The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth

Overview

Prepare for a safe and joyful birth-with the help of America's foremost baby and childcare experts Since women enjoy more birthing options today than ever before, the path toward a safe and satisfying birth can be fraught with important decisions. Planning, understanding the resources available to you, and developing your own birthing philosophy can make all the difference. In this comprehensive, reassuring, and authoritative guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on pregnancy, ...

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Overview

Prepare for a safe and joyful birth-with the help of America's foremost baby and childcare experts Since women enjoy more birthing options today than ever before, the path toward a safe and satisfying birth can be fraught with important decisions. Planning, understanding the resources available to you, and developing your own birthing philosophy can make all the difference. In this comprehensive, reassuring, and authoritative guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on pregnancy, babies, and parenting have become widely praised bestsellers, thoroughly explore the abundant choices couples face when anticipating the birth of their child. The topics covered in The Birth Book include:
• Selecting the right birthing environment and team *preparing physically and emotionally for childbirth *using prenatal tests and technology wisely *defining the father's role *selecting a childbirth class *lessening the discomfort and speeding the process of labor *choosing or avoiding anesthesia *finding the birthing position that's best for you and your baby *decreasing your chances for a cesarean birth *turning a surgical birth into a rewarding experience As the parents of eight children and as medical professionals with nearly three decades of experience, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears are uniquely qualified to answer virtually every question you might have about the birth process. Their one-of-a-kind guide, rich in information as well as inspiration, enables you to plan and create the birth you want.

William and Martha Sears, pediatric specialists and the parents of seven children, detail the options available to today's expectant parents in an up-to-date, factual, and unbiased fashion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This guide will do more for new parents than a pacifier will for a newborn. It is a comprehensive, soothing work which will ease the fears and anxieties that explode during a pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. The Searses (The Baby Book) — he a pediatrician and professor at the University of Southern California's School of Medicine; she a childbirth and labor expert — are themselves the parents of eight children. They explain clearly and reassuringly the array of options available to pregnant couples, from what to consider when selecting a birthing team and environment and how technology can be a mixed blessing during pregnancy to having a VDAC (a vaginal delivery after having had a Caesarean birth). The book's philosophy is that delivering a baby is often an event that parents are more caught up with than the end-product — the baby. But the book offers more than philosophy. It gives men practical advice on how to survive the changes, both emotional and physical, that arrive with impending parenthood. There are quick-reference charts on the medical tests commonly ordered by physicians during pregnancy, contraction timing and the stages of labor. The final chapter is devoted to 14 birth stories which illustrate how labor and delivery are different for each woman. While no two experiences are alike, all illustrate the importance of making conscious choices about the birth of one's child.
Library Journal
With expectant parents confronted with a variety of childbirth choices, the Searses, a noted husband-and-wife team (he's a pediatrician and she's a nurse), have written a guide that outlines a number of options available for birth along with pros and cons for each. Their emphasis is on the natural birth experience — without drugs and with as little intervention as possible. They provide information on alternate settings and nonphysician birth assistants. The book is well written and well organized; references and additional reading provide avenues for further information. A complement to other books on the birth process, including Gayle Peterson's An Easier Childbirth (Tarcher, 1991); recommended for consumer health/patient education collections.
— Mary J. Jarvis, Methodist Hospital Medical Library, Lubbock, Texas
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316779074
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/1994
  • Series: Sears Parenting Library Series
  • Edition description: FIRST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 197,385
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

A Word from Dr. Bill and Martha xi
Part I Preparing for Birth 1
Chapter 1 Our Birth Experiences--What We Have Learned 3
Our Eight Births: Martha's Story 3
Ten Tips for a Safe and Satisfying Birth 10
Chapter 2 Birth--Then and Now 15
Birth Before 1900: Home, Sweet Home 15
Birthing Practices 1900-1950: Birth the American Way 18
Birthing Practices 1950-1990: Women on Top 22
The 1990s and Beyond: What's Ahead 25
What You Can Do 27
Chapter 3 Choices in Childbirth 28
Working Out a Birthing Philosophy 28
Choosing Your Birth Team 30
Choosing a Birth Place 38
Choosing a Childbirth Class 50
Chapter 4 Getting Your Body Ready for Birth 59
Assuming the Right Pregnancy Posture 59
Good Body Mechanics 60
Best Birth Exercises 62
Eating Right--For Two 69
Chapter 5 Tests, Technology, and Other Interventions That Happen on the Way to Birth 75
Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) 76
Ultrasound 80
Pitocin (Oxytocin) 84
Active Management of Labor (AML) 86
Episiotomy 88
Screening Tests for Birth Defects 94
Chapter 6 Cesarean Births 102
Why So Many Cesareans? 102
What Happens in a Surgical Birth? 104
When Cesareans Are Necessary 108
Ten Ways to Avoid a Cesarean 109
Must Breech Babies Be Delivered Surgically? 113
Chapter 7 VBAC--Yes, You Can! (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) 117
Why the Worry? 117
What Are Your Chances? 118
Different Births--Different Feelings 123
Part II Easing Pain in Labor--What You Can Do 127
Chapter 8 Why Birth Hurts--Why It Doesn't Have To 129
Why Birth Can Hurt 130
Understanding Pain Management 132
Fear--Labor's Foe 134
Strategies for a More Comfortable Labor 137
Chapter 9 Relaxing for Birth 141
How Relaxation Helps Your Labor 141
Releasing Exercises 143
Using Your Imagination 146
A Potpourri of Relaxation and Comfort Tips 150
Water for Birth 152
Touches for Birth 157
Breathing for Birth 160
Chapter 10 Easing Birth Pains--How the Doctor Can Help 166
The Trade-off 166
Narcotic Pain Relievers 167
Epidural Anesthesia 170
Questions You May Have About Epidurals 172
Part III Experiencing Birth 183
Chapter 11 Best Birthing Positions 185
Why Birthing Positions Make a Difference 185
Finding Your Best Birthing Position 187
Chapter 12 Labor and Delivery 195
Prelabor Signs 195
If Your Labor Drags 202
If Your Labor Stalls 204
What to Do When Your Water Breaks 206
What to Do When You're Overdue 208
Labor Begins 210
The Second Stage of Labor 219
The Third Stage of Labor 225
Chapter 13 Composing Your Birth Plan 231
Why Make a Plan? 231
A Sample Birth Plan 234
Sample Birth Plan in Case a Cesarean Becomes Necessary 236
Chapter 14 Birth Stories 237
Queen for a Month 258
References and Additional Reading 260
Index 263
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2002

    Good book

    This book was good. I read it before my first child. The only thing that I did not like about this book was that it was slow reading. I was looking for more information about the birthing process itself and it really focused on the drug free birth. I guess I expected a better argument.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2005

    First Book I Bought

    Even before I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted a natural birth. This book really helped me to talk with my OB about what I wanted during labor and delivery. I'd mark pages and take it with me to my appointments.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2003

    Love It

    I found that when I needed to refresh my myself on certin things when i look through all the books this one was the best that I found not only does it review labor positions but as well you get the perspectives from both authors and you feel that they are more telling you their story as well as giving you up to date information. Recomended for new parents refersher and for anyone looking to get pregnant to know what to expect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    Must Read!!

    This was a fantastic Guide for both of my Daughter's births which were all natural for them and me!! I loved the fact this book finally gave women the chance to take charge of thier labor and birthing of their babies!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2002

    What A Great Reference!

    I picked this book up when I was in my seventh month, and boy was I glad I did. It not only prepared me for what options I have, but also prepared me what may happen if things don't go perfectly (when do they ever?). I had a harrowing 24 hour induced labor, and I honestly don't think it would have still been a rewarding experience without having read this book first. I strongly recommend this to anyone expecting their first baby (father's included!!).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2000

    Absolutely wonderful! Positive information for an empowering birth!

    I am so impressed by this book! It makes it clear that birth is a healthy, normal event, but it also gives information in case unexpected issues come up. Packed with information on all aspects of birth...highly recommended!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

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