Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth

Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth


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In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read's philosophy is still as fresh and relevant as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman's fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all parents-to-be, childbirth educators, midwives and obstetricians!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781780660554
Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd
Publication date: 05/16/2013
Pages: 356
Sales rank: 514,957
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Grantly Dick-Read (1890-1959) studied at Cambridge and at the London Hospital. The publication of Childbirth without Fearcaused widespread controversy but, encouraged by many women who had given birth using the 'Dick-Read method', he dedicated his life to promoting natural childbirth.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ina May Gaskin vii

Preface to the First Edition Grantly Dick-Read xii

Preface to the Fourth Edition Grantly Dick-Read xv

Childbirth Without Fear

Introduction Grantly Dick-Read 1

1 The Science of Obstetrics 3

2 Motherhood from Many Points of View 7

3 A Philosophy of Childbirth 15

4 Anatomy and Physiology 24

5 The Pain of Labour 32

6 Factors Predisposing to Low Threshold of Pain Interpretation 41

7 Fear 47

8 Imagery and the Conditioning of the Mind 58

9 The Fear of Childbirth 65

10 The Retreat of Fear 84

11 Diet in Pregnancy 102

12 The Phenomena of Labour 112

13 The Relief of Pain in Labour 130

14 Hypnosis m Childbirth as a Means of Pain Relief 151

15 The Conduct of Labour 156

16 Childbirth in Emergency 179

17 Breast-feeding and Rooming-in 185

18 The Husband and Childbirth 205

19 Antenatal Education 217

20 Preparation for Labour 238

21 Antenatal Schools of Instruction and Their Organisation 258

22 In Conclusion 263

Appendix: The Autobiography of Grantly Dick-Read 277

Index 334

What People are Saying About This

Michel Odent

A 21st century edition of this historic - even legendary - book must be warmly welcomed.
obstetrician and author

Andrea Robertson

A fascinating insight into normal birth at a time when endorphins were not known, modern midwifery did not exist and women had already learned to fear labour. Dick-Read, possibly the world's first childbirth activist, celebrates women's innate capacity for safe and easy birth in a challenging book that will excite, amaze, infuriate and uplift its readers.
independent childbirth educator & author

Janet Balaskas

When I was heavily pregnant with my first child 25 years ago this book fell into my hands. That was the start of my belief in natural childbirth which eventually led to four great births of my own and the founding of my life's work in the Active Birth Movement. Grantly Dick-Read's message is inspirational and even more relevant today than when this book was first published. Every pregnant mother should read it.
Author of New Active Birth

Sheila Kitzinger

Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how birth education started as well as the vision that stimulated the birth movement. Dick-Read remains an inspiration for the humanisation of childbirth.

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Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome! Dr. Grantly Dick Read - The father of Natural Childbirth; here is a sample: After the baby was born;  - "she turned to me and said, It didn't hurt. It wasn't meant to, was it doctor?"  Dr. Read spent the next years learning "why".  He teaches us not by magic nor by hypnosis, but by learning simple eating habits, very simple exercises, learning relaxation skills, and how your pregnancy works (your body is made for childbirth) - If it was easy than guys could do it.  I work in Labor and delivery;  I am also a doula. This book has changed my way of taking care of my patients and my clients.  I recommend this book to everyone from new and old moms, doctors, nurses, and doulas.  Bless you Doc Read.  :-) Pcola_Doula
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book back in 1957 when at age 19, expecting my first child. I followed all the suggestions and practiced relaxation daily. My first labor, delivery and birth was a textbook classic. Subsequent births varied in intensity, but with the deep relaxing techniques, even a face-up presentation that required some manipulating was manageable. Had 4 healthy sons by the time I was 29.
LLLSouthCentralMiami on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dr. Grantly was the first to educate his patients about labor and birth, confident that if women were prepared for the experience, they could give birth free from fear and pain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave birth 4 times. After my first in 1956 which required 20 hours of labor and, finally, forceps, I had a healthy daughter.When I became pregnant the second time,I determined to learn more before my 2nd was born. I found Dr Dick-Read's book and followed all the suggestions,exercises,etc The result amazed my delivery doc who went home to tell his young pregnant wife. Each birth was different . We were a military family and treatment varied. The 3rd was in a civilian hospital with an impatient and likely slightly drunk OBGYN "on call" My last was breech and well monitored and healthy but that second was as perfect as the book would describe.