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The New Experience of Childbirth [Paperback]

Sheila Kitzinger
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

15 April 2004

Childbirth is one of the most important and powerful events in a woman's life - and yet many women look back on it as an ordeal. Sheila Kitzinger, acknowledged around the world as an expert in the psychological, social and physiological aspects of birth, has rewritten her first book for today's women.

Herself a mother of five, all born at home, she believes that birth can be a positive and deeply satisfying experience. She co-created the teacher training scheme of the National Childbirth Trust, and was the first person to introduce couple's classes, pregnancy and postnatal counselling, and birth companions to give personal support and help in childbirth. Written with warmth, elegance and understanding, THE NEW EXPERIENCE OF CHILDBIRTH explores emotional as well as the physical elements in childbirth and is essential reading for every mother- (and father-) to be.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; Fully rev. and updated ed edition (15 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752861379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752861371
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sheila Kitzinger M.B.E, M.Litt is a social anthropologist of birth and author of 24 books published internationally, most on the emotional journey through this major life experience. At Oxford in the 50s she discovered that the social anthropology of that time was almost entirely about men. She decided she would do research to discover what was important in women's lives, and focused on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
Her five children were all born at home. She lectures widely in different countries and has learned from mothers and midwives in the USA and Canada, the Caribbean, Eastern and Western Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, Latin America, South Africa and Japan, and from women in prison and those who have had a traumatic birth experience.
Her recent books include The New Experience of Childbirth, Understanding Your Crying Baby, Politics of Birth, Birth Crisis and the updated classic The New Pregnancy and Childbirth: Choices and Challenges.
Her website is

Product Description


...invaluable pregnancy reading that will stave off any feelings of 'my body's not my own'... One of the few books of this genre to go into the oft-ignored aspect of the psychological impact of being pregnant. A sensitively written, warm and witty book. (PREGNANCY)

'Sheila Kitzinger's contribution to the childbirth genre stood out from the crowd... What sets it apart is the author's absorbing social and political perspective.' (THE LANCET)

Book Description

Everything the expectant mother needs to know about childbirth, from one of the foremost experts in the field.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It never entered my head to hand over my body to doctors to deliver my baby. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one baby book read this one 18 May 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I tell everyone about this book. Both my husband and I read it during my pregnancy and found it extremely reassuring. During the labour, I realised that the book had given me a huge amount of confidence and my birth experience was much easier as a result of this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read , especially for expectant parents 12 Jan 2006
I read this book when I was pregnant with my second child. It was an interesting, thought-provoking book and served as a useful reminder of some of the technicalities of how a baby is born. Very readable - this is not a manual.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 8 Sep 2008
By R. M.
I would recommend this book to any expectant mother. This book empowered me to experience both a positive mental and physical childbirth. It doesn't matter how you give birth but it matters how you experience it. It covers a woman's emotional experience of childbirth, which is often overlooked.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little biased but good nonetheless. 6 Dec 2006
I bought this book in the hope that it would "demystify" the childbirth process for me a little and it did, explaining in detail exactly what happens during contractions, crowning, etc.

The only problem for me is that it very much majors on home / natural birth. What do you do if you want a natural birth in a birthing centre but end up being induced? Not enough information on this side of childbirth for me, hence the four stars.

Beautifully written though.
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