Unassisted Childbirth

Unassisted Childbirth

by Laura Kaplan Shanley


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Laura and her husband delivered their first child without the aid of a doctor or midwife. Laura alone delivered the next three children, assisted by her belief that giving birth was a natural process for which a woman's body had been well designed. Therefore, she saw no need to involve the medical establishment. Her personal birth experiences confirmed her belief, and subsequent research has convinced her that with the proper mindset delivering one's own baby is the safest, most fulfilling way to give birth. Tribal women and animals can help show the way, if one is humble enough to learn from them. Shanley gives numerous references, both historical and contemporary, to support her theory. She tells of her own experiences in childbirth as well as those of other women who have given birth without medical assistance. Although many contemporary writers deal with the concept that we create our own reality according to our beliefs, no one has applied this notion to birthing experience to the extent that Laura has.

For many generations, society has assumed that childbirth, with its associated fear, pain, and risks, must take place in a hospital setting in the presence of medical professionals who have no relationship to the parents and their baby. Laura Kaplan Shanley rebuffs the context of this assumption, which treats childbirth as a disease rather than as a natural process. In Unassisted Childbirth, she calls upon the thousands of years during which women gave birth without medical intervention—arguing that with the proper beliefs, women are capable of and can opt for delivering their own babies, with or without their partners. Shanley, who had her own four children at home without medical assistance, explains how women's apprehensions contribute to most difficulties encountered in labor. In addition, she points out, only after the practice of placing women in infectious hospital settings began did the risk of hemorrhaging, sickening or even dying in childbirth increase.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897893770
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/30/1993
Pages: 174
Product dimensions: 0.41(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

About the Author

LAURA KAPLAN SHANLEY is a free-lance writer who has contributed to journals and magazines on subjects of childbirth and spirituality.

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Unassisted Childbirth 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
swan480 More than 1 year ago
If the thought of giving birth in a hospital, being told what you can and can't do, and the like makes you nervous, this book is for you. Despite the negative reviews, Shanley's book explains why unassisted childbirth isn't as dangerous as you might think. It also explains how some of the expected "preventative" prenatal care can actually cause more harm than good. Even if you decide not to go through with a completely unassisted childbirth, this book will give you some ideas on how you can make it a safer and more positive experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Laura's book after my second unassisted childbirth. So while it wasn't something that lead me to unassisted birth, it inspired me greatly and made me think about things I hadn't before, such as the power of the mind and how fear can really control our minds/bodies. Laura, thank you for sharing your story and being such a powerful teacher and inspiration to all women everywhere!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the only book I read while I was pregnant with my second child. The author, Laura Shanley, makes you realize what childbirth is supposed to be. Natural and unhindered. Our bodies were naturally designed to give birth without medical attention. I went on to have a solo unassisted birth, and it was the most beautiful and amazing experience of my life. I thank God that this book fell into my hands when it did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book explains a way of motherhood that can work for some people, but not everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book supports and encourages expectant mothers to not only go through pregnancy with no prenatal care, but to also labor and delivery without the aide of any medical personell and away from the aide of any medical facilities. Considering the rise of later-age mothers, the rise of diabetes and gestational diabetes rates, and the general rise of maternal deaths in the US, to follow this books advice is to put not only yourself but your baby's life in danger. I highly encourage expectant mothers to get professional medical help throughout their pregnancies and through labor and delivery. Do not take the chance this book seems to gloss over, you may pay with your baby's life.
The_Real_Samaire_Provost More than 1 year ago
The cult of unassisted childbirth is filled with followers of this book. Miss Shanely is quite persuasive in her book and online where she promotes this extremely dangerous practice of not only giving birth with no medical aid, but in going through a pregnancy with no medical aid. In this day and age of older women with pregnancies and over weight women being pregnant, this book and this phylosophy is a huge recipe for death and disaster. Her writing is narcissistic and her ideas ignorant or the realities of what happens during pregnancy and childbirth. If you care one iota about the health and well being of your child, do not believe the lies in this book, and above all: seek medical care during pregnancy and during childbirth if you want a live baby.