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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2011
Having been through different birthing situations, I found this book completely enlightening. I wish I had had on my bedside table before.... it is extremely helpful and easy to read, giving a well thought out and practical view of how your birth could and should be - with the right attitude and understanding of the way that our bodies work. BUY IT - you won't regret it!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
I am due to give birth in 2 weeks and have read this all the way through once and I am now reading through the labour stage sections for a second time.

I was a quivering wreck after my first antenatal class, feeling incredibly nervous and unprepared. The next day I went out to a local bookshop and purchased this book. Within just a few pages it managed to calm me and has made me believe that I will be able to be in control and as far as is possible have the natural birth I want.

I would recommend this to anyone who is due to give birth. I assumed I'd need to read lots and lots of books to give me that peace of mind but I have only ready this one and don't have any unanswered questions. It is a very honest book which is easy to read and doesn't assume anything about each expecting mother. Nor does it pressurise the reader in to a particular kind of birth.

I cannot recommend it enough!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
This is my first pregnancy so I felt very uncertain about the birth. I have some other good books that focus well on pregnancy but none of them went deep into birth. I am a logical person and do not like unwarranted claims and I found almost none here. As with everything, I took this book with a pinch of salt. There was a talk about homeopathy but as I am not too familiar with the subject, I decided not to focus on it. However, most of the focus was on our minds and thoughts instead of tools and external things a person can use. Which makes it relevant to almost every person planning to give birth, even those who are planning to have a cesarean birth.

In short here is what I liked best:
1. It focused on how brain functions during different phases of labour and how a woman and her partner can help maintain a certain state of mind which is best for labor.
2. The book was non-judgmental and was sympathetic towards all kinds of births: natural birth, medical birth with pain killers and cesarean births. She stressed that it is easy for women to 'grade' themselves on how they gave birth but the only thing at the end of the day that matters most is to have a safe birth where a mother feels safe and a baby is born in the healthiest way possible. However, we can all have an idea of what we want and try to aim towards that.
3. The book talked about what happens to the body and mind after birth and gave good examples from various cultures on how parents handle depression and stress after the birth of a baby.

I don't know if I will consciously remember the tips and advises during the birth of my baby (due in 3 weeks) but I feel certain that I am better prepared now than I was before having read the book. Would highly recommend it!

UPDATE: I am confirming what I said above two months after the birth of my baby. It was my first labour and things went very smooth. The points in the book were clear in my head and I planned ahead accordingly. I gave birth at the hospital but spent most of the labour at home and was at the hospital only for 2.5 hours of the last bit of the labour. Of course I had spoken to my midwife about my plans and as it was a normal pregnancy, I received a green light. My midwife told me to come to the hospital when I get nauseous as that is the sign that baby is entering or has entered deeper in the birth canal (doesn't work for everyone but I was lucky to have that signal). I brought my husband and a dear friend along. Having a friend as a doula was a huge plus. After 2.5 hours and only laughing gas to help ease the pain the first hour (it was too late for epidural), I was able to give birth. Having positive birth book and positive vidoes on youtube made a difference. I wish a positive birth experience to all the beautiful women out there. I hope you feel as empowered before, during and afterwards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2013
This book taught me all that I was looking to learn, as well of lots of extra things that I needed to know about childbirth and beyond. It's so easy to read and has a friendly tone, yet is also incredibly knowledgeable around the science of childbirth - it was really fascinating at times. Education helps to reduce fear of the unknown, I think, and this book definitely did that for me. A really great read - so glad I bought it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2014
Easy to read and understand. The Good birth companion provides an excellent point of reference for pregnancy. The only reason for not giving this book five stars is I would like to reflect on how effective some of the advice given, truly is after I have had the experience of delivery and the first few weeks/months of motherhood.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2011
I had read quite extensively before the birth of my first child, but really wanted to read something while I was pregnant for the second time to help with some anxiety I was feeling, and to build up my momentum to give birth again.

The Good Birth Companion was the ideal book. In some ways it felt familiar, not only because I had given birth before, but because of the way it was written. I literally felt that Nicole Croft was chatting to me about birth in a very comforting and unbiased way. It is written with a knowing smile, by which I mean it feels positive and reassuring, almost as a mother would be if she were speaking to her child.

The content is extensive and satisfactorily covers many questions that a pregnant mother may have, as well as imparting some pearls of wisdom through personal experience or beliefs, and using visuals or examples that one can easily relate to.

I like the fact it is called the 'Companion Guide', because that is what it is, a friend to you during your pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood. Keep it close it will comfort you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2013
This is an informative, genuine and knowledgeable book. As mum to one and soon to be mum x 2 I have found it illuminating and useful and also empowering. I face a possible ceasarian although hoping for a VBAC. This book has taken away some of the fear of potentially going under the knife again and also underlined what I can do to prevent intervention and try to make my VBAC successful. Thank you Nicole. I recommend this book to all mums to be.
The only reason this, for me, is not a 5 star read is some of the lack of referencing and the usual preaching regarding breast feeding. I wholeheartedly believe breast is best. However too much emphasis is placed on long term health benefits :trying too hard to "sell" what is essentially a lovely, natural way to feed your baby. I especially question the claim that 4 months breast feeding can protect against childhood leukaemia: The cause of which eludes medical science and a condition I know too much about despite 6 months breast feeding. The (questionable) research that I assume is being cited states that more research is needed and that the longer one breast feeds the greater the immune benefits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2013
Being pregnant with my first child i thought that the midwife and NHS would be really informative, warm and nurturing how wrong was I. I felt more like i had an illness i was being medically reviewed for instead of being prepared for the miracle of birthing a human being. i got this book after my friend told me to not let the midwife dictate how my pregnancy and labour/ birth and make sure that i did it my way. So i hunted online for a bit of support and found this treasure.
It is a bit repetitive but it gave me the additional nudge i needed to stand my ground and have what I wanted. I must admit i never attended antenatal classes so some of the book was a bit redundant for me but the majority was incredibly empowering especially when your naturally drained and tired at the beginning and end of your pregnancy the added support this gives you really made me feel better about my impending labour and birth. My partner also found it useful.

i would certainly suggest this for first time mums and any lady who's feeling a little less then happy about the lack of options being presented to her. Remember it is YOUR baby YOUR labour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2013
I have been totally frightened about giving birth since the day I found out I was pregnant. I always knew I would be, but decided not to worry about it until I needed to!

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad I took her advice and bought it. It takes you through all the steps of labour, various outcomes etc in a really friendly and easy to read format. I learnt so much about the biological processes that will happen that I am now pretty much in awe of the of birth process.

The book tackles some of the more well debated subjects such as pain relief, breast feeding etc but gives a really balances opinion.

There are so many words of advice in this book my birth plan has pretty much changed completely... and my partner is reading sections of it too so he know's where I am coming from, what I am worried about and just so he know's a bit more too.

I wouldn't say I am now looking forward to the experience, but this book has given me the confidence to have trust in my body to do this and it's take a lot of the scariness out of the process as I am now informed.... wish me luck!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2013
I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I have advised other pregnant friends whom I know to read it as well. Unlike the other usual literature I received throughout the course if my pregnancy, I found this book to be very positive about labour, without being unrealistic. It was extremely reassuring, and dispelled all my fears about the birth. Thanks to this book, I awaited my labour with some excitement, and as a consequence I felt more in control during labour, and very calm, focusing on all the positives mentioned in the book. Nicole Croft, the author, describes the three stages of labour in a lot of detail, while keeping the tone friendly and upbeat. Labour is a very natural process, which I think is forgotten in modern society.
There are also a couple of chapters at the end of the book on breastfeeding and coping with your newborn.
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