The Birth Partner,Second Edition


Definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through childbirth, and the essential manual to have at hand during the event.

Simkin prepares birth partners for their role before, during, and after labor. She also recommends supplies which should be taken to the hospital, or should be present during home birth. 40 illustrations.

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Definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through childbirth, and the essential manual to have at hand during the event.

Simkin prepares birth partners for their role before, during, and after labor. She also recommends supplies which should be taken to the hospital, or should be present during home birth. 40 illustrations.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To give the birth partner a clear understanding of the process of bearing a baby, and the role that he or she is to play, Simkin thoroughly examines parturition, from essential supplies for mother and baby to how to handle an emergency delivery. She writes knowledgeably and in a readable style, but has an unfortunate habit of tendering gratuitous advice (she notes that the partner can help the mother during the "birth phase'' by staying "close by''). She also fails to explain certain suggestions (why does the birth partner need a swimsuit to shower with the mother?). At her best, Simkin makes the birth partner aware of medical decisions that may lie ahead and of the importance of indulging the mother with constant tender loving care and encouragement during labor and delivery. But those who have attended a competently taught childbirth preparation class will find much of the text familiar. Simkin, herself an instructor, wrote Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: A Complete Guide for Expectant Parents. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
Library Journal
Simkin, author, childbirth educator, and assitant at hundreds of births, has written a wonderfully supportive book for birth partners. She includes detailed information on length and stages of labor and delivery, and describes medical procedures. Medical terms are well defined. Other topics include types of pain medication and their effects; suggestions for comfort measures during labor and delivery; and what to expect in an emergency birth, Cesarean section, or stillbirth. Especially useful is the book's "tab'' system for easy identification of pages with "on-the-spot'' information. This is a more detailed source than The Birth Partner by Carl Jones with Jan Jones ( LJ 5/1/89). Recommended.-- Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558321953
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 337
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
Part 1 Before the Birth 5
1. The Last Few Weeks of Pregnancy 9
What Kind of Birth Partner Will You Be? 10
Getting Ready for Labor 12
Preparing for Life with the Baby 31
On to the Next Step 35
Part 2 Labor and Birth 37
2. Getting into Labor 41
The Labor Process 42
How Long Will Labor Last? 42
Signs of Labor 45
If Her Bag of Waters Breaks Before Labor Begins 48
"False" Labor, or Prelabor 49
Labor Progresses in Six Ways 50
Timing Contractions 53
3. Moving through the Stages of Labor 57
Prelabor 60
Dilation 62
Descent and Birth 76
The Placental Stage 87
Normal Labor--in a Nutshell 89
4. Comfort Measures for Labor 95
The Three Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual 97
Self-Help Comfort Measures 102
Comfort Aids and Devices 115
Comforting Techniques for You to Try 125
Taking Care of Yourself 130
5. Strategies for Difficult Labors 133
The Take-Charge Routine 134
On-the-Spot Coaching (When You Have Had No Childbirth Classes) 136
The Slow-to-Start Labor 137
The Very Rapid Labor 141
The Emergency Delivery 142
When Labor Must Start (Labor-Stimulating Measures) 147
Backache During Labor 152
When the Mother Must Labor in Bed 158
A Breech Baby 160
A Previous Disappointing Birth Experience 163
Incompatibility with the Nurse or Caregiver 165
Part 3 The Medical Side of Childbirth 169
Key Questions for Informed Decision Making 171
6. Tests, Technologies, Interventions, and Procedures 173
Essential Observations 173
Conditions Influencing the Amount of Intervention 176
Common Obstetric Interventions 176
7. Problems That May Arise in Late Pregnancy, Labor, or Afterwards 201
Problems with the Mother 202
The Breech Presentation 209
Problems with Labor Progress 209
Problems with the Fetus 213
Problems with the Newborn 218
After It Is All Over 223
8. Medications for Pain During Labor 225
Management of Normal Labor Without Pain Medications 226
What You Need to Know about Pain Medications 227
Deciding Whether to Use Pain Medications During Labor 237
Pain Medications Preference Scale 249
9. Cesarean Birth, and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean 253
Know the Reasons for Cesarean Birth 255
Know What to Expect During Cesarean Birth 257
Your Role During Cesarean Birth 263
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) 265
Part 4 After the Birth 271
10. The First Few Days Postpartum 275
The First Few Hours 275
The Next Few Days for the Baby 283
The Next Few Days for the Mother 286
Getting Help and Advice 292
The Mother's Postpartum Emotions 293
Practical Matters at Home 294
11. Getting Started with Breastfeeding 301
Advantages of Breastfeeding 301
Getting Off to a Good Start 303
Early Concerns 304
When to Give the Baby a Bottle 310
Once Breastfeeding Is Established 312
Parting Words 313
Recommended Resources 315
Index 323
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    A must have for mothers and fathers-to-be!

    This book is a great read and very informative for both the mother and father-to-be. I am a doula in training and this book has helped me better understand the proceedures done during labor and delivery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    One of the Best Books on Labor & Delivery

    I've been a working with expectant parents for the last 14 years, 5 of which as a birth doula and childbirth educator. When I meet with a new client, I always ask that they read 'The Birth Partner' along with those who are attending their birth. Childbirth is definitely an area in which knowledge equals power - in this case 'The Birth Partner' is a true powder keg to empower yourself in your childbirth journey. I feel that it is a 'must read' for every expectant family.

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