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Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  173 ratings  ·  13 reviews
More and more women are keen to explore their options for childbirth, and to choose the kind of birth that they feel is best for them and their babies. For many women, giving birth at home in their own surroundings has significant advantages. In this book, Sheila Kitzinger gives the reader all the information she needs to plan a birth in a setting that she can control hers ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 15th 1991 by Dorling Kindersley
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Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May GaskinSpiritual Midwifery by Ina May GaskinBirthing from Within by Pam EnglandThe Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci GoerBaby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
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67th out of 184 books — 119 voters

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Feb 22, 2011 Magda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Magda by: Mimi
I got this one via inter-library loan on Mimi's recommendation.

I do get tired of books which try to persuade you to a viewpoint you already hold, and I'd started reading another book (already in our library) by Kitzinger, so the first few chapters retold several stories I'd already just read.

I thought there would be more new-to-me material than there was, so that was a little disappointing, but I did rather enjoy the new material.

I also thought that this would be more of a "how to prepare your h
This is a good book, but "Homebirth" starts with pointing out the weaknesses in the hospital system and presents alternatives in contrast to them. It's obvious the author is trying to present her strong opinion, heartfelt conviction even, as a logical scientific argument. And she does a good job at that, but the wording in such a task is delicate. In my opinion, she sets a defensive tone at the outset, which brings unnecessary fear and loathing into the discussion. I prefer Spiritual Midwifery a ...more
Terri Lynn
This book came out in late 1991 and I bought it in early 1992 because we wanted to have a baby and had decided to go the natural, normal route of giving birth which is home birth. Of the billions of people who have lived on Earth, most have been born at home. This is the natural and normal way of birth and I have to say that my daughter is now 18 and I still get goosebumps over the wonderful childbirth experience I had. Yes, there was pain and plenty of it but the warmth and love and sense of co ...more
Written by an anthropologist, this book is very subjective and biased towards homebirth. Also, the fact that it was published in 1991 makes it rather outdated. The first half of the book was rather difficult to read in that the information she presented against hospital births and doctors seemed a little extreme.

Having said that, the information in the later chapters is helpful. It discusses how one's labour partner can help with touch and massage, and breathing techniques, etc. Overall, there
Perhaps it was just the edition I read, but this book is a bit outdated now. From that perspective, the information in it wasn't as useful as I'd hoped. But, the best thing about this book, the wonderful thing, is the large section of photos from the homebirths of just a couple of babies. I almost learned more from the photos than I did from reading the text of the book.
Oct 21, 2007 Anastasia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone considering homebirth
This book is a quick, easy read, filled with lots of great information. It's also much easier to swallow than Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth-- which is also an important book, but is soooo much scarier! I highly recommend this book to anyone considering homebirth or anybody who has a loved one who wants to give birth in the safety of her own home.
Rachael Marsceau
Excellent book with very clear, practical advice on everything you need to know to have a satisfying, safe, and natural birth at home. Also included are three birth stories with narratives and pictures. This book, while slightly dated, has greatly increased my knowledge of and confidence in the homebirth option. Highly recommended!
I really liked this book. It presented the pros and cons for birth in and out of a hospital setting. It had many great suggestions for dealing with slow labor and pain during labor, but is not a definitive guide for that sort of thing. It is definitely a good read for someone trying to make the decision about the best place to birth.
It's a good read for anyone who is interested in avoiding interventions, even if you're not planning a home birth. There are checklists to help you choose a provider and a location that support your idea of what you'd like your birth to be like.
Jill Koren
This is a classic. I appreciated Kitzinger's fierce advocacy of the homebirth model. It's nice to read someone who is truly passionate about her beliefs.
Tabitha Beck
this is my favorite pregnancy book--and the one that has been the most helpful to me across the board
Great overview! Actually this had a lot of great info for labor/birth in general.
Jennifer Nelson
Oct 14, 2007 Jennifer Nelson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any preggo mama!
A great basic text for any family preparing to birth their baby at home.
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Sheila Kitzinger M.B.E, M.Litt is a social anthropologist of birth and author of 24 books published internationally, most on the emotional journey through this major life experience. At Oxford in the 50s she discovered that the social anthropology of that time was almost entirely about men. She decided she would do research to discover what was important in women's lives, and focused on pregnancy, ...more
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