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Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way

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The classic guide to an unmedicated childbirth, fully revised in 2018 for the twenty-first century, with updated information and attractive new illustrations and photos throughout. For women birthing vaginally, 90% of Bradley births are drug-free!

The Bradley Method® used and praised by women for almost seventy years, prepares you for drug and surgery-free childbirth and puts you in control by providing the tools to navigate evidence-based care. Certified childbirth educator Susan McCutcheon, one of Dr. Bradley's first students, now makes this natural approach to childbirth more accessible than ever. You will learn:

*Exercises and nutrition to get your body ready for birthing
*To defuse fear by understanding all aspects of laboring
*How to involve your partner as a birth coach and a fully engaged participant
*What's driving the induction epidemic and how to avoid an unnecessary induction
*What's driving the cesarean surgery epidemic and how to reduce your risk
*How to get the information you need to make informed decisions about your birth

336 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1984

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About the author

Susan McCutcheon

2 books4 followers
Susan McCutcheon has been a Bradley teacher for 50 years and has taught thousands of couples getting ready for birth. She is also an active Certified Doula, and has personally supported hundreds of women in labor. She lives in Portland, Maine.

She is an award winning science educator, named to the Association of Science-Technology Centers’ Honor Roll of Teachers, for her “exemplary collaboration with the Bishop Museum, in Hawaii, to significantly improve the quality of science education.”

Her degree is in chemistry. She taught physics and chemistry for ten years in Honolulu, and was selected to present a workshop at the National Science Teachers’ Association Conference on her successful strategies for teaching science. Following that, the editor of Learning Magazine engaged Susan to write an article disseminating her ideas to many more teachers around the country.

The Governor of Hawaii, appointed her to serve a two-year term on the Hawaii State Health Plan Development Committee and then the Hawaii State Regionalization of Perinatal Care Committee.

She’s had three natural births herself, using what she teaches others through her book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, with over 200,000 copies in print.

She is a Certified Childbirth Educator, having studied directly under Dr. Robert Bradley, in his very first teacher training, and also under Dr. Hungerford at the American Institute of Family Relations. She has been a conference speaker and guest instructor at teacher training workshops across the U.S. And she loves fly-fishing and kayaking in Oregon and Maine.

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5 stars
1,197 (36%)
4 stars
1,253 (37%)
3 stars
666 (20%)
2 stars
161 (4%)
1 star
42 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 454 reviews
Profile Image for Rachael.
16 reviews3 followers
July 8, 2009
Even if you never in a million years would consider an unmedicated birth, READ THIS. It's so much more informative than the useless What to Expect series and any other pregnancy-related books I've seen out there. The worst thing that has happened in medicine in the past century is hospitals convincing women that we no longer know how to give birth or that we simply cannot do it as well without the now "routine" hospital interventions. What most doctors and hospitals fail to tell you is that these "routine" procedures are most often for the benefit of the doctor and hospital, NOT the woman and baby. Imagine that. Talk to any mother who had ANY type of intervention, and she will most likely tell you about a domino-effect of other interventions that were necessitated by the first (i.e. Pitocin leads to epidural with leads to slowed labor which leads to more Pitocin (and more pain) which eventually leads to C-section because of supposed fetal distress...)

I read one reviewer's comments who said that she felt angry after reading this book- that the author presents women as naive, silly and highly impressionable, but I felt the exact opposite. I was ANGRY that more information like this is not out there, that the U.S. C-section rate is now 1/4 births, the highest in the world, and that hospitals and doctors are failing to treat us like the CONSUMERS we are. They are failing the country. I feel that the reviewer misinterpreted the author's objective.

I have never felt more EMPOWERED and prepared for my labor and birth experience and I now feel that I can and SHOULD control what happens to me in the hospital. It is so important that women educate themselves thoroughly prior to giving birth so that what should be an incredible and spiritual time does not turn out to be a painful, traumatic one. I also highly recommend watching the documentary "The Business of Being Born" prior to making the decision to go with one doctor over another type of birth attendant. (I just switched from my OB to my Certified Nurse Midwife, but will still deliver in a hospital.)

I am pregnant with my first child and for several months felt TERRIFIED of the actual labor and delivery. After reading this book, I feel like I can go into labor confident and fearless so that I can give my baby boy the best start to life outside the womb.
Profile Image for Lightreads.
641 reviews534 followers
October 23, 2014
I usually don't fuss much about ratings. I do it by feel, generally as an afterthought, throwing in both my emotional reaction to something and a more analytical assessment of quality. This time I had to think hard about it, and I ended up averaging my 1 star and 5 star impulses.

The five stars is for being one of the first books I found to talk directly and candidly about unmedicated childbirth and how to think about it. I had an instinctive negative reaction to all the hypnobirthing stuff that got thrown at me early on – it's popular right now – and this book squarely confirmed my feeling that no, what I wanted was to engage squarely with labor, to use my brain every step of the way. This book talks about how to do that, and the discussion of particular emotional signposts was incredibly useful to me. I didn't even know what information I was craving – that no other source was talking about – until it was presented to me in this book. My labor didn't go sideways to crazytown until I hit 7 cm – until then I labored unmedicated, and it was this book I thought about while I swayed and breathed and thought my way through each contraction. (Well, it's worth adding that by unmedicated I mean no analgesia – I did have increasing amounts of Pitocin. And let me just say, doing augmented labor unmedicated is a different animal than this book contemplates). After 7 cm – well, that's a TLDR story for another time, but let me just say: 10 hours in transition. Enough said. At that point, this book became rather irrelevant.

Anyway. Enough about me. The one star stuff is everything else. The scare tactics about interventions, the manipulative and downright deceptive use of study results, the moralism and smugness, the sexism. This book hits every checkbox for what is fucked up about the natural childbirth movement. I am really glad I stuck with this book to get to the parts about actual labor, because like I said, they were absolutely invaluable. But man oh man, the opening and closing chapters are dire, guys.
Profile Image for Anne.
1 review5 followers
March 24, 2011
I read this because I am considering attempting a med free birth with my third child (my first 2 were unapologetic epidurals, but this time I just have a desire to see if I can do it). I have medical training and do not feel that physicians and hospitals are evil by nature, so I skipped a lot of both the beginning and end of the book because I didn't want to read about the horrors of modern medicine. A lot of the medical information that I did read is ridiculously outdated. The last revision was in 1996 and many of the cited studies are from the '70s and '80s. So anyone who isn't particularly familiar with the medical field should take the medical information in this book with a grain of salt. Most of the practices she complains about are just not done anymore. I also got annoyed with the occasional superior tone the author takes. It's not constant, but it was enough to start to get on my nerves. All of that being said, the information on the labor and delivery process and how to cope with them was very good. I am glad I have that information and believe I will find it very useful. The author should have stuck to facts and refrained from talking about "how foolish!" women can be about late pregnancy. Had she done this and had the book been up to date, I'd have given it 5 stars.
September 28, 2017
Judgy and editorialized from start to finish. Appreciate the strategies and techniques for a natural birth- don't appreciate sentiment shared for those who choose not to follow them
Profile Image for Sara.
165 reviews10 followers
June 14, 2007
Perfect book to investigate having an unmedicated birth the "Bradley Way." I think it's actually better than Dr. Bradley's book itself. Although it could use an updated edition with some better pictures and more current info. All that said, very good explanation of Bradley's philosophy on birth and how to work with your own body, with the support of your husband, to have the birth experience you want and welcome your baby into the world gently.
Profile Image for Cheree Moore.
240 reviews3 followers
September 30, 2011
For the past 8 months or so I have spent a lot of time thinking about the topic of natural childbirth verses medicated childbirth. I have talked with many women about their personal experiences as well as read countless delivery stories online. I have asked my sister {a labor and delivery nurse} questions about what happens in the delivery room and I have spoken to my OB about her personal practices. Daniel and I have discussed the topic as well.

Actually until a few weeks ago, it had not crossed my mind that Daniel would actually have an opinion one way or another {it is my body after all}. He surprised me by saying that if I was up to it, he was in favor of me seriously considering the natural childbirth route. His comment made me get serious about researching the topic to evaluate whether this was something I thought I could do or if I thought it was important enough to put my body through.

After reading various articles online and birth stories and even watching a documentary I feel that I am prepared to attempt a natural childbirth {note that I said attempt, in the event of complications or pain that is beyond my current comprehension, drugs will be considered}. I have spoken with my OB about it and she is incredibly supportive. We are in agreement that medical intervention is always on the table if there is truly a need for it. With that I feel good about my decision and pending delivery.

Due to my rural location I will not be able to take actual classes on the Bradley Method, but I feel that Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way offers a lot of great exercises for me to be practice now. Incidentally yoga provides great relaxation techniques that are very similar to the Bradley Method of relaxation that I already practice regularly.

Excerpts from the book:

Once medication begins... the choices slip through your fingers.

Responsibility belongs to those who will ultimately live with the consequences of decisions made during birthing – the parents.

...no one has ever been pregnant forever and the baby knows when it is time to be born.

There are undeniably strong sensations in labor which are felt by every woman, but whether these are described as pain is a subjective matter which depends a lot on expectations and experiences.

Drugs and medical technology can be enormously beneficial when used to take care of real complications.

Our technology needs to be used selectively or rather specifically in response to a problem.

Profile Image for Sarah.
253 reviews10 followers
April 23, 2014
This is a great read and resource for those wanting to have a natural birth, either at home or at the hospital. Has exercises for both the pregnant person and her coach, who can be a male or female significant other, or friend. Some of this book is outdated, as far as testing done in hospitals and whatnot. That's my only beef, I think an updated version would be good. But the core fundamentals of Bradley method are discussed, and explained. I'm looking forward to trying out the exercises with my husband, after I make him read it :)
Profile Image for Mason Sherrill.
47 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2022
Highly recommend to prepare for a natural birth! Super informative about the stages of labor, both physical and emotional. Also loved that portions of the book are written to the husband who “coaches” through labor.
Profile Image for Ashley.
697 reviews32 followers
April 20, 2020
A good read for those taking the Bradley Method class for childbirth. I learned a lot of information that will be helpful for me with my hope to have a natural childbirth.

However, there were some downsides to this read. The book is very dated with lots of information about forceps and episiotomies which are not at all routine anymore. These practices should definitely be touched on because they can happen but we don't need them mentioned on every page because they are now very rare.

I also would have preferred a natural labor book that doesn't come across so anti-medicine. It always seems to be one or the other - either people tout medicine or they praise holistic methods. I think a mix of both is always the best approach. I had cancer in my spinal cord which no holistic measure was going to fix... But now I combat pain with monthly massages (during non-COVID-19 times). Medicine and holistic methods working together to help me through my toughest medical issue.

I guess because I did not go the natural childbirth method by choice I'm more susceptible to seeing the bias. Because of my spinal cord problems, I CANNOT have an epidural. It could spread the cancer. And I'd very much prefer not to have a full anesthesia c-section. So I'm automatically looking at a more natural method to childbirth. But I would totally have had an epidural if that was an option... So reading all the bashing of epidurals without really going into the benefits of the epidural is obviously very biased. They talk about these possible side effects, but almost every mother my age I know had an epidural and didn't have any problems - except maybe the epidural didn't take and they had to give it a second whirl. Obviously, the potential negative side effects can happen but are incredibly rare and the book doesn't necessarily go into detail about how rare these side effects are. They make it sound like half the women who get epidurals have something terrible happen to them.

And it wasn't just epidurals the book was so negative about. There was a TON of obgyn bashing. Again the book is very dated, my revised edition dating 1996, and I think with the rise of female obgyns, obstetrics has changed a TON. Having the gender who have actually given birth oversee you're own birth makes a big difference in the way laboring women are treated.

So I'd say if you're taking the Bradley course give this book a read, because I think it will add to your knowledge learned in the class. But also make sure to read some more contemporary literature because there may be new drugs or methods used today that you need to know whether you are for or against before being in the delivery room. There may also be methods so outdated you don't really need to worry about.
Profile Image for Jen Kayna (Habitat for Happiness).
134 reviews27 followers
February 24, 2018
This book was fantastic! I read the Revised Edition that was released in February 2018. I have about a month left until baby arrives so I cannot comment on how well the techniques discussed in this book help with labour, but I will come back to update my review after the birth. For now I will comment on what I did gain from the book pre-labour.
The book is roughly separated into three sections: 1) What physically happens to your body in labour, 2) Techniques you can use during labour to increase your success of a drug free delivery (including mental and physical preparations) and 3) Information (based on solid scientific evidence with references listed) about the risks and benefits associated with today's medical interventions. I went into this book with a strong desire to have a natural, unmedicated birth and reading this book gave me so much confidence in my decision. I feel more informed, more prepared and even more positive now about my birth plan, all while still having realistic expectations and being prepared for the unexpected!
Profile Image for Becky.
300 reviews14 followers
October 4, 2017
Yay, finally finished! I'd probably give this book 4 stars, but the unnecessary full page photos of women in labor were not my favorite. :P Also, not very helpful for anything?
But overall, a really informative book with lots of interesting info. And lots of info that makes you go "Wow, gross." or "Sounds terrible." but then also all the info that makes you feel more prepared for what might happen. Haha.
Being published in the 80/90's, I don't know how accurate all the info still is, but all the info about labor stages seemed the most helpful.
Those are just my first random thoughts. Having read this at the same time as about three other similar ish maternity books, it can be hard to remember which was which, but I think this might be my favorite, apart from the unclothed people giving birth. :p
Profile Image for Katy.
44 reviews4 followers
February 16, 2022
This book has helped me feel incredibly confident in birthing unmedicated with my first child. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant so I haven’t fully put into practice everything in this book, but I’m actually EXCITED about using everything I’ve learned!

The book is loaded with very useful information and helps mothers learn how to use critical thinking when making medical decisions. My favorite chapters were definitely the ones about labor specifically, but I appreciated the information in the other chapters as well. It can get a little “preachy” here and there, but not nearly as bad as some other material I’ve read on natural, unmedicated childbirthing.

My absolute favorite part of the book was how much it involves the husband. My husband is reading this alongside me and he now has confidence to not only advocate for me at the hospital, but also to labor WITH me.

Definitely recommend!
Profile Image for Stephen Carrier.
49 reviews1 follower
April 21, 2023
Another great resource, although quite graphic with some of the images, they are helpful showing the different stages of labor.
Profile Image for Tani.
1,126 reviews22 followers
May 12, 2021
Some mixed feelings.

On the one hand, this had a lot of good information, including the best description of what happens during labor that I've read so far. There are some statements that felt unfounded, such as questioning the safety of ultrasounds (I did research this a bit myself, as the author herself would recommend, and found that there have been literature reviews which have found no ill effects from ultrasound, though I'm not sure if these came out after the book was published). However, for the most part, I found this very credible.

I do think that, even though I read an updated version, this still manages to a bit dated. She spends a lot of time talking about how you'll need to stand up to and almost trick your doctor into getting an intervention-free birthing experience. I am sure this could still be the case, but I also think it has become much more the norm to be able to have a natural birth. I know that I am seeing a group of midwives, and at my most recent appointment, I received reassurance that a number of the things recommended in this book are considered the norm for them.

I wasn't 100% sold on the Bradley method, but I will certainly be keeping elements of it in mind. The emotional signposts were an interesting discussion, though I'm not sure if I will fall into that. The different labor patterns were very interesting to learn about, as was the discussion at the end regarding things like induction, epidurals, and cesarean sections. I do think it might have been better to put those things at the beginning. Though my decision is already made, if I was hesitating, I think having that information earlier would have been much more helpful.

Anyway, recommended for those looking for a natural birthing experience. It may be a method that clicks, it may not be, but either way, I thought there was a lot of important information to be had in this one.
30 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2010
Have you ever read something that really challenged your entire viewpoint on a particular thing? Well, if your a fairly typical American, this book will probably do so. If you're open-minded, this book will really enlighten you.

I first started thinking about midwives when my older brother told me how expensive it was to have babies in the hospital even with insurance. I was shocked at how much the hospital charged for an overnight stay. Being a frugal man, I wondered how dangerous it would really be to have the baby at home. Of course, everyone I mentioned it to thought I was half insane. They never opened their mind enough to even consider the possibility. After getting married, and then expecting a child, I began to get more serious about researching home birth with a midwife. The more research I did, the more astonished I was at how safe home-births can be. I also began learning about all the dangers of giving birth in a hospital. I had no idea that the hospital could be such a dangerous place! I think people tend to assume that doctors are superhumans with few or zero flaws. After doing a lot of research and reading this book, I have become convinced that most OB/GYN's are pretty foolish (or evil) when it comes to delivering babies. I think they are great when it comes to saving the baby's life via NECESSARY Ceasarean surgery; however, they seem pretty incompetant when it comes to normal, healthy births.

You might be thinking - this guys crazy. Just read the book and do some research on how safe home births are. If accompanied by a certified midwife, home births are just as safe and a whole lot healthier than hospital births. I was pretty shocked when I found this out.
577 reviews
October 1, 2014
Early on while planning our wedding I read Celebrating Interfaith Marriages. I enjoyed it at the time, but it wasn't till I got closer to the big day and started writing our ceremony that I realized how helpful it was. I think that is definitely the case with this book. Yes, I enjoyed reading it, but I don't think I'll be able to truly appreciate it until I'm actually at the hospital giving birth.

While the is the second book I've read on this subject, this one is quite a bit different from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Yes, they do go over similar topics, and I do mean more specific than they're both about birth, but this one is far more of a how-to manual. There's exercises for both your body and mind to prepare you for the birth, and so far I'm finding them helpful.

I do think this book feels outdated though. Yes, this is the revised edition (published in 1996 vs. the original in 1984), but it's still almost 20 years old. I do think some of the hospital practices still apply, but it feels like a quite a few have fallen out of common use. Although there are several scenarios that seem quite similar to what I've seen friends go through, which does mean certain aspects are still quite relevant.

In some ways I feel like I've already read more about birth than most people, but I'm not quite done yet. (Although is that really that surprising since I also feel like I read more in general than most people would.) I'm planning on reading at least one more book on the Bradley Method, and then likely read one more besides that, not specifically on the Bradley Method, before I'm finished. I definitely think that was a great one to read fairly earlier on for me, and hopefully I feel the same several months down the road when I need to refer back to it!

Profile Image for Kate Lansky.
Author 1 book9 followers
April 22, 2010
Interesting, though a bit outdated and preachy. The first 10 or so chapters really sort of turned me off to the book - I kept reading "I'm not saying, I'm just saying..." again and again, in a not-so-flattering way. If I were to read it again, I'd skip all the way to the point at which it starts getting into the real physical side of things - anatomy of the uterus, etc. and skip right past the bit that talks down to the mother-to-be. I found myself hoping the Bradley classes were better than the book. I also found myself hoping that the method has progressed from this whole 'the woman is an emotional mess' point of view. While I do get that being in labor and having to focus on relaxation (as the book suggests) means I have less energy to give to arguing with doctors or the like, I definitely felt as though women and labor were both portrayed in a very definite and slightly negative light. The book says you WILL go through these emotional phases, you likely WON'T recognize them yourself, and it's a good thing you have your husband there to look out for you.

Still, I did see the value. exercises and coach guides (though really only structured toward heterosexual, dedicated couples) did seem useful, if taken with a grain of salt. After all, if you can have someone there to go through labor with you and keep an eye on your wellbeing (thus taking a few things off your plate while you give birth), all the better. I also think that the sense of communal work in this book is a good idea, if occasionally poorly executed...
Profile Image for Hannah.
86 reviews
July 20, 2022
I really wanted to give this a higher rating because the information is excellent and the method is described in plenty of detail, but I couldn't get over how condescending the author's tone could be. Rather than focusing on the positives of educating women about childbirth and delivery, Susan openly looks down on anyone who hasn't done the extensive research into clinical studies that she recommends. One of her early stories involves her begrudgingly attending the birth of a mother who did not prepare herself through birthing classes. Does Susan take this as an opportunity to use her special Bradley™ knowledge to help this woman? Not really. Instead Susan complains to her readers that attending the birth of an uneducated woman is her "least favorite thing" and then is a little bitter when the woman has a positive experience anyway.

Beyond this, Susan doesn't even seem to think her own readers (despite being superior "Bradley Method™ Moms") are particularly smart. She begins one chapter with "if you like critical thinking, you're going to enjoy this chapter" which is the most manipulative and self-congratulatory way I can think of starting a chapter. In another instance, she uses the word "judicious" and immediately follows it up with a definition in parentheses... It's my understanding that if you don't think your audience is smart enough to know what a particular word means... maybe just use another word? Or, no, go ahead and use that word, define it, and smugly hope everyone is in awe of your vocabulary.
406 reviews1 follower
October 13, 2014
Okay, so I could do without most of the pictures... BUT I probably could not have gotten through 19 hours of labor, including 4 hours of pushing, unmedicated without this book. My husband and I were unable to take a Bradley class, but we practiced many of the exercises included in this book. The labor positions described and the relaxation techniques are what allowed me to get through my contractions. The chapter on The Emotional Map of Labor was also extremely helpful in preparing both of us for what labor would look like. I highly recommend this book to any couple who hopes for a drug-free labor experience - just ignore the graphic photos...
2 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2009
Despite being "revised" in 1995, this book retains a flavor of the old school. Your doctor is ALWAYS a "he" and your birthing coach is always your husband. AND your husband is the logical, practical, educated member of your team. The woman is just a poor silly creature who can be easily manipulated. Instead of feeling empowered by this book, I felt angry. If you are going to REVISE your book -- update it ALL not just a few medical facts. Dammit -- I liked the book written by Robert Sears MUCH better.
Profile Image for Sara.
236 reviews5 followers
October 25, 2007
As other reviewers have noted, the photos in this book are dated, but the information is very helpful. I had no intention of having an unmedicated birth, but I read this book "just in case" - and I was glad I did, since my daughter arrived VERY quickly, with no time for pain medications.

If you're interested in using the Bradley method, this book is more helpful than Husband-Coached Childbirth, Dr. Bradley's book describing his method.
Profile Image for Edan.
Author 9 books33.1k followers
May 21, 2011
This book does a wonderful job of describing how labor works, through each stage; the anatomical drawings and such are useful. It may be a little opinionated on the topic of natural birth for some folks, but, hey, you can get the information and leave the rest for the next reader, if you so choose.

Also, I like the black and white photos at the back of hippies giving birth. The men are always shirtless, and wearing little shorts. Also, sometimes they have moustaches.
Profile Image for Megan Miller.
322 reviews
June 9, 2022
If I had been reading this when it was new, it may have been closer to 4 stars. However, there's much that's outdated here now, such as what's routine, etc. (Shave and enema preps? Whisking child away to nursery? Thankfully as a medical community we've overcome some of the unnecessary things.)

Additionally, I haven't done the "rehearsals" for contractions and labor. I haven't asked my husband to read this yet, nor have I decided if I will. We're doing a different birth class together and I want to learn from that rather than try to take from this book for now.

There are some resources in here I may return to, but it wasn't overly informative to me. Perhaps I've read too many books at this point 😆 but there's a lot of overlapping information in this one with other ones I've read, and it wasn't written any better than those. Although, I will say this book does a better job of discussing the actual methods of Bradley birth than Husband-Coached Childbirth does. So if you're torn between the two and want the more hands-on discussion, go for this one.

However, if you mainly want a discussion of pros and cons of natural labor vs interventions, read A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth.

Many of the illustrations of birth were very helpful. Pictures of baby positioning, uterus shape and movement, cervix, etc. Those were great. The various illustrations of naked women doing exercises seemed wildly unnecessary, idk why they couldn't have clothes on to depict tailor sitting. 🤷 Plus, fair warning, lots of pictures of naked women giving birth. Doesn't bother me, it is a birth book after all, but fair warning nonetheless. So probably 3 stars on the illustrations overall too. 😆

Also, I hated that it only discussed two options for labor positions and the two options for pushing positions. This seemed either out of date or silly. There are so many safe positions to do both labor and pushing.
Profile Image for Olivera Vukašinović.
32 reviews5 followers
January 13, 2021
Još jedna sjajna knjiga o metodi koja podržava prirodni porođaj i koja donosi mnoštvo saveta, informacija i tehnika povodom nošenja s bolom, tokom porođaja i samim porođajem.

Velika preporuka za sjajno poglavlje o kontraverzama povodom porođaja i svim tehnikama koje se rutinski sprovode nad porodiljama.

Meni je posebno bio interesantan deo koji govori da smo sve mi, trudnice, različlite i da na odredište stižemo različitim načinima. Kao kad bismo na planinu dolazili pešice, biciklom ili automobilom. Tada sam se po prvi put susrela sa pojmom “speedster”.

U pitanju su žene, koje gotovo u potpunosti preskaču prvu fazu porođaja (diletaciju do 5,6 cm) i vrlo slabo ili gotovo nikako ne osećaju kontrakcije u ovom periodu i često i ne shvataju da su u porođaju. Kontrakcije kreću kasnije i odmah su veoma jake i učestale. Porođaji su najčešće kraći, rapidniji i silovitiji. Žene se porode za nekih 7 do 8 sati.

Sve ove osobine su se u potpunosti odnosile na moj prvi porođaj. Kontrakcije sam prvi put registrovala oko 12 sati, da bi brzo postale jače i na što kraćem vremenskom razmaku. Kada sam oko 17 časova otišla u Dom zdravlja, dežurni ginekolog mi je rekao da se uveliko porađam i da je beba već u porođajnom kanalu. Da bih bila otvorena 7 cm kada su me primili u porodilište Narodni front u 19 časova. Sofija se rodila u 19 i 30. Ovo je prva knjiga u kojoj sam dobila “definiciju” i “pojam” sa kojim sam se u potpunosti poistovetila. I shvatila da nisam sama, da ima mnogo žena sa sličnim iskustvima. I odmah mi je bilo lakše.

“Being a critical thinker starts with resisting the urge to be a pleaser.” Margaret Heffernan

“Everyone believes in informed consent, until a woman does not consent.” Susan McCutcheon
Profile Image for a u d r e y ♥.
213 reviews
December 30, 2022
While I did find this book helpful in preparation for an unmedicated birth I have two primary issues with the way it is written and the outdated material presented.

1. All studies and references discussed are old. And I mean OLD. Most of the citations are from the 80s and 90s. The most recent research I remember seeing was from 2014 which is 8 years old at this point. If a book that claims to focus on evidence-based research doesn't update their material with new information and studies can it really be considered accurate and reliable?

2. McCutcheon speaks about "natural" birth, meaning an unmedicated birth, as the only way to birth and be considered a mother. She consistently frowns on any birthing person who chooses to use medication during both pregnancy and birth. While I do agree that many c-sections happen without any real reason she fails to address the importance of these things. And more problematic is the way she talks about those people who choose to give birth this way. You are not less of a mother or parent for choosing one version of birth over another.

Overall, I don't disagree with what is written, I have a problem with HOW it is written and the language used. As someone who plans on an unmedicated birth I also understand that many things can go wrong during birth. I understand my privilege in being able to advocate for myself and my birth plan. I find this book to be primarily biased toward a specific individual (do I dare say crunchy or granola here?). That being said, I will be asking my partner to read several of the chapters.
Profile Image for Dan.
353 reviews
May 4, 2023
I forgot to mark this one finished!
This is the clearest and most no nonsense natural birth book I could find. I really appreciate it.
The way the author describes the stages of labor was a little tedious, telling the same stages through different self labeled lenses, but whatever.
This book is much less “weird” than the original book by Dr Bradley himself. Much less references to pregnant women as farm animals and their underpants.
August 22, 2023
This is a helpful resource for coping strategies during an unmedicated birth. That being said, I basically skipped through the rest of the book due to the outdated medical information and disdain for modern medicine. I would have appreciated if the author had communicated less from opinion and cited more studies when making persuasive arguments.
Profile Image for Amanda.
4 reviews
January 10, 2020
This is the best book that I’ve personally read about childbirth. It was very informational, especially about controversies associated with hospital and home births. She also ga e very helpful tips about how to relax your body during labor. I don't even feel like attending a class is necessary.
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