The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

by Henci Goer


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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

As an intelligent woman, you are probably used to learning as much as you can before making major decisions. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions of your life—how you will give birth—it is hard to gather accurate, unbiased information. Surprisingly, much of the research does not support common medical opinion and practice.

Birth activist Henci Goer gives clear, concise information based on the latest medical studies. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth helps you compare and contrast your various options and shows you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests. The book covers:

  • Cesareans
  • Breech babies
  • Inducing labor
  • Electronic Fetal Monitoring
  • Rupturing Membranes
  • Coping with slow labor
  • Pain medication
  • Epistiotomy
  • Vaginal birth after a Ceasarean
  • Doulas
  • Deciding on a doctor or midwife
  • Choosing where to have your baby
  • and much more . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399525179
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/1999
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 162,646
Product dimensions: 6.05(w) x 8.97(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Henci Goer is a certified Lamaze instructor and a doula (professional labor support). She is a founding member of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a group made up of organizations and individuals involved with maternity care in the US and fighting for a mother-friendly childbirth environment. Her articles on pregnancy and childbirth have appeared in Readers Digest and Childbirth Instructor Magazine. For twenty years, Goer has been a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator and labor support professional (doula).

What People are Saying About This

Penny Simkin

In Henci Goer, thinking women have a champion, and maternity caregivers have a challenger. Henci has applied her impressive intellect, wisdom, writing skills, common sense, and wit to produce The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. She analyzes and makes sense of a prodigious amount of recent obstetric research, boils it down, and summarizes its findings. And, on the basis of these findings, she makes practical recommendations for better births. Not one to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, Henci lets the reader in on her whole thinking process, providing scientific references, summaries of the articles, and logical recommendations-all in a highly readable, user-friendly format.
Penny Simkin, P.T. internationally known speaker, birth educator, doula, doula-trainer co-author of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn and author of The Birth Partner

Don Creevy

With the help of this book, any intelligent person can obtain the information necessary to make informed choices. This unique book will provide the tools and confidence to have the best possible birth experience.
Don Creevy, M.D., FACOG obstetrician-gynecologist,Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University Medical School

Maureen P. Corry

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth puts the power of the latest scientific research into the hands of women to help them discern the facts from the myths and make informed decisions about their maternity care.
Maureen P. Corry, M.P.H. Executive Director, Maternity Center Association

Customer Reviews

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The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wish every pregnant couple, whether it's their first child or 7th, whether they are hoping for a home birth or plan on a traditional medicated hospital birth, whether high risk or low, would read this book. I teach Bradley Method Childbirth with an emphasis on current research rather than any kind of dogma, and I find this book invaluable. It's written for the layperson, with pros and cons listed for each common obstetric practice, plus thorough bibliographies. Although Bradley Method urges unmedicated births, my main wish as a teacher is that every couple find within themselves the power to take control of their own research and subsequent decisions concerning the health of mom and baby, regardless of whether I and/or their doctor, midwife, mother-in-law, etc. fully agree with them. This book will help them do that. Lots of moms choose epidurals, episiotomies, or even elective Cesareans, and I have no right as an outsider to question their decisions. I do think, however, that they deserve all the facts so that they can agree to undergo a procedure or take a drug with full knowledge of all its risks and benefits. It's common, though not ubiquitous, for true informed consent to be glossed over in medical settings, and parents have to take responsibility for finding out all the relevant information. My only complaint about this book is that it focuses on the mom's experience and slightly downplays the father's, but it won't be overly distracting to the average dad. And that doesn't affect the quality of the research that went into the book. This is an absolute must-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book if you purchase it as a paperback and not an ebook. The ebook is missing 87 pages
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent material for the woman who chooses to make intellegent decisions regarding herself and her baby. Informed consent isn't good enough, informed CHOICE is what we need, Henci Goer can facilitate your sense of self responsibility.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by my lamaze instructor before my first child. I read it through twice before the birth of my first child, once again before the birth of my second child and made my husband read it to! I was so happy to have someone explain the the true risks and rewards of each aspect of childbirth. I am in general suspicious of too much medical intervention, and this book helped to educate me on things that the OB/GYN takes for granted. I elected to still have my children in the hospital, but with the help of this book, found the strength of will to avoid drugs, c-sections, inductions and episiotomies...and had two wonderfully healthy baby girls to show for it! I recommend this book to everyone I know, even if they are sure they want an epidural. Knowledge is powerful!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is FANTASTIC!! I recommend it to EVERY pregnant woman! Henci Goer has taken decades of scientific studies, boiled them down to the truth and made it easy to read. It is very user friendly, including sections on each intervention reveiwed by the individual studies and she covers the studies themselves- what her standards for inclusion in her review were and how they break down. The studies (all published in medical journals) are included at the back of the book. It is a MUST read for anyone who thinks they know what is the safest way to have a baby, have an epidural or have a c-section. I thought I was well-informed before I read this book, now I understand there is so much that individual obstetricians and ACOG intentionally hide from women. Take back your birth! Educate yourself and make truly informed decisions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book because Henci Goer is honest and thorough in her presentation of the facts. Every fact she introduces she backs up with the actual study in the back of the book. This makes this a great book for men who 'need the proof.' I am a mother of four and currently expecting my fifth and have walked a long journey from highly medicated, dangerous, hospital births to quiet, peaceful, sacred home births. I have experienced much sadness and anger at having my birthing rights removed from me in a hostile hospital environment, and have experienced the triumph of laboring in my own home, protecting those rights and choices, and delivering my sweet baby into my husband's hands. I urge all first time expecting mothers and fathers and those who are not first timers, but unhappy with their past experiences, to give their next delivery as much thought, planning, and research as they would for a home or car purchase!! This is the perfect book for expectant mothers to read because it will tell them the FACTS that their precious OB will never tell them. This book will open your eyes wide about the dangerous hospital protocols that are 'standard' in nearly every hospital in America and explain how the majority of all 'things that go wrong' in a typical hospital birth can be directly linked to unnecessary medical intervention. If you are really serious about having a healthy and happy labor/delivery for yourself and your baby then this book should be the first you pick up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're just beginning to think about hospital alternatives for your childbirth, this is THE best place to start. Factual, scientific, very lay-person friendly reading - without being harshly radical, as are most 'alternative birth' books. Gives a very balanced perspective, citing studies and research, on the safety of out-of-hosital birthing choices. Also, gives extensive information about 'routine' procedures in hospital births, with costs and benefits of each. I bought this book to help educate my husband on the risks of hospital births and the safety of birth centers and home births. Up to then, he was convinced, via 'common knowledge,' that the hospital is the safest place to do anything. Months later, we are now planning a home birth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book while in my 8th month of pregnancy. It totally turned my views and misconceptions about childbirth upside down. In my 9th month, I fired my doctor who was not willing to cooperate with me on the way I wanted MY birth to go, and hired a midwife and had a wonderful, comfortable birth at home. Even if you're already sure you want a hospital birth, this book can help you have a more satifying one by revealing the truth about epidurals,cesarians, VBACS, episiotomies, IVs, breeches, inductions and more. This book is for anyone who is pregnant or plans to be pregnant soon and wants be educated on how birth was really designed to happen. This book isn't like all the other books that tell you just enough to make you THINK you are informed. This is the real scoop!!! Whether the doctors want to admit it, you are a paying costomer and deserve a satisfying birth that goes the way YOU decide. A birthing woman's knowledge really is power!!!
bangerlm on LibraryThing 2 days ago
This book had a lot of good information, however it is a little bit shocking and actually kind of makes you scared to give birth in a hospital. But the sources are well documented.
ammichaels on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Fantastic book with a half an inch thick of citations. The author really did her research. Tells the truth you normally don't hear about C-sections, pitocin, epidurals, episiotomies, and other high-tech interventions. There are a lot of risks and side effects the medical establishment doesn't want you to know.If you want a natural childbirth, READ THIS BOOK! If you think you want a C-section or an epidural and think it's not a big deal, READ THIS BOOK!
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing 2 days ago
Inestimable value in this book if you really want to know about how to avoid intervention and therefore problems with your delivery. I had my first of 5 natural deliveries after reading this book.
sarahtar on LibraryThing 2 days ago
I just absolutely loved this when I read it. A bit too radical for those new to the idea of natural birth, but good for those on the fence, and of course those already convinced will love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Henci Goer does a fabulous job of breaking down many birthing choices into factual pros and cons. Great book for all birthing prefs. Be informed no matter what you choose, know the pros and cons, and have back up plans. Whether you want a natural/medicated birth, this book can help you explore the different ways of getting there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SnobbySnobberson More than 1 year ago
Easy-to-read information, backed with verifiable medical studies, about common childbirth practices in the US. A definite must-read for all pregnant women; take this book to your next OB appointment!
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