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4.1 out of 5 stars30
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 4 May 2006
I've read extensively throughout my pregnancy (this is my first) and this book would be one of the best. Full of positive birth stories from natural to c-sections. I wanted to give it a five but one of the birth stories was a bit too new age for me. These stories fill the second part of the book.

Emma also provides good info in the first and third section with birthing in the UK in mind.

It's given me the confidence I need to get informed and accept what might happen. I'm preparing for an active birth with as little medical intervention as possible. However this book has given me permission to feel okay if an extra hand is needed and how any scenario can be a positive one and not leave me feeling like a failure.
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on 6 June 2007
After a very long first birth with pethidine, an epidural and almost a c-section, I decided I wanted a different experience this time round...... I read the book cover to cover and re-read some parts over again.. needless to say it put me in the right frame of mind and helped to make me feel that I was in control of the situation.

The result? I arrived at the hospital at 8pm and my beautiful second daughter 'Freya' was born just before 10pm with no pain relief except a little gas and air.

Great book, easy to read, worth every penny. A must for all you pregnant ladies out there. Happy Birthing! PS. Im just a down to earth kinda girl - Im not an 'Earth Mother!'
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on 6 June 2008
There is no doubt that this is an entertaining book and a very easy read. I enjoyed it but there wasn't any "How to..." information in it. I think if you are trying to decide IF you should go natural or trying to choose WHICH approach you might take, it could be useful. I wanted something more substantial, with actual tips and instructions, and this provided none of those things.
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on 2 March 2005
I am a first time mother-to-be and was given this book as a present. After a gripping read, as most first timers will probably agree your life and thoughts become pre occupied with babies, pregnancy and birth, I am so positive and excited at the thought of giving birth that I am literally wishing the months away. It left me feeling empowered, strong and very well informed, as to what my options and rights are for labour. It gave me a sense of calm and control about giving birth and now no amount of horror stories from wicked friends and families about stitches and pain can change how positive I feel about this upcoming adventure of child birth. A must read.
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on 23 August 2005
Second time round (after an emergency c section) I really wanted a different experience and this book helped inspire me to a natural birth at home (fast, very relaxed and no pain relief) and all the fantastic feelings that go with it. It is informative but in a best friends kind of way and has loads of detailed experiences from other mothers - well worth a read...
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on 15 May 2009
NOTE: I am an American who had a very traumatic 24 hour labor resulting in a c-section and subsequent medical complications that went on for MONTHS after the birth of my first child in the US. I am now residing in the UK, and this book had special insight for me because of the comparisons it gives on better child-birth in the UK as well as the many non-medical techniques for pain relief during birth (without being too new-age-hippy-like).

However, this book majorly surprised me with a description of-all-things, lesbian fantasies! I'll leave it to you to read, but the end idea was that you need to ACCEPT your body and BE SEXY in order to have a baby! HA! I thought. Well, I ended up having the best sex of my life with my husband within the next couple of days. And now I'm thinking that there is a point to all that talk of sex. (In another book I'm reading now, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, they suggest for the partners to KISS during a contraction! My husband is leery of me biting his tongue off, but I'm willing to give it a try for its ability to lossen the cervix... and create a special bond for us)

OK, on to the other useful bits in this book... being new to this country, I got a good review of all the non-medical ways to cope with pain during labor. Ideas such as gas & air, aromatherapy, TENS and essential oils. I literally was doodling away in my book noting places where I wanted to ask my OB questions. The book then goes on to have different birth stories that highlight ways to labor and birth your baby (hence the title). I have to admit I began scanning towards the end of the book, which is why I give it a 4-star review, it just couldn't hold my attention any longer. But that also is due in part to the extensive chapters on how to choose an OB or midwife, and being in the military and on private healthcare, I don't really get a choice (although I am admittedly set up with one of the most experienced OBs in Oxford).

I am trying for my VBAC in 4 months. I will be reviewing the pain relief techniques again as I get closer so that I can know what to ask my midwife.

A good book overall, I would recommend it to a friend.
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on 23 September 2007
I have read a lot of books in the 23 weeks I have been pregnant (as a science teacher I have an unhealthy thirst for facts and information)and this has made me view the whole labour issue with totally different eyes. I feel more confident in myself and aware of what I want and how to get it. I think this book should be given to all women at their booking in appointment! I couldn't recoomed it more highly
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on 20 July 2005
I found this book really easy to read and very informative - it really opened my eyes and made me reconsdier my birthing options.
Too often everything is presumed when having a baby and choice seems to get lost. This book really highlights all the options and makes a lot of sense - esp. for new mums.
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on 20 April 2009
I found this book - excellent!
My midwife gave me no choices about birth options and when i went to the NCT class the lady suggested this book!
It really opened my eyes to the choices we have and all the options!
I found it very helpful and also found it easier to explain the options to my Husband!
I would definately say a must read if you are pregnant with your first child and would like to hear about other means of giving birth rather than just in a hospital!
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on 30 March 2011
When I ordered this book, I was expecting it to say more about positions for bith, as the title suggests. It isn't about the practicalities of birthing, but I don't think it's a good general 'birth book' either. I did get to the end, but it was a struggle.

The author's viewpoint, fairly blatantly expressed, is that hospital-based doctors and midwives will try to force drugs and interventions on pregnant women as a matter of course and that the only way to have a 'normal' (i.e. intervention-free) birth is to be super-assertive and/or hire an independent midwife for a few thousand pounds. My own concerns are about being pressured to have interventions that I'd rather not have and this book would make me more worried if I'd let it. However, I just don't think that this can be as universal as the author suggests. If I approach my hospital birth thinking that it's going to be a battle, that's what its likely to be.

I enjoyed the birth stories but I found the author's tone to be too confrontational to be helpful - if you're likely to worry about the motives of those connected to hospital births, it might be better to avoid this book.
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