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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

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"ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH"Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary and extraordinary as breathing, thinking, or loving. But as soon as you announce you're expecting, you may be bombarded with advice from every angle -- well-meaning friends, rel "ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH"Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary and extraordinary as breathing, thinking, or loving. But as soon as you announce you're expecting, you may be bombarded with advice from every angle -- well-meaning friends, relatives, medical professionals, even strangers want to weigh in on what you should or shouldn't do, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by their conflicting recommendations.Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth will help you sort fact from fiction, giving you the most accurate research, up-to-date information, and the firsthand experiences of numerous women who have been exactly where you are today. You'll get the tools you need to take care of yourself and your baby during and after your pregnancy, from tips on eating well during pregnancy to strategies for coping with stress and depression. Learn everything you need to know about:CHOOSING A GOOD HEALTH CARE PROVIDERSELECTING A PLACE OF BIRTH UNDERSTANDING PRENATAL TESTINGCOPING WITH LABOR PAINSPEEDING YOUR PHYSICAL RECOVERYADJUSTING TO LIFE AS A NEW MOTHER OUR BODIES, OURSELVES: PREGNANCY AND BIRTH IS AN ESSENTIAL RESOURCE FOR WOMEN THAT WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE MANY DECISIONS AHEAD.


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"ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH"Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary and extraordinary as breathing, thinking, or loving. But as soon as you announce you're expecting, you may be bombarded with advice from every angle -- well-meaning friends, rel "ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH"Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary and extraordinary as breathing, thinking, or loving. But as soon as you announce you're expecting, you may be bombarded with advice from every angle -- well-meaning friends, relatives, medical professionals, even strangers want to weigh in on what you should or shouldn't do, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by their conflicting recommendations.Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth will help you sort fact from fiction, giving you the most accurate research, up-to-date information, and the firsthand experiences of numerous women who have been exactly where you are today. You'll get the tools you need to take care of yourself and your baby during and after your pregnancy, from tips on eating well during pregnancy to strategies for coping with stress and depression. Learn everything you need to know about:CHOOSING A GOOD HEALTH CARE PROVIDERSELECTING A PLACE OF BIRTH UNDERSTANDING PRENATAL TESTINGCOPING WITH LABOR PAINSPEEDING YOUR PHYSICAL RECOVERYADJUSTING TO LIFE AS A NEW MOTHER OUR BODIES, OURSELVES: PREGNANCY AND BIRTH IS AN ESSENTIAL RESOURCE FOR WOMEN THAT WILL GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE MANY DECISIONS AHEAD.

30 review for Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I love this book for its empowering tone, blessedly non-gendered assumptions about your co-parent-to-be and attention on birth as the main event, with less emphasis on morning sickness and cankles than most books of this genre. I feel especially compelled to praise this book because it is the ONLY one of the non-queer-specific pregnancy books we own or have read that even acknowledges the existence of same-sex expectant parents, and it is so lovely not to have to switch pronouns all the time whe I love this book for its empowering tone, blessedly non-gendered assumptions about your co-parent-to-be and attention on birth as the main event, with less emphasis on morning sickness and cankles than most books of this genre. I feel especially compelled to praise this book because it is the ONLY one of the non-queer-specific pregnancy books we own or have read that even acknowledges the existence of same-sex expectant parents, and it is so lovely not to have to switch pronouns all the time when we're reading chapters aloud. This doesn't necessarily work as a stand-alone pregnancy guide if you want a lot of the week-by-week rundown--it's pretty limited in terms of pictures of your developing fetus and the entire section on pregnancy stages and symptoms (pre-labor) is condensed into one chapter and summarized by trimester. But this plus one of the more pregnancy-centric guides is an excellent option.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Three cheers for feminist pregnancy books. While it's not the most informative guide in terms of nitty-gritty medical and nutritional stuff, it's an excellent overview for the "progressive" pregnant gal out there, and gives equal attention and respect to alternative birthing methods, same-sex partners, etc. I would say there's definitely more of an emphasis on birth than pregnancy. While it certainly leans more towards natural birth, overall it's not as judgmental of medical intervention as some Three cheers for feminist pregnancy books. While it's not the most informative guide in terms of nitty-gritty medical and nutritional stuff, it's an excellent overview for the "progressive" pregnant gal out there, and gives equal attention and respect to alternative birthing methods, same-sex partners, etc. I would say there's definitely more of an emphasis on birth than pregnancy. While it certainly leans more towards natural birth, overall it's not as judgmental of medical intervention as some of the other more "militant" natural birth books out there. It was nice to see little snippets from real women...For example, one woman goes on and on about how yoga helped her so much during pregnancy and birth, while another admits that despite trying, she just couldn't get comfortable in a squatting position so she gave up on it, which is OK. This sort of thing is reassuring to those of us that are striving to go the natural route but occasionally run into roadblocks.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Out of all of the pregnancy and birth books I've read (and there's been a few now), this is so far my favorite. I found it informative without being overly wordy or technical, filled with useful information, and providing a realistic view of birth for someone like myself who is interested in a natural birth but plans on doing so in a hospital setting, as opposed to many of the natural birthing books I have read which seem to have an unrealistic expectation that women will birth at home or on a c Out of all of the pregnancy and birth books I've read (and there's been a few now), this is so far my favorite. I found it informative without being overly wordy or technical, filled with useful information, and providing a realistic view of birth for someone like myself who is interested in a natural birth but plans on doing so in a hospital setting, as opposed to many of the natural birthing books I have read which seem to have an unrealistic expectation that women will birth at home or on a commune somewhere (Ina May, I'm looking at you). I found it refreshingly void of scare tactics on that front, even though there was a clear bias towards natural and unmedicated birth. Much more useful than books that were so heavily biased so as to make it sound like all medical professionals are out to get you and want to pin you down and force you into epidurals and c sections. Overall, informative and readable, although there were some sections that I skimmed or skipped over.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erika RS

    This was the first book about pregnancy I read so, of course, it is going to influence me more than books I read later. That said, it still stands out as a good book on the topic of pregnancy, labor, and the early postpartum period. I appreciate the balance the authors of this book struck between being clear as to which choices they considered best but still discussing multiple options and the situations under which those alternatives might be best. One example prevalent throughout the book is th This was the first book about pregnancy I read so, of course, it is going to influence me more than books I read later. That said, it still stands out as a good book on the topic of pregnancy, labor, and the early postpartum period. I appreciate the balance the authors of this book struck between being clear as to which choices they considered best but still discussing multiple options and the situations under which those alternatives might be best. One example prevalent throughout the book is the preference for vaginal, minimally medicated birth over more heavily medicated or cesarean births. The authors described both why they preferred less medicated vaginal births and discussed the situations under which other options were reasonable or necessary. With this background, I feel more confident in my ability to try to make the right decisions for myself without feeling guilty about not having the "perfect" birth experience. Another aspect of this book that I liked was the clear focus on empowering and advocating for women. This book did not try to limit itself to just the birth process. The authors were not afraid to discuss policies they considered bad or advocate for change. One aspect of this book that may be considered a weakness, depending on what you are looking for, is that it focused on breadth more than depth. The authors gave just enough detail to enable you to ask further questions. Thus, while it's a great first book about pregnancy and birth, those who have read other books with similar scope will likely not encounter as much new material.

  5. 4 out of 5

    B

    2.5 - 2.75 stars. I was again surprised and excited to find this one at our little local library (it was just published a few months ago) ...After hearing a great interview with one of the editors on the radio, i was really looking forward to a new go-to pregancy recource text, but boohoo, this was not what i was hoping for. Yes, it provides a sensitive, thoughtful, open minded perspective on pregnancy with a pleasant bias toward midwifery - but practically speaking, it doesn't provide new or espe 2.5 - 2.75 stars. I was again surprised and excited to find this one at our little local library (it was just published a few months ago) ...After hearing a great interview with one of the editors on the radio, i was really looking forward to a new go-to pregancy recource text, but boohoo, this was not what i was hoping for. Yes, it provides a sensitive, thoughtful, open minded perspective on pregnancy with a pleasant bias toward midwifery - but practically speaking, it doesn't provide new or especially helpful information, and lacks a great in-depth weekly or monthly pregnancy guide. It's pretty average as an overview compared to other similar books i've read. That said... it IS unique as a great gateway book - this book's Resources guide at the back is definitely the best I've come across, and a great guide to finding OTHER books on pregnancy and mothering. i'd say, sure, pick this one up at the library... but it's really not worth purchasing. (I'm actually a little surprised that all the other reviews thus far have been so stellar) - If you want a better guide to pregnancy, stay away from the What to Expect guilt-laden nonsense, and pick up "Great Expectations" - it's still my favorite, and most helpful text for both pregnancy and post-partum info.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    Lots of birth-shaming at the very start of the book gave me a bad taste in my mouth, and it didn't really improve. Though the authors seem to grudgingly acknowledge that some medical interventions are occasionally necessary, they repeatedly encourage resisting medical intervention. My personal birth experience perhaps is influencing my opinion here, as I was terrified of medical intervention and as a result of my physical and psychological resistance my labor lasted 40 hours and I nearly didn't Lots of birth-shaming at the very start of the book gave me a bad taste in my mouth, and it didn't really improve. Though the authors seem to grudgingly acknowledge that some medical interventions are occasionally necessary, they repeatedly encourage resisting medical intervention. My personal birth experience perhaps is influencing my opinion here, as I was terrified of medical intervention and as a result of my physical and psychological resistance my labor lasted 40 hours and I nearly didn't have the energy to push my son out on my own. I think a tone like this one can lead women who are perhaps more fearful of birth to become even more fearful, and possibly lead to an experience like mine. That being said, they provided a thorough examination of all of the options available for labor and birth.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kassie

    This is a great look at pregnancy for women who are expecting or planning on expecting. It is very similar in information to The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, but is directed at the mother, not a partner or doula. It was comprehensive and informative. My only caution is that a lot of healthcare regulations and protocols are specific to the specific hospital and some of the protocols the authors are advocating for may already be the norm for your hospital. I found this to be the case at my hospi This is a great look at pregnancy for women who are expecting or planning on expecting. It is very similar in information to The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, but is directed at the mother, not a partner or doula. It was comprehensive and informative. My only caution is that a lot of healthcare regulations and protocols are specific to the specific hospital and some of the protocols the authors are advocating for may already be the norm for your hospital. I found this to be the case at my hospital with skin-to-skin time, tub use, letting the cord stop pulsing before cutting, etc. All of these recommendations are good to be aware of and discuss with your provider beforehand so that was good, but find out in plenty of time so you don't waste your time and energy preparing for a fight that you won't have to have.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This book was pretty good. I didnt read it until my third trimester so I skipped a lot of the beginning and I'd already read like 3 other childbirth books but this book was still interesting. Even though I already read other books and countless blogs on the subjects, I still didnt get bored from this book. I enjoyed reading the stories from other women too. This was my first Our Bodies Ourselves book and I liked it. I liked the fact that it mentioned women of color and women with disabilities. I This book was pretty good. I didnt read it until my third trimester so I skipped a lot of the beginning and I'd already read like 3 other childbirth books but this book was still interesting. Even though I already read other books and countless blogs on the subjects, I still didnt get bored from this book. I enjoyed reading the stories from other women too. This was my first Our Bodies Ourselves book and I liked it. I liked the fact that it mentioned women of color and women with disabilities. It made me more confident about giving birth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    another book I read early on while just getting my pregnancy feet wet. did a good job sharing and detailing all birth options (rather than just the standard hospital delivery route). I *think* this is the book that I've read with the most info about the stages of birth, tho I did read another book at about the same time (PCN: the complete guide) and may be getting them mixed up. another book I read early on while just getting my pregnancy feet wet. did a good job sharing and detailing all birth options (rather than just the standard hospital delivery route). I *think* this is the book that I've read with the most info about the stages of birth, tho I did read another book at about the same time (PCN: the complete guide) and may be getting them mixed up.

  10. 5 out of 5

    socerangel86

    This book gave a very good overview for everything you need to know about pregnancy. It didn't dive deep into any one topic. It gave a lot of good resources to look-up for help or more information. The writing was clear and concise using a lot of lists and personal stories. It's a great first book to read about pregnancy. This book gave a very good overview for everything you need to know about pregnancy. It didn't dive deep into any one topic. It gave a lot of good resources to look-up for help or more information. The writing was clear and concise using a lot of lists and personal stories. It's a great first book to read about pregnancy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charity Dušíková

    This book had a very nice approach to pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood. It nicely explained various aspects in depth with a holistic approach. It also gives a lot of great resources, especially for American moms living in America. Though helpful for me as an expat, some of the information just didn’t apply to a foreign healthcare system.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Bradley

    Really well referenced and the snippets of stories from women’s personal experiences were great. Also I liked that it is more inclusive than other books in so far as it isn’t totally focused on heterosexual couples. Downsides are I found it to be heavily biased towards “natural” birth and non use of epidurals etc. Latter chapters are more so for a US readership

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    A little pushy when it comes to natural birth and breast feeding. I was really looking for something to provide the facts and let me make my own decision rather than making me feel bad for wanting an epidural.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nan

    Good, helpful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Down-to-earth, conversational and accessible, reassuring and informative. Just what I needed to learn more and feel prepared.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darby Morris

    From a cursory glance at the first chapter this seems like a book written for a hospital birth, with several of hospital birth assumptions included rather than a more holistic take.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily Trettel

    A bit heavy on the "have your baby in a hospital only if you must" tone but otherwise a positive book that doesn't talk down to its audience. A bit heavy on the "have your baby in a hospital only if you must" tone but otherwise a positive book that doesn't talk down to its audience.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jill Engel

    Especially relevant for a first pregnancy!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is a MUST OWN for any woman who is pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. It is by far the best book I have found on the market - it relies on evidence based science and personal testimonies - not weird didactic stereotypes and vague flowery descriptions. This is a pregnancy book that will give you the tools to make the best decisions for YOU instead of guilting you into doing something based on the ideology of the writer/s. It presents the pros and cons of hospital birth vs homebi This book is a MUST OWN for any woman who is pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. It is by far the best book I have found on the market - it relies on evidence based science and personal testimonies - not weird didactic stereotypes and vague flowery descriptions. This is a pregnancy book that will give you the tools to make the best decisions for YOU instead of guilting you into doing something based on the ideology of the writer/s. It presents the pros and cons of hospital birth vs homebirth vs birth center birth and gives excerpts of women talking about their choices. It avoids scare tactics around the great do not do list like alcohol, soft cheese, drugs, skiing, etc and doesn't treat the reader like a moron. This book is also very inclusive, talking about queer women, disabled women, working mothers, women of color, etc as part of the entire book, not a sad little ghettoized chapter. The emphasis on a community of mothers instead of judging other's choices is beautiful and refreshing. The only criticism I have is that it has nothing about conception. It starts with the assumption that you are already pregnant so if you need that kind of information, you will have to buy another book in addition to this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Disclaimer to friends and family: no, I'm not pregnant, yet. But you know me, I like to Research All The Things! I really, really liked this book. It gives a very good overview of the issues involved in pregnancy and childbirth, without getting too bogged down -- I think it's a really great one to read when you're first pregnant or considering pregnancy, to give you an idea of what areas require more research. I LOVE the inclusive language, and that a lot of different family situations are repres Disclaimer to friends and family: no, I'm not pregnant, yet. But you know me, I like to Research All The Things! I really, really liked this book. It gives a very good overview of the issues involved in pregnancy and childbirth, without getting too bogged down -- I think it's a really great one to read when you're first pregnant or considering pregnancy, to give you an idea of what areas require more research. I LOVE the inclusive language, and that a lot of different family situations are represented here. The section on pain management during childbirth is also very educational reading, and the chart giving the levels of pain intervention definitely offers some food for thought and a useful way of articulating one's needs. Really the only thing I wished for was more pictures and maybe some photos, because I love pictures and diagrams and photos. I also felt that while this is a good survey of what's out there, it's probably not going to suffice as a comprehensive pregnancy/childbirth book, because it doesn't go into a whole lot of detail on specifics.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carli

    This is a great pregnancy and childbirth resource in the same vein as the original Our Bodies, Ourselves. It is gives women and their partners accurate information on all (or at least many of) their options, not just the medical establishment standard. It discusses pain relief using nitrous oxide-- common in the UK but extremely rare here in the US; use of doulas and other birth assistants; and the social and political context for supporting mothers and families (e.g., mentions that the US is on This is a great pregnancy and childbirth resource in the same vein as the original Our Bodies, Ourselves. It is gives women and their partners accurate information on all (or at least many of) their options, not just the medical establishment standard. It discusses pain relief using nitrous oxide-- common in the UK but extremely rare here in the US; use of doulas and other birth assistants; and the social and political context for supporting mothers and families (e.g., mentions that the US is one of five countries, including Lesotho, that do not guarantee some form of paid maternity leave). The book was developed with a goal of reclaiming childbirth for women; acknowledging childbirth as a potentially empowering experience; and putting faith in women's abilities to make decisions about their bodies. This is a great resource!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maryann J-D

    *Disclaimer to friends and family: I'm reading up/doing research. I'll let you know when there's something to announce! :)* now, to the actual review: an informative book with a great look at the nitty gritty of pregnancy, with a focus on natural options. sometimes it's a little *too* focused on natural options -- or rather, gives the short shrift to medical options. (i.e. obgyn vs. midwife, hospital vs. birthing center) I am all for as natural as possible, but would love to still know what medica *Disclaimer to friends and family: I'm reading up/doing research. I'll let you know when there's something to announce! :)* now, to the actual review: an informative book with a great look at the nitty gritty of pregnancy, with a focus on natural options. sometimes it's a little *too* focused on natural options -- or rather, gives the short shrift to medical options. (i.e. obgyn vs. midwife, hospital vs. birthing center) I am all for as natural as possible, but would love to still know what medical options are available if things go wrong. that said, there are sections of this book that I haven't seen covered elsewhere that we're super helpful: the pain management scale and strategies for each level; the chapters focusing on emotional health, before during and after; and the sections on life after birth.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    The information was ok, but I was a little disturbed by the liberal viewpoint. E.G. the story about a couple whose baby could have been blind, deaf, and mentally retarded, so they felt completely ok with their abortion (which is not ok with me, what if that baby had been fine? Is life less meaningful because you have a disability?) And then there was the "if your partner is male sex can introduce prostaglandins to induce labor..." I know their are people out their who have same-gender partners, The information was ok, but I was a little disturbed by the liberal viewpoint. E.G. the story about a couple whose baby could have been blind, deaf, and mentally retarded, so they felt completely ok with their abortion (which is not ok with me, what if that baby had been fine? Is life less meaningful because you have a disability?) And then there was the "if your partner is male sex can introduce prostaglandins to induce labor..." I know their are people out their who have same-gender partners, but I didn't really want to think about that while reading a book about childbirth. Overall, some good info, but other books have been better and so far I am enjoying "Essential Exercises" much more!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rasheedah

    One of the best pregnancy and birthing resources out there. No need for all the month by month detailed stuff that many pregnancy books have. You can find that all on the internet and it varies so much from woman to woman. This book has the nitty gritty details on all the health and procedural options you should be thinking about, how to live, mental health, birthing options and recommendations...and it is quite feminist and ethnically sensitive in its approach. It even gives you examples of the One of the best pregnancy and birthing resources out there. No need for all the month by month detailed stuff that many pregnancy books have. You can find that all on the internet and it varies so much from woman to woman. This book has the nitty gritty details on all the health and procedural options you should be thinking about, how to live, mental health, birthing options and recommendations...and it is quite feminist and ethnically sensitive in its approach. It even gives you examples of the things you should be discussing with your doctor or midwife. Beautiful job. Worth buying or borrowing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    April

    There are some really great aspects of this book that I like right off the bat, namely, the tone that information is presented in rather than told to you. I appreciate the equal attention to midwives, home births, and hospital options as well as all of forms of childbirth classes and pain management techniques. But...there are some aspects that I was a little disappointed with. The section on prenatal vitamins and minerals was poor in my opinion. There are other recommendations that I feel they There are some really great aspects of this book that I like right off the bat, namely, the tone that information is presented in rather than told to you. I appreciate the equal attention to midwives, home births, and hospital options as well as all of forms of childbirth classes and pain management techniques. But...there are some aspects that I was a little disappointed with. The section on prenatal vitamins and minerals was poor in my opinion. There are other recommendations that I feel they should have covered - like iodine. Overall though I would recommend it to friends and other women.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I tried to read this book from cover to cover but I think it would have been better to have used it as a reference book. It addresses many issues that a pregnant woman can run into, so if she has a particular question, she can likely find a section addressing it in the book. I was able to use it to decide on what kind of testing I wanted for my baby when she was still in my uterus. I read too much about potential problems, so the book also scared me and made me cry several times. That is why I'd I tried to read this book from cover to cover but I think it would have been better to have used it as a reference book. It addresses many issues that a pregnant woman can run into, so if she has a particular question, she can likely find a section addressing it in the book. I was able to use it to decide on what kind of testing I wanted for my baby when she was still in my uterus. I read too much about potential problems, so the book also scared me and made me cry several times. That is why I'd recommend using it as a reference book instead of reading it cover to cover so that you avoid any unnecessary worry. Overall, it is an excellent resource for pregnant women.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    One of the most informative book on pregnancy and birth. It can be a little overwhelming and might be best read in stages. But the Boston Women's Health Collective is THE authority when it comes to women's health books. An excellent addition to any pregnant woman's must read list. Good for first time moms who have no clue what's going on (that would be me) because it's informative without being judgmental. And it leads you to more questions with your health care provider and/or partner about wha One of the most informative book on pregnancy and birth. It can be a little overwhelming and might be best read in stages. But the Boston Women's Health Collective is THE authority when it comes to women's health books. An excellent addition to any pregnant woman's must read list. Good for first time moms who have no clue what's going on (that would be me) because it's informative without being judgmental. And it leads you to more questions with your health care provider and/or partner about what you're expecting through the pregnancy and birth.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karin Labelle

    Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth This came around at the perfect time! There are millions of books on this topic, so it's nice to have a trusted source to go to. So much better than the classic "What to Expect" series. Among other things, they don't assume your birth partner is a male or even your life partner. They focus on birth as a natural process, encourage doulas, and limited medical intervention. They do all this without pressuring and judgement. Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth This came around at the perfect time! There are millions of books on this topic, so it's nice to have a trusted source to go to. So much better than the classic "What to Expect" series. Among other things, they don't assume your birth partner is a male or even your life partner. They focus on birth as a natural process, encourage doulas, and limited medical intervention. They do all this without pressuring and judgement.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stevie

    I kinda wish I could give this four and a half. Anyway, it's nice to read a book about pregnancy that isn't panic-driven or judgmental, and accepts that maybe some women don't want to be jacked up full of drugs when they give birth. I liked the sidebars of stories from real women on a variety of topics. I do wish it had more information week-by-week, rather than one chapter devoted to the experience of pregnancy, but it's a minor quibble. I kinda wish I could give this four and a half. Anyway, it's nice to read a book about pregnancy that isn't panic-driven or judgmental, and accepts that maybe some women don't want to be jacked up full of drugs when they give birth. I liked the sidebars of stories from real women on a variety of topics. I do wish it had more information week-by-week, rather than one chapter devoted to the experience of pregnancy, but it's a minor quibble.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tricia

    An excellent, complete resource on pregnancy and childbirth. The book presents a lot of factual information and goes to great lengths to present all viewpoints and gives the pros and cons on topics such as prenatal testing, medical interventions, using drugs and/or epidurals and breastfeeding. I found it especially valuable after a class where the instructor was judgmental toward those who were not 100 percent committed to natural childbirth.

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