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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,183 ratings  ·  217 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,
...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published March 1st 1984)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  2,183 ratings  ·  217 reviews


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Laura
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 ...more
Kimberly
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
Rachel
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 ...more
Dana
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
Lightreads
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.
Meredith
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
...more
Jen
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 ...more
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.
...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
...more
Cori
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best complete guide to pregnancy/birth that Ive read. This book is a great, basic, modern birth book. I like that its 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 some ...more
Heather
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
...more
Heather
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).
Kate
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.
Michelle
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.
Amy
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.
Caroline
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.
Kaitlin
Lots of helpful, easy-to-understand info.

Definitely biased toward drug-free delivery.
Louisa
Slightly less terrified!
Heather
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.
Brittany
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.
Erica
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.
Caitlin
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.)
Dietra
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Amy Etzel
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super informative!
Danielle
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
If you don't read anything else, read this one.
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. ...more
Brittany
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very informational! Really helped ease my anxiety about giving birth for the first time!
Devin Hunter
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Comprehensive reference guide to pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care. Read cover to cover. Highly recommend for anyone considering natural birth and breastfeeding.
Robin
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Comprehensive, balance, but fairly repetitive.
Rachel
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, doula, july19
I read this book for my Doula training. Excellent information and very happy that I bought the book for future reference.
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