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Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,540 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Kindle Edition
Published (first published March 1st 1984)
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Mar 23, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are pregnant or considering pregnancy
Recommended to Laura by: my midwife, and my birth-class instructor
Shelves: baby-stuff
What I love about this book is the acknowledgment that not all pain management techniques work for all women. Rather than present one comprehensive 'system' (a la Hypnobirthing, Bradley, etc), she suggests several methods for dealing with childbirth pain, and is non-judgmental about the use of medication as well. To me this is much more helpful - I can become familiar with several techniques and focus on the ones I like. In comparison, Hypnobirthing is presented (in the book Hypnobirthing) as th ...more
Very good overview of pregnancy, birth, and having a newborn (as one would expect given the title). Likely most helpful for first time moms. It does seem to lean toward supporting natural child birth and breastfeeding, so some people might be turned off by the tone of the book, but it does seem to try to respectfully discuss medicated birth options and formula feeding as well. The book is written very neutrally with references to fathers and partners, and I would imagine a same sex couple would ...more
Reading and Living
Este libro es una joya!! Totalmente recomendado para aquel que quiera ser padre, la que esta embarazada o quien tenga un bebe recien nacido. Es un libro sin desperdicios, abarca todas las etapas del emabarazo, detalle a detalle y lo primero meses de vida del recien nacido.

Incluye consejos de dieta y ejercicio (con fotos) para mujeres embarazadas. Hay un capítulo sobre las complicaciones durante el embarazo, así como uno sobre cómo planificarte para un parto. Los planes de nacimiento son discutid
Apr 12, 2011 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, pregnancy
The Switzerland of pregnancy and childbirth books, Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn clearly lays out all pregnancy and birth options without obviously favoring one side or the other in the medical versus natural debate. In fact, this is the only baby book I've encountered that when discussing circumcision doesn't immediately follow the statement that it is not medically necessary by basically saying that anyone who doesn't circumcise her son is a bad, sadistic, heartless mother.

If you are
Kylin Larsson
This is one of the most helpful pregnancy books I've read. Though I'm sure my body knows how to give birth, my brain appreciates all the information and reassurance I can find. The six authors include Penny Simpkin, who is famous in the birthing world for her practical non-Western approach to birth support advice. The book has a good balance of biological / medical information and natural pain management methods.

The first few chapters go over the physical aspects of pregnancy and prenatal care.
Jen Quintanilla
Jul 17, 2016 Jen Quintanilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babies
I read this book slowly throughout my pregnancy, reading chapters as they became relevant. It offered clear, objective, and non-judgmental information regarding pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care, and childcare. I can see myself revisiting the information presented in the later chapters once the baby arrives and in subsequent pregnancies. Many of the chapters answered questions I probably would have asked, putting me at ease between appointments, and allowing me to ask questions with less ob ...more
Elizabeth Merchant
Oct 15, 2014 Elizabeth Merchant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: our-library
This giant book might be more ideally suited for a doula, spouse, or other birth partner than it is for a mother-to-be, but that's fine. I've just read it as a doula-in-training, and I do feel as though I've gotten an education. I found it easy-to-follow, yet full of vital information.

The "newborn" aspect of things was not as thoroughly covered as I expected it to be, based on the amount of room given to everything else, so I can't recommend it as an "only book you'll ever need"; even a minimali
Oct 31, 2012 Cori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best complete guide to pregnancy/birth that I’ve read. This book is a great, basic, modern birth book. I like that it’s unbiased and provides options that would appeal to all women, from the natural home birth to the mom that wants an epidural before she gets to the hospital. The depth at which the authors went when it came to explaining pain and how to cope, explaining breathing techniques, were extremely valuable! The breathing graphs were something I had never seen and I think so ...more
Matt LeFevers
This book has a lot of really good information and seems to come from a genuinely helpful place but the further I got into it, the harder it was to ignore the clear anti-medical-establishment bias. There isn't anything in the title or description of this book that betrays an alternative medicine slant (though if I had been paying attention, I might have noticed the number of co-authors who are doulas) but it bled through on every page.

I sincerely think the authors were trying to be fair handed -
Mar 26, 2016 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so this frequently upset me. That being said, other pregnancy books, notably What to Expect (which I read 10 years ago when my sister was pregnant), barely mention home births or midwives or the freaky bias in the US toward c-sections. Anyway, this book really is directed toward mothers planning a drug free birth.

Honestly, most of the natural birth stuff was fine. It was the stuff about how US hospitals seem to love to take away babies to the nursery - for no good reason except the mother
Jul 28, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book concentrates a lot on pre-pregnancy, which I didn't need since I was already pregnant. but it did have a wealth of very helpful and useful information for labor and delivery, which is what i mostly got out of reading this book.
Jun 08, 2011 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive and thorough, unbiased almost to a fault (sometimes it reads like a textbook). Highly recommended for people like me who don't know shit about birthing and babies.
Aug 01, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TONS of information! Everything I could want to know and more about pregnancy, childbirth, and the newborn. I'm using it as a reference when I have questions, not a sit-and-get.
Jul 01, 2016 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of helpful, easy-to-understand info.

Definitely biased toward drug-free delivery.
Jason Strayer
Feb 15, 2016 Jason Strayer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the big momma of pregnancy and delivery books. If you haven’t already received this book as part of the tuition of a pregnancy class, and you’re the kind of parent who likes to thoroughly -- and I mean thoroughly – examine an intimate subject of your life, then you should rush right over to your Amazon dot com and drop this into your shopping cart. Knowing that you’re reading this here on Goodreads, well, I don’t expect you’re the person who will get home the day of the discharge and say ...more
May 13, 2015 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion three stars was generous considering how angry I am right now. (In the interest of total disclosure I did not read the chapters on being pregnant again or including a child in a new pregnancy because those are not applicable to me.) I just finished the part about formula feeding and am so angry I am considering writing an email to the authors over their narrowmindedness and judgmental stance on people who formula feed over breastfeeding. I am NOT, as the author plainly suggests, on ...more
Erika RS
Jan 20, 2014 Erika RS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last of the general pregnancy books that I had on my list to read. I probably didn't need to read it. Not because I didn't learn anything — I did, and there were several areas where this book was better than the others I read — but I think three general pregnancy books reaches the points of diminishing returns. So now you know =)

But on to judging this book on its own merits! In many ways this was my favorite of the three books. I still prefer the tone of the Our Bodies, Ourselves pre
Christy Ford
Mar 02, 2012 Christy Ford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
After checking out stacks and stacks of pregnancy books from the library, this is the one I purchased. It isn't a perfect, be-all-end-all resource to everything you'd ever want to know, but it avoids most of the pitfalls of pregnancy books, and has solid, usable information, including the best explanations of medical interventions I have found.

First, the book treats the reader with respect. It is amazing how uncommon this is in pregnancy literature. It assumes that while the mother may not know
Jul 23, 2011 Jasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this guide was excellent. I like how it was structured; it made it easy for me to look up questions I had throughout my pregnancy. I like that it just gave the most basic and important information that you need to know. This allows you to to read other books that more specifically suit your ideals about specific topics. For instance, I chose to also read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method to learn more about childbirth and how I want to prepare for it. But ...more
Rachel Winsley
This book is the acknowledgment that not all coping techniques work in every case. Rather than present one comprehensive 'system' (a la Hypnobirthing, Bradley, etc), she suggests several methods for dealing with the intensity of childbirth. I also appreciate the free worksheets for interviewing providers and birth places. It's a great jumping off point. It can be a bit dry for a first time mom, but the book is comprehensive and helpful if you give it a chance.
Nicole Tarpey
Feb 22, 2014 Nicole Tarpey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book, both as a full read and as a reference. I'm one of those people that get anxiety about the unknown, so I love that it takes the approach of walking the reader through both the common and uncommon pregnancy. Additionally, I love the approach that statistically, most of us will have healthy, successful pregnancies, and we can do it without a ton of intervention. I definitely need that kind of reassurance.
Aug 17, 2016 Jessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely the best pregnancy book. It really explains all kinds of options - like how to deal with pain management naturally, or what all the drug options are. It covers the whole spectrum, and does it without judgment. Reading this book answered pretty much any question I had. I also like that there are chapters specifically on C-Sections, breastfeeding, and newborn care.
Jun 11, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is my go to for mentally preparing/studying for labor. I've read through the later sections on caring for the newborn and breastfeeding but will have to reread them once baby Tucker is here. Highly recommend this if you want a medical based, but not too technically detailed, explanation of labor and delivery and also many suggestions for coping throughout the process.
Roslyn Ross
This book made my pregnancy miserable and full of anxiety about various problems that I did not have. I recommend that instead of this, healthy pregnant women read Babycatcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife and Real Food for Mother and Baby. And leave it at that. All the other ones like this and What to Expect just do nothing but cause anxiety.
Jose Feiteirinha
Both me and my wife read this book as we prepared to the birth of our baby. What I liked most about this book ( that is besides being truly a complete guide filled with information on your options and preparing you for the possible reactions of all parties involved [ including family members and medical staff ], or containing many techniques and recommendations, or summarizing the labor process in the most detailed and instructive way [ including drawings and pictures ] --- besides being great a ...more
Apr 17, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
There are sooooo many pregnancy reference books -- trust me, I think I have read them all and have the library fines to prove it. Anyways, this is the only one I liked enough to buy. It's rather pro-natural-childbirth, so if that's not your thing it might not be The One for you.
Jun 19, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
If you are pregnant and reading a month-by-month guide, you might want to pick this book up by your third trimester. Simkin just overviews pregnancy by each trimester. What she really focuses on is labor and delivery, far more than any month-by-month guide. It's well worth it.
Aug 20, 2012 Jules rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive on several different pre- and post-natal topics, perhaps. But the tone didn't sit right with me, particularly in the childbirth section, which is the main reason I read this (it was given out as part of my labor & delivery class). While other reviewers have praised this as non-judgmental about the use of medicines, I didn't find it so. I felt the pro-doula, less-med-friendly perspective of the author was evident throughout. There are some helpful charts, diagrams, and illustrat ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Krista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a little more technical than What to Expect When You're Expecting. I'd suggest both books, since it harder to follow week by week than What to Expect..., but goes a lot more in depth into childbirth.
Nichole Williams
This book was given to us during our class at the hospital. It is such an amazing resource. We referenced the entire pregnancy and several times after getting our little one home. I definitely recommend it!
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