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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 March 2009
When I went into labour the first time, I could have punched every woman who had ever told me that labour was just like period pains, as far as I was concerned they were all lying. What I was experiencing was much more intense than any pain I had ever had. I now realise that it is impossible to describe labour pains to anyone who has never felt them. The books I had read for my first child were all, airy fairy, 'just relax' kind of books, let me tell you it is almost impossible to, 'just relax' during labour. The Birth Skills Book is refreshing, in that it teaches you how to actively deal with the pain of labour. It makes no qualms about the fact that you will need to use as many skills as you can lay your hands on to get you through the birth. It is empowering and I now have more confidence that I can get through each contraction with a new box of tricks for pain management.
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on 18 August 2008
I'm 18 weeks pregnant and yet to give birth - this will be my first.

I've searched very carefully for a book on giving birth which makes natural and physical sense, without bombarding me with information on drugs and medical impliments.

When I picked up and begun reading this book I instantly felt relaxed and at ease.

It explains the physiology of giving birth in a simple and straightforward way, It teaches you how to harness your natural resources in order to deal more effectively with pain and contractions.

It teaches you to concentrate your mind on the natural healthy pain that your body is experiencing and how to use the adrenaline, a bi broduct of this pain, to ease the stress.

This book has made me feel relaxed and confident about birth - It is a wonderful book and I look forward to using the techniques I've learnt.
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on 8 August 2012
this book was really useful in explaining what happens to your body during labour and how best you can respond to manage the pain.
the techniques suggested were very effective at managing pain and the book never plays down the pain of labour which is the problem i found with other books which advocate only techniques of breathing and visualization.

the book also prepares you for the fact that you may need pain relief or medical intervention.
this was absolutely brilliant! a lot of books which advocate natural birth claim that is you do what they say you won't need pain relief or intervention leaving women to feel panic and a sense of failure when things dont go to plan

Jujus books gives you techniques to manage the pain and a mindset that prepares you to make the right decision for you what ever happens.
I was hoping for a natural waterbirth but ended up being induced- which was incredibly painful. Jujus techniques got me through 6 hours of non stop excruciating contractions and the mental preparation the book gave me gave me the confidence to know when i needed pain relief and to go for it without feeling a sense of failure.

the book really helped get my partner involved as well. birth can be really hard for partners. this book helps them understand what is happening to your body and partners can assist with the techniques which gets you working together as a team - great for both of you. the preparation that my partner and i did really helped us to work together and helped him stay calm when things started to deviate from our game plan.

i ended up with an epidural and a c section because the baby wouldn't descend - something i had absolutely no control over. i feel very positive about my birth experience because i know i did exactly what i needed to when i needed to do it.

i have a beautiful healthy baby and a strengthened relationship with my partner. this book focuses on the fact that a positive outcome is a healthy baby and a birth experience that you feel good about..... not pursuing a natural birth at all costs
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on 16 September 2011
This book is amazing. I've never reviewed anything anywhere before but now feel compelled to do so!

Basically, this book gives you the skills and knowledge to 'take the power back' during your labour. Throughout labour, I was aware of what my body was doing and why, had the skills to deal with what nature threw at me and could make knowledgeable and empowered decisions during labour. All thanks to this book! I did not have a straightforward labour but thanks to Juju and the other women in the book, I have great labour memories. I just can't shut up about how amazing this book is!
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on 29 November 2013
I highly recommend this book. I used so many of the methods throughout labour and birth. I even used them during cerclage removal before labour (painful!) and have used them since in various situations. If you were anywhere in that hospital the day I gave birth, you would have heard ONE, TWO, THREE very loudly for hours on end!

I was induced, so I was limited with how much I could walk around, so actually laboured on my back - with BACK labour, but I still managed very well with counting, tapping and my stress balls. I did stall for a few hours in transition and it was then these methods weren't enough. Luckily the baby didn't seem bothered and I decided to get some much needed some pain relief, which seemed to get my cervix opening again, but when it came time to push, this book was invaluable. No one had explained to me HOW to push before, "push into your bottom" doesn't really help, and in my first birth (a premature one) I had no idea what to do and couldn't get it right. She explains it so well, the idea of the coffee plunger, pushing down from your diaphragm...amazing. I fired that baby out so fast the midwife had trouble catching him (really I did). And I'd had a cervical lip too, I forgot to breathe through at the end to avoid tearing, because I was so focused on getting him out, so I tore a fair bit, but it was still amazing and this book really really helped.

This book doesn't tell you it wont hurt, or you can take away the pain. Why lie? Childbirth is agony, but it teaches you refocus your pain, and how to use your bodies natural pain relievers to get through. Without it, I don't think I would have made it without an epidural! I'm not saying I had an easy labour by any means, or a pain free labour, in fact it was excruciating and the memory of that back pain still hasn't left me 10 months later. And yes I had to have meds to survive it, but this book got me through most of it calmly and with focus. If I ever have another I will be reading this again. I do however recommend doing more than one method, perhaps try hypnobirthing too as a back-up plan, in case you need additional help!
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on 22 March 2009
This book is excellent and a must for any mother to be.

Although I believe there are many contributing factors to easing labour, this book certainly made all the difference to my recent experience (we are now the proud parents of a very healthy, happy little boy).

Using repetition, explanation and side-boxes of experience from real parents, Juju instilled total confidence into how I could manage my labour to both my and the baby's advantage. I went into labour feeling fully in control and aware of what was about to happen and why.

Also get your husband / partner to read the book, so you go into the experience as a team, working together using the multitude of tools and experiences within the book. So for example, every contraction I went through I kept reminding myself that although excruciating, the pain was a healthy natural one and I had nothing to fear... plus the fact that every contraction is a step closer to the delivery of your baby, and nothing beats that!

There are two versions of the book - make sure you get the one with pics in - it is a really easy read, even if you just dip in and out of the sections. I am so grateful to my friend in Sydney who recommended the book - it really did make such a difference - being in control is key!
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on 22 October 2010
I bought this book halfway through my second pregnancy. After a traumatic first birth I was absolutely terrified about giving birth again. I was struggling to find something to help calm me down until I stumbled across this book. It definitely helped me; not only through the birth but also through the pregnancy. The book is split into sections, each concentrating on one strategy to take your mind off the pain. The authors explain why each strategy works which really appealed to my scientific way of thinking and although advocates of a natural birth they also put this goal into perspective - a refreshing change from a lot of books that preach about natural births being the only way. It was great having so many 'tools' to draw upon whilst in labour and really helped to get me through it. It is a wonderful book and I would really recommend it to anyone - I am not normally one to review books but I just had to say something about this one!
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on 30 August 2013
This book helped me to prepare myself and my partner for an active birth. The tips in the book are helpful and easy to follow, it is down to earth, sensible advice and you can take with you as much or as little as you like to. Also, the book very clearly advises us to keep an open mind as nobody knows what will happen and how much assistance mother and baby will need at the end. What matters is that they are both healthy and together at the end. So read it and prepare yourself, then see what you will really use and what will work - nobody can tell you, it is your experience at the end. Real stories in the book showed how unpredictable birth can be and how helpful any sort of advice and practice really is. I still have my stress ball on my desk as a reminder of my own birthing experience (and the stress ball had my nail marks in it for weeks after the birth of my daughter).
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on 26 September 2014
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is essential reading for all pregnant women. It's so good I've given copies to many friends who have all said that it really helped them in labour. It's practical and positive & makes good sense. The book aims to empower women to feel in control in labour, know what's happening to them & make informed decisions. It can also help you to avoid needing too much pain relief, which in my case it did. It has all sorts of great suggestions for positions & techniques to use. In hindsight the antenatal classes I attended (NHS & NCT) would have been useless to me in labour had I relied on them. No matter what happens in your particular labour I.e pain relief free natural birth, various interventions, or caesarean, you can still have a really positive birth experience if you have felt in control of your actions & decisions.
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on 17 August 2012
I gave birth without having an epidural and felt better equipped and more confident to do so for having read this book. I knew nothing about labour before, but knew I wanted to avoid a passive, medicalised experience if possible. I was also quite fearful, but I was able to put that aside.

You can't take the pain away of course, but the book gives you some ideas to try out to manage it (vocalizations, movement, music, mantras, scents, positions, stress balls, massage etc). I didn't use all of them, but at least had some resources ready to try. In my case, movement (stamping), vocalizations, stress balls and massage helped.

The book also explains the different stages of labour, what contractions are for ("helpful pain", "temporary pain") and how long they last, the different phases of labour and how ro approach each one. This takes some of the fear out of a pending labour and means you be able to face each contraction one by one.

Importantly, it has real cases so you go into labour being prepared for anything, knowing that the best laid plans cannot always be followed when it comes to childbirth.

Btw this book describes modern Australian hospitals with a humane and respectful approach to childbirth. If you give birth in a more traditional environment as I did, you may not have some of the hospital facilities available they describe (essential oils, fitness balls, stereo, adapted birthing stools, showers etc), but there are still some techniques you can apply wherever you have to give birth.
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