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Comment: Publisher: Harper
Date of Publication: 1944
Binding: hard cover
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childbirth Without Fear Hardcover – 1944


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; [1st ed.] edition (1944)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007G62UY
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,839,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Britain in 1890, Grantly Dick-Read studied at Cambridge and at the London Hospital. He soon realised that there was something inherently wrong with the traditional methods of delivering babies, with their emphasis on intervention and the extensive use of anaesthetics.
The publication of Childbirth without Fear caused widespread controversy, but, encouraged by many women who had given birth using the 'Dick-Read method', Grantly Dick-Read dedicated his life to promoting natural childbirth. His writings inspired advocators of natural childbirth such as Janet Balaskas, Yehudi Gordon, Michel Odent, Ina May Gaskin and Sheila Kitzinger, and seem even more relevant today than when they were first published.
In 1948 he moved to South Africa, where he continued practising and teaching. In 1954 he conducted an extensive tour investigating childbirth practices of African tribes, which he described in his book No Time for Fear. Grantly Dick-Read died back home in England in 1959.

"Pioneers pass on unheard and unlamented until the trail they blazed is followed by a few who have believed. At the end they are discovered where their life's work is finished, mourned only by the wild flowers of the wilderness they loved." Grantly Dick-Read

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First Sentence
Before we embark upon this rather hazardous voyage - the description of a new approach to obstetrics - it may be well to outline briefly certain facts relating to childbirth during the later stages of civilisation. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Lewin on 19 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the only book you will ever need to read during your pregnancy. Understand the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle and how pain is just mind over matter. Birth doesn't have to be painful. This is such a wonderfully well written book, first published back in the 1930's and still relevant today. I know he's a man, but if he was still alive I would pay Grantly Dick-Read to be at my birth. God bless him!!
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. Keene on 11 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by my granny who is a retired nurse and midwife, and was completely hooked on it within the first few pages. Grantly Dick-Read devoted his life to investigating why natural childbirth was painful when he believed there is no reason for it to be so. In this book he describes how fear is an abnormal reaction to childbirth, and how this fear causes abnormal tention within the muscles of the womb that should be relaxed, leading to extremely painful cramp-like pains during contractions. So learn not to fear birth to stay relaxed, and the whole thing can be painless. IT WORKS. I gave birth effortlessly and painlessly to a 8lb 12oz daughter after a labour that only lasted 4 hours! [...]It's worth it's weight in gold.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jamie on 3 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Grantly Dick-Read did a good job of describing how the more civilized we become, the more women fear childbirth. He describes why and how fear is passed on through generations. He debunks myths about childhood and introduces the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome. It is the first book I have read about childbirth, and it was a good introduction. He writes very well, which for me makes him more credible than the "belly-cast hippie people" who also support natural childbirth. He gets scientifically technical, which I also appreciated. He seems to be an evolutionist but he is also religious--another aspect that I liked. Because this book was first written in the 1930s, there are still a few sexist views but he obviously has great respect for the women he works with.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Natural Birth Lady on 7 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best childbirth books ever written! Many women are indebted to Dr. Read for the wonderful truths he rediscovered about birth when it was highly medicalised in the 1940s. Nothing with the woman's body has changed, and his findings are still very true. We don't have control over a lot of things as women in labor, but we do have control over the mind, and Dr. Dick-Read shows us how to control that fear and use it to positively shape the direction of our birth. This is a hidden jewel that needs to get out in the mainstream again.

Other useful books include:

Christ Centered Childbirth by Kelly Townsend

Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley, MD
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jane Allan on 13 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought and read this after seeing it mentioned on an NCT website and reading the recommendations here. It was the best thing I did in preparing for giving birth. It gave me confidence to look forward to labour without any fear. I had a very quick and straightforward delivery. I can't claim that it was all due to the impact of reading this book, but I am convinced that going into labour feeling excited rather than fearful was very beneficial. This book was the main factor that gave me that calmness. It is old fashioned, and by the end I found that it was dragging, but by that stage I had learned all I needed to know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Narcisse on 26 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book while I was pregnant. It is very informing. Knowing what goes on while you are in labour makes one not to dare the birth. I was calm in my 58 hours labour as I knew what is going on and what is best for me and the baby. This is all because of this book that I found really useful.

The only downside is the language of the book is not easy to read, but this is worth trying as it is a treasure for a pregnant woman dreading the birth.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Purpleamethyst on 8 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book while I was pregnant. I didn't want to believe that birth was an inherently painful process and I wanted to read more about it.
This was written a while ago, but everything in it still holds true. Grantly explains how society always portrays giving birth as a terrible and painful experience, but that the real thing does not have to be that way, providing that women are educated about the birth process and learn techniques for relaxation.
His theories were fascinating and gave me confidence about my ability to give birth. During labour I remembered a lot about the text and it was really helpful. As a result I had a calm, controlled and completely normal birth which was free from interventions. It also took less than 5 hours from start to finish!
I will definitely read it again for my subsequent pregnancies.... I haven't been put off by childbirth at all! It really doesn't have to be frightening.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gladys Emmanuel on 30 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is not easy to read but is worth the effort. It has to be one of the worlds best kept secrets. The language is dated (as you would expect from such an old classic) but the message about the links between tension, fear and pain is one that every woman should know. As a midwife, I see this every day but armed with the information in this book labour need not be painful. Buy, beg, borrow a copy and spread the word.
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