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Pregnancy, Childbirth And The Newborn (2001) (Retired Edition)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,378 ratings  ·  237 reviews
With over one million copies in print, this is one of the best-selling books about pregnancy on the market.  More complete and up-to-date than any other pregnancy guide, this remarkable book is the "bible" for childbirth educators.  Now revised with:  

-a greatly expanded treatment of pregnancy tests, complications, and infections

-an expanded list of drugs and medications,
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published March 1st 1984)
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Aug 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adulting
This is one of the more comprehensive books I've read during pregnancy, and I appreciate both the breadth and depth of information provided. It's also organized in a way that makes it easy to find what you're looking for, though it's certainly more reference material than a month-by-month guide (like many pregnancy books). I think my biggest frustration is being consistently referred to the PCN Guide website, which appears to no longer exist. I've found some additional materials from Penny Simki ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pregnancy, nonfiction
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
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
My doctor gave me a copy of this book when I was pregnant.

I read it through to the fitness chapter and it seemed like a great resource for pregnant women and their partners.

The chart that discussed common symptoms in each trimester was especially useful--it helped me understand why I was suddenly having major nasal congestion in the second trimester.

Sadly, I experienced a rare second-trimester miscarriage at 16.5 weeks... my heart is broken, but I am setting this book aside with the hope that I
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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). ...more
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
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. ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Lots of helpful, easy-to-understand info.

Definitely biased toward drug-free delivery.
Slightly less terrified!
Andrea Imhof
Apr 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of the pregnancy-and-childbirth genre that I've read so far. I appreciate that it covers all three topics pretty extensively -- with all the things you need to know and none of the fluff and wives-tales that tends to fill other books. It provides a comprehensive outline of the pros and cons of different approaches to the perinatal world (e.g. it doesn't assume you want over-medicalized care or all-natural home birth options but objectively explains the decision points you wil ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loaned to me by the birthing center I plan to deliver at, Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn was extremely informative and loaded with more information than I ever imagined I'd need ... but it makes perfect sense after actually reading it.

I loved that it included more than just pregnancy and labor, but also included information for those who are going through pregnancy a second time, already have a child, and even for those suffering the loss of a child.

Overall this was a very thorough, infor
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. ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given out as part of our child birth class. The class followed the content and was super helpful. After our baby arrived, I read every page of the newborn care section in a matter of days. It was so easy to understand and apply, even sleep deprived and distracted. The tools, skills and information in this book were unbelievably useful in coping with pregnancy and managing the pain, as well as understanding the mystery of what was happening to my body, during childbirth.
Tiffany Tubville
Probably the best book I’ve read during pregnancy; a comprehensive resource of pregnancy, birth, caring for a newborn and breastfeeding. This book is full of great information especially about labor stages, pain management and relaxation techniques. The advice is similar to the childbirth class I took at a birthing center. Also I liked the format of the book having varying fonts, bulletpoint lists, graphs, graphics, and smaller sections of additional information. Very easy to read.
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
Wasn't crazy about this one. I found the tone to be quite preachy and judgemental. The authors also openly steer the reader towards what they consider to be the "right" birth and newborn rearing experience, i.e. vaginal birth and breastfeeding, and are quite dismissive about C-sections and bottle feeding. I also found all the in-depth descriptions about labour and all the things that could go wrong to be quite off-putting and scary. ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First "real" book I've read in a while - and now that our pregnancy is Facebook-official, I can review it. Soooooo much better than the "What to Expect" book. Explains things clearly, yet in enough medical terms that you can tell they're not talking down to you. Very thorough (I think) and written with a PT, so that's a plus. (I'm an OT.) ...more
Elisabeth Heath
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this book for DONA birth doula certification. Good comprehensive read for doulas in training. I enjoyed how it valued each type of birth and involving the whole family unit. Can be information heavy for first time parents and those who don’t have a lot of free time to read. Very good book overall! Penny Simkin has good hand outs I’ve used at prenatal appointments with my client.
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very comprehensive book that balances the medical and the more holistic approach really well.
I also liked that this book covered pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period as the title suggests.
It is evidence-based yet includes anecdotes as well.
Very good book to understand what the female body goes through during this time.
All-around excellent guide to pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn basics. Written in nice prose (not cheeky puns like What to Expect), feminist, and cites scientific papers throughout for all evidence and statistics. Includes website links and worksheets for activities like fetal movement monitoring.
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