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Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens
Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens
by Michel Odent
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but long, read, 3 Mar 2014
I struggle with Michel Odent’s books. I’ve read some interviews with him in the past and he has some fascinating and thought-provoking ideas – and the same goes for his books – but I just do not get on with his writing style. As with his previous book, ‘Childbirth in the Age of Plastics’, I persevered and picked up a lot of useful points along the way so I’m glad I did persevere. But, I skim read a lot of the book as normal reading was just taking me far too long (and I’m a quick reader!). I do think this deserves another reading, or two. Great ideas, just not delivered in a style that I can appreciate.


Birth & Sex: The Power and the Passion
Birth & Sex: The Power and the Passion
by Sheila Kitzinger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening and empowering, 30 Aug 2013
Once I started this book I couldn't put it down. Much of what Sheila Kitzinger has written resonates with my own experience of childbirth - the good and bad parts.
`Birth and Sex' examines the close links between these two experiences, with Kitzinger demonstrating how Western society has lost sight of this, eschewing instinctive, natural and ecstatic childbirth in favour of highly medicalised, interventionist, maternity care (active management). The book explores how active management of labour has a negative psycho-physical impact on women - labouring women are made to feel that their feelings are irrelevant, that they don't understand their own bodies; instead childbirth must proceed according to set times and any deviation from this schedule will most likely result in intervention e.g. episiotomy, hormone drip, forceps, epidural, caesarean. Some of the stories Kitzinger recounts read like scenes from a B horror movie - it's sad and shocking that women are living through these traumatic experiences in what should be one of the happiest moments of their lives.
Thankfully people like Sheila Kitzinger, Ina May Gaskin and Janet Balaskas are helping to empower women to push for the childbirth that they and their children deserve. A fascinating book.


Baby Management for Men: A Very Practical Guide
Baby Management for Men: A Very Practical Guide
by Henk Hanssen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.40

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and quirky little book, 15 July 2013
Henk Hanssen has given us a fun little book here. Aimed at `modern' dads-to-be, the book is written in office-speak, referring to the baby as `the product', the mum as `producer' etc. It's a humorous and novel way of looking at the subject, although does get a bit tiresome after a while. Still, like I said, a great concept and perhaps would appeal to dads more than your run-of-the-mill baby manual. It covers mainly the first six months of a baby's life, and is limited in detail, so further reading may be required.
A couple of criticisms:
Hanssen suggests that some babies may sleep through the night at 6-13 weeks - he should clarify what he means by sleeping through. I'd hate for dads to read and expect their babies to sleep 12 hours solid - it rarely happens!
He suggests that at roughly three months, night feeding becomes a thing of a past - pah!
There's a brief mention of baby-led weaning, but he focuses on purees. Perhaps BLW hasn't really caught on in his native Holland.
On a positive note, he mentions the dangers of using disposable nappies and discusses the benefits of using cloth ones. He does also mention co-sleeping.
I like this book. Hanssen doens't take himself too seriously and manages to cover the babycare basics.


The Hormone of Closeness: The Role of Oxytocin in Relationships
The Hormone of Closeness: The Role of Oxytocin in Relationships
by Kerstin Uvnas Moberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 9 Jun 2013
As a nursing mother I am very aware of the benefits and effects of oxytocin in childbirth and the nursing relationship, however, I hadn't really considered the wider role that this wonderful hormone plays in all human relationships, and beyond to the animal kingdom. In the `Hormone of Closeness' Moberg demonstrates just how important oxytocin is for developing bonds, a sense of trust, improving our emotional and physical wellbeing. She explores how it could be used to help people with social disorders, anxiety, stress-related illnesses - pretty exciting stuff.
The book gets a bit technical in places, but I guess that's to be expected given the subject matter - plus, there are helpful diagrams which go some way in helping those who don't know their amygdala from their hippocampus.
Worth a read.


Confident Birth
Confident Birth
by Susanna Heli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fantastic book, 21 April 2013
This review is from: Confident Birth (Paperback)
Wow, what a fantastic little book! I loved everything about this and only wish I'd had the chance to read it when I was pregnant. Heli's message is empowering and reassuring, and it's obvious she has a wealth of experience in pregnancy and childbirth. I imagine this book to be the closest you can get to hiring your own doula. It includes fantastic exercises to do during pregnancy and labour, emotional personal stories and is full of wonderful, heartfelt advice for any mum-to-be.


Kiss Me!: How to Raise Your Children with Love
Kiss Me!: How to Raise Your Children with Love
by Carlos González
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book I'll revisit time and again, 21 Nov 2012
I'd heard a lot of good things about `Kiss Me' so was looking forward to reading the book. Gonzalez writes as a paediatrician and father of three children - a refreshing change from some of the more familiar, so-called, `parenting experts'. This book does not offer fail-safe solutions to those oft-repeated parenting questions: how can I get my child to sleep through the night / stop crying / sleep in their own bed / etc? - rather Gonzalez examines why babies and small children behave the way they do - survival being a key reason - and reassures parents that their children are, simply, normal. At the root of this book is the belief, or rather truth, that children are born good, honest, generous and parents should nurture this.
This is a good book to dip in and out of as `issues' arise - sub-chapters are short and Gonzalez gives plenty of real-life examples. I have no doubt that I'll refer to this again and again over the coming years.


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