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The Good Birth Companion: A Practical Guide to Having the Best Labour and Birth Paperback – 5 May 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion (5 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091935504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091935504
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A warm reassuring guide to having a baby" (Mother & Baby)

"Expert tips for a smooth B-day" (Prima Baby & Pregnancy)

"Nicole takes the fear out of labour and birth in this empowering and practical guide" (Green Parent)

"All the information and resources you need to give birth safely to your baby" (Families)

"A great one-stop shop of information and ... one of the best "how to books" on the market" (Juno)

Book Description

The book that all mothers-to-be should read to ensure they have the best labour and birth, written by one of Janet Balaskas' most experienced Active Birth Associates.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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!
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is very much along the lines of the NCT school of thought; basically the theory that almost every birth can be a natural and enjoyable birth providing you go into it with the right mindset and remain calm and relaxed about it, and that in the pursuit of this you should surround yourself with positive birth stories and experiences. Let me explain what happened to us:

We had a birth plan based on everything we learned from this book and from NCT; we were going to start out in the birth centre, try the water and progress to pain relief if necessary. 3 days after the due date the baby stopped moving. We went straight to hospital and my wife was hooked up to a monitor. Everything was fine but they said that the change in movement that day was concerning and that they should speed things up. She was induced quickly and had her waters broken. The baby had done a poo inside her, which potentially was the reason he had not being moving (although it could have been something else). From there on in everything was incredibly medical; she was permanently monitored and we had every intervention going and ended up delivering in theatre with a suction cup and a threatened emergency C-section. He was whisked away to have any meconium suctioned away from his face in case he should inhale it into his lungs.

Now then, what is the problem with this book? In short, it completely failed to prepare us for the actual birth we had, and we ended up finding the entire thing terrifying because it was so far removed from the way we thought it should have happened, and yet in the grand scheme of things it was a fairly normal birth in this day and age, and we feel completely necessary to ensure the safety of our baby.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have recently had my first born daughter and this book was invaluable in preparing for labour. I followed the advice (having read and re-read the book several times on my phone using the kindle app) whilst in labour and can honestly say it helped! I had a very quick labour with only a bit of gas and air and use of a tens machine (again invaluable!) and although it was painful (there is no denying it or getting away from it - having a baby hurts, a lot!) I look back on my labour with only good positive memories. A must read as far as I'm concerned!
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