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The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
The Official Lamaze Guide is the first and only official pregnancy and childbirth guide endorsed by Lamaze International, the leading childbirth education organization in North America. It presents childbearing as an elegant, simple, healthy process instead of an experience fraught with danger.

Written in plain English with a respectful, positive tone, this book presents:

Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Meadowbrook (first published 2005)
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Sep 18, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
Perhaps I am being too critical because the book was not at all what I expected.
According to Merriam Webster, Lamaze is a method of preparing women to give child birth without the use of drugs.
I had always thought of it as drug free coping methods in labor, specifically breathing exercises, which is the Google definition.

I was expecting a focus on laboring techniques. Instead, it is just another pregnancy, labor, and delivery book with very little to say about coping methods during childbirth. M
Feb 16, 2012 Susanne rated it liked it
Once you get past all the not-so-subtle hospital and OB-bashing, the premise behind this book is a good one: as women, we were designed and built to grow and deliver babies. While I still plan to deliver my second baby in a hospital under the care of an OB, I have also gained some valuable lessons from reading this book:

1. Hire a doula to help with physical, emotional and psychological comfort before, during, and after labor.
2. Refuse all interventions for as long as possible unless medically ne
Jun 05, 2012 Brittney rated it did not like it
Frightening, combative, and often factually inaccurate, this is less a helpful manual and more a piece of propaganda. Even approaching this book as someone who already agrees with its basic premise - that many US births are terribly impersonal and over-medicalized and that women need more options - I found the authors' tone and attitude extremely off-putting. "Natural childbirth" is used interchangeably with the phrase "normal childbirth," despite the obvious fact that, statistically, it is not. ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Danielle rated it it was ok
Reading some books, preparing for my second child. Didn't care for this one. Instead of taking a rational and reasoned approach, all hospitals and doctors are labeled as Evil.

I don't know if there are different versions of this book; the book I read was published in 2005, and it was seriously outdated for me. Either much has changed since then, or I live in a very progressive area. My first child was born in 2010, and the hospital followed ALL the 'advice' offered in this book. I had complete c
May 15, 2011 Lydia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who's pregnant or may be pregnant some day
Just finished the book and LOVED it! Some people have complained that the book portrays the healthcare system unfairly or is overly biased. I merely found it to be incredibly informative and supportive of all women giving birth, no matter where or how they choose to do so. Although the authors are of course openly in favor of natural birth, I think their main objective is to make sure that women are correctly educated so that they can make choices for themselves and their babies according to the ...more
Jul 15, 2011 Meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, pregnancy
The author is a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and doula, and this book is a Lamaze method childbirth guide. Caveat to the reader: the Lamaze method, this author, and this book all focus on natural childbirth free of the unnecessary medical interventions that have become routine in U.S. maternity care, so if you want to preschedule your induction and receive an epidural as soon as you're added to the hospital, this is not the book for you.

The Lamaze method is centered around six childbirth
Sep 16, 2010 Ashley rated it liked it
I was not able to take a prenatal class due to time and financial constraints, so I've been borrowing books from the library to give me some idea of what labor and delivery will be like and how I should prepare. This book gave me a lot to think about, and now I have lots of questions to ask my OB. The authors definitely promote a drug-free, intervention-free, birth center/home birth, and if you know that's not for you, then this book won't help you much. I would like to take a natural approach t ...more
Tara B
Aug 05, 2014 Tara B rated it really liked it
Shelves: motherhood
I read this book to compare the Lamaze Method of childbirth education to the Bradley Method. Except for a few pages, this book does NOT go into detail on the differences between varying childbirth education methods. In fact, it does not even mention Bradley as the other leading form of childbirth education.

From what I've read elsewhere, "the Bradley method differs greatly from Lamaze. Instead of encouraging women to distract themselves from labor, Bradley teaches that women should focus directl
Dec 10, 2012 Maria rated it liked it
This book contains a lot of very good information for mothers looking to trust themselves and their bodies through the birthing process. The first few chapters are quite dry, and are definitely selling an agenda. If you are having a hospital birth with a doctor you might believe after the first few chapters that a) you have made a terrible mistake or b) this book holds nothing for you. Neither is the case.

This book has a lot of great comfort techniques and exercises which are applicable to any w
Jessica Padgett
This book was not what I expected but still informative. I am pregnant with my first child and didn't know what to expect or even ask my doctor(s). I bought this book with the intention of learning some techniques to help me in labor but it didn't really do that. It provided me with a lot of information and encouragement that my body and my baby would know what to do and when. Basically to trust nature. It highly encouraged midwifery versus doctors and home birth versus hospital birth assuming y ...more
Jun 20, 2008 Mereke rated it liked it
I liked the opinions of the writers of this book about natural childbirth. But, the first few chapters are nothing but opinions with little advice on labor itself. Since I live abroad I had very few of the natural childbirth options described available to me (it was a tremendous battle which I ultimately lost, just to avoid a fetal monitor and an epidural.) I would have liked the book better if it had gone more in-depth on breathing techniques, pain management and dealing with hospital personnel ...more
Oct 11, 2008 Little rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pregnant women
If you only read one book about childbirth, this is an excellent choice. Lamaze has changed: it's not just about breathing patterns to distract you, and they no longer claim that the pain is all in your head. The Official Lamaze Guide walks you through best practices in L&D and why they are best as well as common practices you might want to question and how they may or may not benefit you. There are suggestions for a wide range of pain management strategies, many references to good research ...more
Apr 12, 2011 Christy rated it liked it
This book has a lot of good information but I strongly disagree with some of the information provided. I think the statistics about the comparative safety of giving birth outside of a hospital setting have more to do with the type of person who chooses a birthing center/home birth than it does the safety of the hospital. I've seen several situations where a midwife's advise to avoid intervention had caused problems. (such as shoulder distoci resulting in a broken clavical and a ruptured uterus.) ...more
Sarah Steele
Jun 04, 2009 Sarah Steele rated it it was ok
So I'm planning an epidural-free delivery this time around and I wanted to see what I could research in the way of "natural" childbirth. My neighbor lent me this book and swears by it. However, the entire time reading it, I felt like a horrible person for wanting to give birth in a hospital with an obstetrician. I'm not in support of the whole, "babies should be born in the beds they're conceived in," like this author is. So while the chapters on what is physically happening to you during labor ...more
May 25, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: pregnancy
Basically underwhelming. There was nothing here I disagreed with (though the early emphasis on midwifery and the inappropriate application of obstetrics no low-risk pregnancies was a bit off-putting, even if they are points I ultimately agree with), but I would compare this book to a freshman college textbook. It's a good overview of many of the important points in childbirth, but there isn't a lot of depth. The chapter on comfort measures is a measly 12 pages. Better books include Penny Simkin' ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Collyn rated it it was amazing
Above all, this book provides a philosophy of childbirth - basically, the idea that women are biologically fit for childbirth and are able to handle it. It helps remove the common views of childbirth that many people never question. It isn't a specific guide to what to do during the birth, but it provides a strong foundation for making your own decisions about what is right for you and your child. I found it pretty empowering and informative - for example, the book explains why labor is painful ...more
It was a good overview of pregnancy/labor/birth, similar to a lot of other books I've read. Honestly, I mostly skimmed it because I was just trying to familiarize myself with the Lamaze method, as a doula client of mine is a certified Lamaze instructor and I wanted to make sure I had a basic knowledge of Lamaze. I still think that, in terms of a comprehensive overview of pregnancy/birth that is empowering and mom-friendly, I like Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn 4th Edition by Penny Simkin t ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: birth-books
This book has a lot going for it (especially chapters on "Keeping Birth Normal" and "Finding Comfort in Labor") but I think that its opening chapter, "What Is Normal Birth?" overstates its case and might put off mainstream readers. Lines like, "In spite of the evidence, U.S. maternity care continues to sabotage normal birth rather than support it" -- although true -- I think might make women feel defensive. Still, a good basic book that covers a lot of ground and deserves to have a higher profil ...more
Sep 17, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
Skimmed through this one, but was so surprised how anti hospital and OB this book was! I was expecting to learn more about different methods of childbirth, not to read a judgmental piece of propaganda. For example, on page 56 the author cites, "it is inherently unwise, and perhaps unsafe, for women with normal pregnancies to be cared for by obstetric specialists". What?!? There were probably one or two interesting chapters but the tone of the whole thing really put me off.
Feb 02, 2009 Susan rated it really liked it
I'm really getting a lot out of this so far. It is more informative than the other natural childbirth books I have been reading - the others seem to talk more about the history and medicalization of childbirth and fail to discuss actual techniques (like breathing, positions, etc) and labor signs. This one is more how-to/manual like without being preachy or boring.

very helpful, not preachy.
Cassandra Hunsicker
Nov 23, 2013 Cassandra Hunsicker rated it liked it
This was a pretty good book. However, I found it sort of problematic. Some women have to have c sections if we want our babies to not have any serious problems! Sometimes things come up and you need a c section. I just felt like this book was very anti-hospital, anti- OB/GYN, and anti-cesarean. I agree that all women are made to birth naturally and that's what we can do but why risk it if your Bishop's scores are low and the baby isn't doing too great in labor?
Jul 11, 2011 Sharon rated it it was ok
Good overview of Birth I guess. I don't think this is the same Lamaze that my mom was teaching in the 70s. The new Lamaze seems to be focused on helping women know what their options are with a couple of tips to get through it. I thought Lamaze would have a much greater emphasis on natural, medication free birth.
Dec 14, 2013 Darryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baby-parenting
Good book, though a bit "pushy" compared with others I've read (I liked Ina May Gaskin's Guide better). This had a really lovely chapter called "Greeting Your Newborn" - made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Nov 17, 2010 Lisa rated it it was ok
(Non-Fiction Childbirth, Lamaze) It's not that this book was bad, it just didn't offer any new information for me (probably because I have read way too many books on giving birth). I have also found that I prefer the Bradley Method over Lamaze.
Margaret Heller
I just never ever want to seriously say about myself that I am a flower waiting to bloom. A lot of this is helpful advice but a lot of it relies on people being a lot crunchier than I am, and I am pretty crunchy.
Oct 16, 2011 Amie rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own-it, parenthood
There is nothing in this book about the actual Lamaze technique. So I basically wasted several hours reading everything I have already read in other birth books. I gave it two stars since the birth information is very clear, but the title is misleading.
Maude Beckman
Jun 20, 2011 Maude Beckman rated it it was ok
Overall good book.

I had a hard time with the negativity towards hospitals and medical staff. This book is also outdated on some of its facts such as mommy baby separation after birth in hospitals,...
Jul 03, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it
This is a really good overview of all the variuos birthing options. It is fact based with all the studies quoted and many even included in the back. If you are considering a natural birth or if you are considering druge, it's worth the read.
Jan 18, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
I found this book to be mostly informative and well-written. It tends towards believing itself to be right at the expense of other birth plans, but less so than other birthing books I have read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone considering natural childbirth.
Jan 31, 2008 Teeni rated it it was amazing
The book I would recommend for people who think Ina May might be a little too far out there. Lamaze is NOT huff and puff breathing techniques anymore. Excellent book for any expecting couple; lots of mother/baby friendly birth tips.
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“You are not an accident.
Even at the moment of your conception,
out of many possibilities,
only certain cells combined,
survived, grew to be you.
You are unique, created for a purpose.
Go confidently into the days ahead.”
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