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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 25 January 2014
I have worked on a labour ward in Russia and have comforted hundreds of women in various stages of labour and I was personally present at over a hundred births. I am so pleased that I came across a book I can refer people to when they express incredulity at the fact that 90% of women give birth in Russia just on breathing techniques and a Russian equivalent of paracitamol and DO NOT suffer unbearable pain. (The 10% that do are given an epidural). I often found women's experience of pain was worse if their contractions had started in the middle of the night and they did not get much sleep; the book confirmed my observation. A must read for every pregnant woman. However you might want to go straight to chapter 3; the first two chapters mostly deal with political issues that are not longer relevant.
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on 6 June 2013
What an amazing book, and so ahead of its time it's just as relevant today. Not sure I'll get through all of it before I give birth, because it's not a light read, but very informative, and dare I use the cliche - empowering.
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on 27 January 2014
I ordered this after reading the Hypnobirthing book by Marie Mongan. Very insightful and the author Grantly Dick-Read was years ahead of his time when he wrote this. A must for those wanting to experience natural childbirth.
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on 30 December 2013
A thoughtful and insightful book about childbirth and how it should be and can be for all women.
Explains the different process of pregnancy and childbirth and how the obstacles of fear and ignorance in the mother or those assisting the birth can sometimes be the biggest cause of a long and difficult labour and enhancer of pain in labour. Written by man who truly loves the magic and sacredness of childbirth and appreciates what is required by the mother and for the mother to keep it that way. Well worth reading. Reassuring empowering and educational
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on 14 August 2016
An absolutely must read for any pregnant woman. Helps to settle your mind and get rid of fear of childbirth (hence the title). It gives a new positive perspective on the process. By reading it I found that I have lots of unjustified stereotypes about childbirth in my head mostly set by movies and nothing else. This realisation helped me relaxed, I am no longer afraid of the process and looking forward to it.

One thing to note it was originally written in 1933. So though the overall notion of the book will be always relevant there are some thing that you need to look at from the perspective of that time.

Also would highly recommend to read Janet Balaskas ans Sheila Kitzinger after this to get a more modern and balanced view on active child birth.
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on 17 July 2016
Fascinating book. I'm a pregnant health professional and this book was recommended to me by an elderly relative. I was sceptical at first due to the age of the book but I can honestly say it's one of the best books I've ever bought. A really interesting insight into fear, psychology and birth. The book is also very well written to is not overwhelming or heavy. GDR offers a journey back in time to common sense and natural instincts whilst being understanding and reassuring.
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on 12 December 2015
This book has had me laughing and incredulous throughout. Last published in 1944 the political commentary is extraordinarily interesting - particularly to those in the UK. However please do know that this is not a light read, it will not teach you the basics of childbirth and it may not necessarily be the best reference book for preparing to give birth. It's an intense, funny, political and informative book that will appeal greatly to anyone who likes to get really stuck in to a story, loves to know the history and who has some knowledge of the process of labour prior to reading. Ina May Gaskin's book on preparing for birth is more useful to the preparing mother. And in fact while she was greatly inspired by Grantly Dick-Read (who couldn't be!) she only writes the foreword in this and had no part in writing the body of the book. It's misleading that she is listed as an author. But happily so as because of that I bought it while pregnant with my first and have loved reading it - but I am an antenatal yoga teacher and have already been researching childbirth for 4+ years.
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on 11 February 2015
A great read, really helped change my mindset about my third labour and birth - it was much easier because of the mental shift this book helped me make.
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on 8 April 2014
Grantly-Read was one of the first proponents of active, natural birth in the times when this was considered an outright madness. His book is an uplifting and sometimes haunting account of how he developed his method and implemented his method. A great introduction to further reading on the topic.
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on 11 February 2016
Very good reading ; have helped clearing some of the fears and questions . I recommend to all the future mums out there
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