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Official Lamaze Guide

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The Official Lamaze Guide helps expectant parents experience childbirth with confidence. In clear, easy-to-understand terms, this book dispels the myths that pregnancy and birth are fraught with risk. Lothian and DeVries offer solidly researched evidence to document that common medical interventions (such as pitocin, epidural block, c-sections, IV fluids, and electronic fe ...more
Paperback, 307 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Da Capo Press (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  412 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Sep 12, 2015 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
Jun 21, 2022 rated it liked it
Generous 3 stars. Definitely too biased to be widely accessible unless you're willing to read with a heavy grain of salt, as I did. There's some great info and some perhaps questionable info (as with any "guide" book) but the tone, which promises to be positive, is actually pretty negative when referencing giving birth in a hospital with a physician. Not helpful for someone who literally does not have a choice but to give birth in a hospital with a physician, as I live in one of the regions in N ...more
Jun 05, 2012 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
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the practical medical information and what to expect during labor. I didn’t like the scare tactics and trying to convince you that giving birth in a hospital is a terrible choice. If you have a low-risk pregnancy and want to have a water birth, then have at it, but if you want to have an epidural and chill the fuck out that’s cool too. If you can get past the judgmental tone in some parts, the actual medical information is helpful without being too lovey-dovey. Think I’ll still need a bi ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Nothing new. It's fine, has all the citations it needs, and provides some new studies I hadn't seen.

Ask me about my Lamaaze rant if you're interested. :)
Aug 31, 2008 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 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I was looking for an objective summary of options and approaches that are available to me in delivering my baby. What I got was a mixed bag - definitely some good stories and recommendations on how to manage a natural child birth, but also quite a lot of what I feel is biased opinion and repetition of the dangers of hospital deliveries / unsound "routine" medical care. I ascribe to the "you do you" camp whenever possible, so I found that aspect of the book rather annoy ...more
Mar 14, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
Nothing new under the sun.... I could have found most of this info from a Google Search..... I thought this was going to give me actual exercises - both mental and physical - to prepare for birth. it was mostly just a lot of hospital bashing and home birth touting... Not everyone is in a position to have a home birth and it felt like all the positive anecdotes came from the home birth quotes and the negative ones came from hospital experiences. i felt kind of shamed and unsupported reading this ...more
Laura Hamadi
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this book on Amazon after my Lamaze birth class instructor recommended it. I enjoyed reading it, lots of great advice. Much of the information was repetition from the classes I took, but I actually enjoyed this. It helped cement all of the information in my mind.

The section on parenting and taking care of a newborn was also great. So often, moms-to-be are given every kind of education on pregnancy and labor, but not enough on what to do after. I liked how they said to have confidenc
This book is literally titled "giving birth with confidence, " but it's really mostly geared towards supporting people in birthing at home with no medical interventions. If this is the type of birth you want, this book will help you feel great about skipping the hospital. But if you are the type who like to give birth at the hospital, this book will tell you lots of reasons you should be fearful of the hospital. There are lots of great things about the book as well- a Woman's body is designed fo ...more
April Thrush
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are not planning on having a natural birth/home birth, you will probably hate this book. Although it is technically geared toward all women, no matter how they plan on doing things, it is definitely negative towards hospital births. However, I did not mind this since I am planning a home birth and therefore found the book to be very helpful for me. I have a negative disposition towards hospitals anyway, having had my first in a hospital. So I agree with the author that the natural event o ...more
Abigail Rotholz
Dec 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me figure out what I want for my birth plan. It broke down the biological and physiological processes of pregnancy and birth, and how they can happen healthfully and naturally, or through controlled medical intervention. I feel informed after reading this book, knowledgeable, and sure of what I want and don’t want. I feel confident that I can give birth without being stuck to a hospital bed with an IV and numbed. I understand the physical and emotional benefits to both mother an ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m preparing to be one of my daughter’s birth coaches at the birth of her first child. I read this book to update myself in Lamaze since it is almost 46 years ago I read a Lamaze book before delivering my daughter.
I expected breathing techniques but found no specifics of the panting & other procedures I remember. Instead this is a book encouraging women to select the kind of birth best for the mother and baby.

Say no to epidurals, episiotomy, pain meds, baby heart monitors and say yes to listeni
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a big fan. The author strikes a tone of disdain toward anything related to doctors, hospitals, medical interventions, and basically anything other than giving birth at home. Instead of simply providing information and encouragement, she layers on the shame and guilt for anyone who chooses something other than her own ideal. There are a few pearls of wisdom, but overall there are much better books out there on natural childbirth.
Lisa Petronio
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book, recommended by my doula. Again, probably best received by someone who’s considering a natural birth though it didn’t feel slanted. There are pages of references at the back to provide evidence-based support of statements throughout the book. When I came across an interesting fact, I used those references to delve deeper into the science supporting the claim.
Melissa Coryell
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re looking for a good book to read to learn about all the pros and cons of all the different decisions you’ll have to make during pregnancy and labor and delivery and for the baby after birth I really recommend this one. It was so so helpful by helping me feel more prepared and knowledgeable!!
Apr 01, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I recommend skipping the first 7 chapters. They're heavily biased against hospitals/doctors and felt like wading through propaganda. The tips around giving birth and the fourth trimester are a good launch point to develop your own curiosity and start thinking about what you would like your childbirth experience and beyond to be. ...more
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This is very anti-hospital and anti-OB, but there is some good and encouraging information. I also found it repetitive, but I am not a first time mom. I read this as part of becoming a certified Lamaze childbirth educator.
Hannah Swanson
Jan 03, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It wasn't a Lamaze method book like I expected, but it was an excellent childbirth book backed up by lots of research. ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book! Lots of info about pregnancy, natural birth, recovery and early parenting. A great read!
Patricia Lonadier
Very informative! Really did help me have more confidence about the process !
Feb 05, 2013 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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2010 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
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
Tara B
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
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 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 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
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