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Paperback The Birth Partner : A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions Book

ISBN: 1558328807

ISBN13: 9781558328808

The Birth Partner : A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions

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Book Overview

Now in its fourth printing, The Birth Partner, 4th Edition is newly revised and updated. This is the definitive manual for any helpful companion at a birthing mother's bedside. Since the original publication of The Birth Partner , partners, friends, relatives, and doulas (professional birth assistants) have relied on Penny Simkin's guidance in caring for the new mother, from her last trimester through the early postpartum period. Fully revised in...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Practical/Logical Guide to Child Birth

I bought this book for my husband and ended up reading it myself. It was my favorite pregnancy/birth book! It has a *slight* lean towards natural childbirth (it is NOT preachy at all) but fairly covers drugs in depth and even includes a chart with the drug name and it's side effects. It's the only book I have found that does that. It also shows techniques for coping with pain and relaxation techniques...which is what I was looking for my husband and I to both learn. I think this book really prepares you what to expect on the big day. I will recommend this book to all my pregnant friends from now on. If you are a logical, practical person who is looking for tangible techniques and information then this book is for you.

A Mental Lifesaver

For first-time parents, giving birth to your little bundle of joy can be nerve-wracking. There is so much you don't know! And not-knowing can be a nasty breeding ground for fear. My wife and I are first-time parents, and while we weren't scared to death, we certainly wanted to know what we were headed towards. Knowing is half the battle, right? Because of how much there is to know, we even thought about hiring a doula (birth coach). Luckily, we found this book...373 pages of confidence-building. THE BIRTH PARTNER is broken into 4 parts: 1) Before the Birth This section is largely just introduction to the concept of pregnancy. It contains some good lists to remind you what to prepare to take to the hospital. Probably the most important stuff was on Kegel exercises and the Perineal massage. Oh yeah, and make sure to compile a list of friends and family to call or have someone call. 2) Labor and Birth This section has crucial information about the pre-labor process, the signs of labor, the "bag of waters" breaking, false vs. true labor, timing contractions (there's a great chart to make copies of), and breeched babies. Her breakdown of the 3 stages of labor is especially helpful. For those parents attempting a natural birth, she details the 5-1-1 rule for contractions, so you know when to head to the hospital. She walks you through a ton of strategic labor positions to use to relieve pain and allow gravity to do its work toward birthing the baby (these assume you haven't had an epidural...there's a whole section on epidurals and anesthesia). She gives advice for the birth partner's role -- from leading her through breathing routines and rituals to knowing how to work with and sometimes against the doctors, depending on what they're saying. Fast labors, slow labors, irregular labors...they're all in here. 3) The Medical Side of Childbirth Medicine, drugs, shots, tests, interventions and all that good stuff. To epidural or not to epidural? And what about Cesarean sections? It's all in here. Helpful information to keep you sane and in the loop. It's amazing what the doctors won't tell you unless you ask. Remember, it's a business. 4) After the Birth Cleaning the baby, shots, warming, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and how to deal with it...what happens after the birth is almost nearly as important as the before and the during. THE FINAL TAKE This book is a mental lifesaver. Whether you're heading into the birth with complete trust of the doctors and the medical system or with a healthy (or unhealthy) bit of logical skepticism, there is a wealth of essential knowledge in here about what to look for, what to know, and what to ask about. You won't regret reading this book. It's concise and detailed in the all the right places and is clear enough that you know exactly what she's talking about. I'm a first-time, thinking-man's father-to-be, and I sure feel more prepared after reading it. After all, it's just my baby we're talking abou

A tutorial, not a reference

After getting bogged down in several reference-style books about birth, this was exactly what I needed. The book takes you step by step through the birthing process in an accessible and encouraging way, telling specifically you how to help the mother. The fact that the authors base their recommendations not only on physical, but also on emotional needs the partner and the mother is very helpful. This book is far from complete, so a separate pregnancy reference will probably be useful. Also, as reasonable and reassuring as the advice sounds, I have not yet tested it in practice.

You occasionally get more than you pay for...

I have been involved with childbirth education and homebirth for twenty years, and am currently training to be a doula. I don't remember ever seeing one book with such complete and comprehensive information, written in an easy to understand and uncomplicated format. While my own orientation is towards birthing at home, this books covers all venues for birth, enabling a woman and her supporters to make the best birthing decisions for their family. The comments on what a mother will be feeling, both physically and emotionally, should unexpected issues arise is invaluable. The book also describes the use of all possible pain medications, including their possible side effects and when and how they are administered. Ms. Simkin's direction on how to be supportive in any situation will ensure that women whose support person has read her book will be much more productive and thus create a better outcome. I recommend it highly.

The best resource for balanced information

Childbirth books usually come in one of two forms-those that advocate an "institutional birth" and those that advocate a 100% natural birth. This book fits nicely between the two. It gives good, practical information on the pros and cons and nearly every procedure you can think of while neither judging nor condemning the use of such procedures. The best thing about it, however, is explaining to the birth partner how to help and support the birthing woman in the manner that she wishes. A must read for every person who intends to be a support person for a birthing woman.
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