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Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,976 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn is one of the bestselling and most comprehensive books about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care on the market. Now completely updated, expanded, and redesigned, this authoritative book is the “bible” for expectant parents and childbirth educators.

If you buy only pregnancy book, this is it because…  It's the most complete.  It cov
Kindle Edition, 497 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Meadowbrook (first published March 1st 1984)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,976 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Aug 13, 2008 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
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's a pregnancy and childbirth book that I liked! Pretty much unreservedly! And to be clear, that's the one pregnancy and childbirth book that I pretty much liked unreservedly. Thoughtful, thorough, relatively non-judgey as these things go, with a refreshing interest in this little thing called evidence-based medicine. Recommended.
Mar 28, 2011 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
May 12, 2015 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
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: never-finished
I'm not sure if I've read this ENTIRE book cover-to-cover, but I have read a lot of it. It is a little overwhelming how comprehensive it is. I liked how it didn't dogmatically advocate natural-birth or hospital-birth. It was probably more natural-birth friendly than many other books, but I feel like they had a research-based approach I could respect. I liked how they included contrasting quotes from women's experiences (for example, a quote from a woman who loved her epidural, and one from a wom ...more
Reading and Living
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
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
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
Jan 06, 2013 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
Oct 19, 2012 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
Elizabeth Merchant
Sep 06, 2014 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
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was used in our childbirth class, and it is a spectacular reference book. It covers pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care for you and the baby. There is more detail about labor and delivery in this book than any other book I've read to date, and it gives a fair and unbiased assessment of different pain management techniques (medical and holistic).
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I appreciated how comprehensive this book was! It answered all of my questions and then some. It wasn't as readable as some other pregnancy books I've read - it was a little dry, but it was worth it.
Jul 28, 2009 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.
Lots of helpful, easy-to-understand info.

Definitely biased toward drug-free delivery.
Jun 08, 2011 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.
Mar 27, 2011 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.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Slightly less terrified!
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pregnancy
In terms of straight-forward, complete information, this book is quite good. Its drawback might be in the fact that it tries to cover all three title areas in one volume. The pregnancy section was a lot sketchier than other pregnancy-focused books (such as What to Expect When You're Expecting), but the childbirth section was quite comprehensive. Newborn care likewise had a good amount of information, though not covered in as much detail as one would find in a book on that topic alone.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thorough resource that overall I recommend; however, it is biased against medicated births. The authors are happy to present studies against medicated births, but don't present the alternative. I find this bias against medication irritating. Get off your high horse and give me the facts so I can make my own decisions. They also use quotes from "real women" for the same motive.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, doula-books
A complete guide just as the title says. This book gives you an overview of everything you need to know. WAY better than the What to Expect books. Had I read this in my first pregnancy it would have saved me from a lot of grief. i will definitely reccomended it to my doula clients.
Kathryn Beal
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Great reference!
Amy Etzel
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super informative!
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pregnancy, health, nonfic
My cover was more updated than this one, but couldn't find that edition. This was hands down my favorite pregnancy book. and I read them all.
Liz De Coster
Overall good; definitely focused on “natural” childbirth and early child rearing, and could have used a little more in the way of evidence-based research support for some of the recommendations.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Comprehensive, balance, but fairly repetitive.
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informational! Really helped ease my anxiety about giving birth for the first time!
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few books on pregnancy and childbirth for my doula certification. And this is probably the worst one I've read. I actually ended up not finishing it because I was that frustrated with the author's opinions and writing.'s hard because this book does have some good advice and also good information on a few topics. I've never seen as much detail on medical procedures or for instance what the doctors actually do for epidurals. However that's the only good I can say about this b ...more
Christy Ford
Mar 02, 2012 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
Erika RS
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, owned
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
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“Early postpartum period • Immediate contact with your baby (including breastfeeding) • Minimal postpartum pain • Good health (you and your baby)” 0 likes
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