancy and Birth by Jenny Smith

It's written by a top midwife and is quite a new book but gets 5 star reviews everywhere,
It's just under £10 on amazon at the moment

good luck with everything

MamaLazarou Wed 22-Jul-09 12:20:31

I have Miriam Stoppard's Pregnancy and Labour book, and it's wonderful. Really detailed and informative - I can't put it down.

What To Expect is frightful. I despise its chatty style (for example, bathing while pregnant is called 'tubbing for two') and assumption that every woman is planning to have their baby in hospital with every drug going. It even gives ridiculous advice such as 'Don't let your relatives give the baby a bottle of sugar water' and to the husband: 'If your wife is having trouble sleeping, bring her a muffin in bed'. I threw my copy out.

BlueKangerooWonders Wed 22-Jul-09 12:49:03

I love 'stand and deliver' by Emma Mahony - nice small paperback! and very pro home birth. Also Expecting by Anna McGrail and Daphne Metland - covers everything

MrsBadger Wed 22-Jul-09 14:52:53

rofl at other What To Expect haters

I bought a copy in a charity shop and found it so awful I actually recycled it - couldn;t bear the thought of other pg women being subjected to its inaccuracies and misinformation.

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