A Child is Born
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A Child is Born

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4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  759 ratings  ·  91 reviews
This completely revised edition of the beloved international classic is now entirely in color, with historic, never-before-seen photos in every chapter and an entirely new text.
Paperback, Revised, Updated, Fourth Edition, 240 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Delta (first published 1973)
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Beth F.
Pass the cheese, please.

+5 stars for the pictures in utero. Lennart Nilsson with a camera is amazing.

+2 stars for the cheesy photographs of adult humans who obviously aren't blastocysts, embryos or fetuses. Cripes, even the photograph of the recently delivered placenta was more endearing than the 80's couple kissing on the dance floor of some eurotrash club during the conception chapter.

+2 stars for the "writing" in the book. Lame and outdated. Several parts made me throw up in my mouth a lit...more
Laura
5 stars for the fascinating photography in this book!
I just finished the 1977 edition that my future mother-in-law found going through her bookshelf and lent to me knowing how interested I am in maternity nursing. I mostly read the portions pertaining to fertilization and fetal development that accompanied the exquisite photographs showcasing these processes. The text in this 1977 edition is of course outdated in some areas, but I think it does a wonderful job of explaining the growth of the fe...more
Kelsey
I love this book! I read my mom's copy, which has been around since before I can remember. I've looked into it before to see the pictures, but now I've actually sat down and read through it. (And looked at the pictures!)

This particular version is the "Completely Revised Edition," but I don't know how up-to-date it is. The subtitle on the bottom of the cover says: "Dramatic Photographs of Life Before Birth." (There are also some photographs of the actual birth and right after the birth.) The book...more
jko
Aug 05, 2011 jko rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to jko by: ella
A story of this book: An incredibly bright, fascinating, and inspiring 19-year-old coworker (when i was serving) gave this book to me when I was pregnant with my first. She had bought it at a garage sale or used book store, and thought I should have it. One of my favorite gifts ever! Though I've not read it in totality, I have paged through it many times, looking at the exquisite pictures, reading the captions, and occasionally reading a section or two. But, the best thing about this book (and w...more
Dimitra
What an AMAZING photographer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I always wanted to have one of his books and now I do have it in 2 editions too!!!
The photos are fascinating!
It follows the whole journey of a human being, with photos and text.
Some photos are a tiny bit disturbing but it's life!
Great great great piece of art!!!
Shani Parsons
Including this edition, I've read three versions of Lennart Nilsson's classic book, A Child is Born. The original is the most thorough in terms of documenting conception, pregnancy, and childbirth through the use of stunning endoscopic and SEM photography. However this newer edition is a beautiful primer, in its tighter editing, gorgeously rendered full-bleed images and spreads, and updated information. The birth section gets short-shrift with only one image, but perhaps a fuller treatment of th...more
Rebecca
I really enjoyed reading through this book, which is the 1977 edition (I have not seen the later editions). The photos on nearly every page are great enhancements to the information, from conception to fetal development, parental adjustment and preparation, birth, and immediately postpartum. The photos of the unborn growing child at different stages were particularly spectacular! Many things about the pregnancy from the biology to how the mama can expect to feel are discussed in an easy reading...more
Clarice
I read this ages ago, the photography is stunning. The book is very dated though.
Bre Cregor
If you have a child, you will need this book.
The expressions on our childrens' faces when they saw...well, where babies come from...PRICELESS!
As a woman, who has endured childbirth three times, including one homebirth ( on purpose) to a 9 lb. 12 oz. baby boy, I especially love having a good laugh at the photo of the woman who is smiling ( complete with lip-gloss) with no visible broken blood vessels on her face, hair perfectly combed back into "wings", looking down at the bloody baby head eme...more
Megan
I read the first edition when pregnant with my son 8yrs ago as well as library books, online research, etc.
When I was surprised with this pregnancy in April 2013 I wanted to find this book. I was thrilled to find it had been updated and revised. It was nice to follow this journey with pictures and explanation, though I must admit I already knew most of what I was reading from my own research throughout the years.
It was also nice to show pictures to my 7.5yo telling him what his sibling looked li...more
Alexandria
I bought this book as a reference for my oldest daughter to see what her little brother looked like at different weeks throughout the pregnancy. As far as that goal, this book was suitable. I do wish it had more week-by-week pictures and descriptions, rather than skipping a few weeks here and there. I know some weeks there isn't much of a change, but it still would have been nice.
The lovely photo of the placenta did a great job at testing my husbands gag reflex.
All-in-all, it wasn't a waste of m...more
Jael
This book is chock-full of goofy Swedish stock photography that had me giggling so much that I had coughing fits a couple times: obviously posed couples going through the motions of doing a home pregnancy test and being elated at the results, for instance. The inside-the-womb photography, however, was really stellar and I thoroughly enjoyed those photos.

As for the text, very detailed in regards to explaining what was what in each of the embryonic and fetal photographs. It amazes me that this pro...more
Claire
Absolutely amazing. I would recommend to anyone who recently found out they are expecting a baby. I found myself looking at these pictures many times during the first few months, marveling over the complexity of what was happening in me and what happens for each of us to come to be.

Admittedly we shouldn't be blind to some problems with this book, which you can find essays about online and probably in this review feed, but the ability to see images of a seed of a person was awesome. Kind of like...more
Claire
Dec 03, 2008 Claire rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who didn't know your fallopian tubes can switch ovaries
Recommended to Claire by: Alycia
What a fragile process, that whole birthing thing. Also, the early nineties are hilarious (even in medical texts). Also, hormones under some crazy microscope look like a concert poster from, you guessed it, 1991. Go figure.

I really liked this book. It's worth a read if you're trying to have children, or if, like me, you're dabbling in the possibility of becoming a midwife. Geared toward the every day birthing neophytes among us. More interesting than a health class textbook, but with the same ri...more
Lolakay
I (think I) remember this book from when I was a kid. If not, I remember the pregnancy book my Mom got when she was carrying my little sister (I think it was How was I born?). Anyway, everyone has seen a Nilsson photo at some point and been affacted how amazing they are. (If not, go here.)

Anyway, I enjoyed flipping through the images-- not just the amazing in-utero stuff, but also all the smaller B&W images of 70s couples in love.
Luisa
So at first I was just IN AWE at the amazing pictures that are actually able to be captured in utero! That part was amazing!! As for the VERY UP CLOSE and personal vaginal shots of delivery I was NOT so impressed. Ew, ew, gross, gross, were my first reactions and I usually couldn't look at them for long, but I got used to it. I wouldn't let my husband look though. Not as detailed or informative as 'What to Expect'...
Brent Barnard
This book is like Nilsson's "Life" book, except that it has far more text and focuses exclusively on the conception-to-birth development stages. Powerful and informative. I think Hamberger (rather than Nilsson) wrote the text of the book, which insists on one page that abortion is ok - in spite of the clear humanity of the unborn child we see in the photographs. But other than this paragraph, it's a worthy tome.
Linda
Should be required reading for any female sexually active BEFORE conception. Should be no excuse for "it just happened". The miracle of conception is incomprehensible with cellular division, mitosis and meiosis and differentiation. How it know how to do dat? Random DNA genetic codes and evolution of species or less scientific speculation as to the "kick start" of entire process.
Brianne
Jul 10, 2012 Brianne rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children, humans, parents, couples trying to conceive, anyone
Buy it or check it out for the pictures alone. It's worth it. The weird, dated photos of adults interacting with each other and largely obvious or dry text are things worth slogging through for the incredible photos of cells, fetuses, etc. I remember being very fascinated with this book as a child at the library, and as a 24 year old, the photos are just as amazing, if not more so.
Laura
This is the best book of photos I have found of a baby growing inside the mother's womb. However, it can be VERY graphic in some of the photos, so be warned. It is very detailed in it's week by week descriptions and uses medical terminology. This is one of my favorite pregnancy books. Also, while some of the photos are definitely from the 70's, the info is still very relevant.
Julie
The pictures in this book are absolutely amazing. I feel like I learned so much just from looking at them. Some of the text, though, not so much...I felt as though there were many downright inaccuracies in it, as well as a tone of "this is what normal mothers do". I didn't so much care for that. Definitely worth getting just for the pictures though!
Amanda Jones
Feb 20, 2008 Amanda Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents
A beautiful photo guide that starts with conception and goes all the way through birth with beautiful detailed pictures of the developing baby. It was very interesting to look at this book every month to see how our baby was developing. It would also be a great book to show your child how he/she developed inside mommy's tummy.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
The five stars is for the amazing in utero photography in this book. As a pregnancy book it isn't that helpful; there are many better 'advice/educational' books out there. However, my niece is expecting and I was looking over my old books to lend her some. This one is a definite keeper due to the photographs.
Andrea
This book shows amazing photography in utero. The scientific photographs are artistically and beautifully done. It's a wonderful look at the fetus's development in the womb from the moment of conception to birth. The images of babies after birth are compelling as well. It's a illuminating window into a world unseen.
Jenifer
From an old journal entry of mine; "Recommended by Lisa Fraughton at work and leant to me by Sandy Allen. I would like to have my own copy of this one. I thought the pictures and explanations were great. It would be a good tool for teaching kids. Wayne didn't look at it much. I think it made him uncomfortable.
Orsi Nagy
Ez volt a legrégebbi ilyen témájú könyv, amit elolvastam, és ez volt a legérdekesebb, a leginformatívabb és a legkevésbé ijesztő. A képek még több évtizedes távlatból is elképesztőek, és bár a gyermekvárási "protokoll" (orvosi vizsgálatok stb.) elég sokat változott azóta, még így is hasznos olvasmány volt.
Jeremiah
This book is unparalleled in regards to how it shows, with photographic detail, the development of a fetus from conception to birth. I don't know of anything else that is so exact and breathtaking. If there is something better I'd love to see it, but for now-if a couple is expecting-buy this book.
Sus
I thought this book was really cool for its great birth and in-utero pictures, until I started talking to my oldest about home birth and tried to use this book to show her, and every birth picture shows a woman, horizontal, in a hospital bed. Still, the fetus pictures are great.
nattie
okay, so i may have taken this book from a certain school in which i taught. but they owe me. this book is so fascinating. it scares people though. sometimes i like to leave it on my coffee table just as a conversation starter.
Clacie
Jan 27, 2010 Clacie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Clacie by: OB
Shelves: 5-star
This book is so cool & the pictures are really amazing. I loved looking at this book while I was pregnant. When my kids are old enough to understand, I will share this book with them so they can see how life begins. Wonderful!
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