The Birth Partner, 4th Edition, Completely Revised and Updated: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions

The Birth Partner, 4th Edition, Completely Revised and Updated: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions

by Penny Simkin


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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 its fourth edition, The Birth Partner remains the definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through childbirth and the essential manual to have at hand during the event.

This completely updated edition includes thorough information on:

  • Preparing for labor and knowing when it has begun
  • Normal labor and how to help the woman every step of the way
  • Epidurals and other medications for labor
  • Non-drug techniques for easing labor pain
  • Cesarean birth and complications that may require it
  • Breastfeeding and newborn care

And that is just a start. For the partner who wishes to be truly helpful in the birthing room, The Birth Partner, 4th Edition is indispensable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558328808
Publisher: Harvard Common Press, The
Publication date: 07/01/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 194,266
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Penny Simkin, PT, is a physical therapist, childbirth educator, doula, and birth counselor. She is nationally recognized as a premier authority on childbirth, having helped 9,000 expecting women and birth partners in childbirth and attended hundreds of couples though the birth process. Simkin is a prolific author and serves on more than 10 different consultant and editorial boards, including the journal Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, The International Childbirth Education Association, and The Seattle Midwifery School, where she also provides training for doulas and lectures to students. She has written myriad books, journal, and magazine articles. Simkin is also co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America) and The Pacific Association for Labor Support. In addition to providing childbirth education, birth counseling, and labor support, Simkin travels extensively throughout the country, lecturing and presenting at conferences and workshops. For more information, please visit Simkin’s website at

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
How to Use This Book     xvii
Betore the Birth     1
The Last Few Weeks of Pregnancy     3
What Kind of Birth Partner Will You Be?     4
Getting Ready for Labor     6
Preparing for Life with the Baby     31
On to the Next Step ...     37
Labor and Birth     39
Getting into Labor     41
The Labor Process     42
How Long Will Labor Last?     43
Signs of Labor     46
If Her Bag of Waters Breaks Before Labor Begins     49
"False" Labor, or Prelabor     51
Labor Progresses in Six Ways     52
Timing Contractions     55
Moving through the Stages of Labor     59
Compare Labor to Running a Marathon     60
Prelabor     63
The Dilation Stage     67
The Birthing Stage     89
The Placental Stage     103
Normal Labor-in a Nutshell     107
Comfort Measures for Labor     111
Pain vs. Suffering     112
The Three Rs: Relaxation, Rhythm, and Ritual     115
Self-Help ComfortMeasures     121
Comfort Aids and Devices     142
Comforting Techniques for You to Try     151
Taking Care of Yourself     161
Checklist of Comfort Measures for Labor     163
Strategies for Challenging Variations in Normal Labor     165
The Take-Charge Routine     166
On-the-Spot Coaching (When You Have Had No Childbirth Classes)     170
The Very Rapid Labor     171
The Emergency Delivery     173
When Labor Must Start (Labor-Stimulating Measures)     175
The Slow-to-Start Labor     180
Slow Progress in Active Labor and the Birthing Stage, with or without Back Pain     184
When the Mother Must Labor in Bed     188
A Breech Baby     190
A Previous Disappointing or Traumatic Birth Experience     194
Incompatibility with the Nurse or Caregiver     197
The Medical Side of Childbirth     201
Key Questions for Informed Decision Making     202
Tests, Technologies, Interventions, and Procedures     205
Late-Pregnancy Tests     206
Essential Observations During Labor     209
Conditions Influencing the Amount of Intervention     211
Common Obstetric Interventions      212
Complications in Late Pregnancy, Labor, or Afterward     239
Complications for the Mother     240
The Breech Presentation     251
Complications with Labor Progress     252
Complications with the Fetus     256
Complications with the Newborn     261
After It Is All Over     267
Medications for Pain During Labor     269
Management of Normal Labor without Pain Medications     270
What You Need to Know about Pain Medications     272
The Mother's Decisions Regarding Pain Medications During Labor     290
Pain Medications Preference Scale     294
Cesarean Birth, and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean     305
Know the Medical Reasons for Cesarean Birth     310
Know What to Expect During Cesarean Birth     312
Your Role During and After a Cesarean Birth     318
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)     321
After the Birth     327
The First Few Days Postpartum     329
The First Few Hours     329
The First Few Days for the Baby     338
The First Few Days for the Mother     344
Homecoming     348
After a Home Birth     349
Getting Help and Advice     350
The Mother's Postpartum Emotions     351
What about Your Feelings?     353
Practical Matters at Home     354
Getting Started with Breastfeeding     361
Advantages of Breastfeeding     361
Getting Off to a Good Start     364
Early Concerns     365
When to Give the Baby a Bottle     371
Once Breastfeeding Is Established     373
Parting Words     375
Recommended Resources     377
Index     382

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The Birth Partner, 4th Edition, Completely Revised and Updated: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of good info