Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read's philosophy is still as fresh as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman's fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all mothers-to-be!
Reviews of: Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of...
Other reviewers said it was dry and dull. They're right. I, however, am fascinated by childbirth and the amazing workings of the human body. I didn't find it boring at all, I found it a fascinating set of observations made by a medical doctor during the time when natural childbirth was beginning to become more popular. By teaching women HOW their body works, he was able to alleviate the fear that they had been feeling. Fear causes pain, it's a terrible cycle that involves the fight or flight instinct. The Doctor never said that women who had childbirth drugs were bad, he simply observed the effects of fear and drugs on the woman and the baby.
This book was on a "must-read" list that a midwife gave me. As a dutiful pregnant woman, I bought it (along with a slew of others) and promptly dug in.
When I woke up eight hours later, still in the first couple of pages, I tried again. Not with a terrible amount of success I might add. While I devoured other pregnancy and childbirth books, for six months I kept coming back to this one and trying it over again, but never got further than about 1/3 of the way through.
I understand that this is an older book, but it is incredibly dry and dull. The author makes a few good points, but they are tied up in so much statistical rhetoric that your eyes glaze over before you can process them. I kind of got his point that fear and anxiety cause complications in childbirth, but as to the why? The medical terminology got a bit dense for me.
If you're in the medical profession, you might find this an easier read. In fact, it's probably great for childbirth professionals. For the casual reader or mom-to-be on the other hand, it's one to pass up, unless you're suffering from pregnancy-induced insomnia and need a quick cure.
Besides just being overly academic and quite boring in general, this book seems to convey an insulting message. Whether intended or not, the book seems to relay the message that if you don't give birth naturally, you're doing something wrong. While it does go into the whole that fear and tension can intensify pain, it doesn't really offer anything concrete for helping deal with the pain. Relaxation is simply not enough for a successful, natural childbirth.