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A Non-Scary Natural Birth Book

By caitlinhtp |

We’re currently taking Bradley Method classes – I promise, a full review is coming when class is over! – and as part of my homework, I’m currently reading Natural Birth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.

FINALLY! A non-scary natural birth book.

I’m hoping for a natural birth in a hospital setting, and most natural birth books have managed to totally freak me out about my choice to deliver in a hospital. Natural Birth the Bradley Way is different. No scare tactics (especially when you know a lot of the hospital information – like the parts of mandatory pubic hair shaves – are a little outdated). Just loads of good information.

Click through to read what I’m lovin’ about this Bradley Method book.

  • For one, I love the 1980s illustrations (for what it’s worth, the book was updated in 1996). All the drawings of chicks with feathered hair and dads with handlebar mustaches kill me.
  • On a more serious note, the book walks you through the first and second stage of labor, addressing what happens emotionally and physically.
  • The illustrations of what labor does to the uterus and cervix were so eye-opening. Now, I can really visualize what my body will be up to.
  • Each stage of labor is discussed in terms of what the laboring mother needs to know and what the ‘coach’ should be doing. Very clear and concise for both parties.
  • The relaxation techniques actually sound doable. No strange breathing patterns or crazy visualizations.
  • I found the information on episiotomies to be particular helpful and descriptive. There are illustrations of what exactly the doctor will do if you receive an episiotomy, as well as compelling arguments against the practice.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book to any momma considering a natural birth, even if you aren’t specifically following the Bradley Method.

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About caitlinhtp



Launched in December 2006, Babble has a National Magazine Award nomination for Best Overall Website (opposite and a Folio magazine award for Best Online Magazine (beating out everyone but Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 websites of 2010. Babble was acquired by The Walt Disney Company in November, 2011.

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9 thoughts on “A Non-Scary Natural Birth Book

  1. Beck says:

    I didn’t take the Bradley classes but did read this book and study it thoroughly and found it was very helpful. Yes, the pictures and some of the information is outdated but the bulk of the info is timeless. I ended up having a successful natural birth in the hospital with a midwife.

  2. LT says:

    I read this book and Husband-Coached Childbirth before my natural birth in a hospital. I managed without any interventions or drugs but I’ll admit all the methods in these books that we had planned on using went right out the window! LOL – despite the best intentions I ended up moaning in the fetal position on the hospital bed with a freaked out husband shoving ice chips in my mouth. In hindsight, these were great to prepare and educate myself but I still had no idea what I was getting myself into!

  3. Mary B. says:

    Out of curiosity,what natural childbirth books did you read that were scary?

  4. Ashley S. says:

    I really want a natural birth but I often hear a midwife is essential. Is this true? Money is very tight and there is no way a midwife is doable. I just feel like all these methods are for people with $. Am I wrong? Is it possible to do a natural birth from just reading a book like this and not have a horrible experience?

  5. caitlinhtp says:

    Ashley – My midwife is with my regular OBGYN, so it’s part of my normal costs. You can probably find a practice with midwives!

  6. T says:

    i think Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was the least scary book I read. it was so empowering and just lovely. all the stories were so wonderful, the language used, even if it was a little hippy. i also read Husband Coached Childbirth and the Hypnobabies book. i had a natural birth in the hospital (with a midwife, though the midwives who deliver in hospitals aren’t much different than any obgyn, at least i thought), and any ‘birthing method’ i studied up on went straight to pots as well. I was a hollering moving feral animal. but i had a baby drug free, so it’s possible.

  7. Becky says:

    At first I thought that “Unassisted Childbirth” by Laura Kaplan Shanley would be my scariest book, but it turned out to be a wonderful book with options I hadn’t even thought of or considered before. I have changed my views- found out there are a lot of myths associated with this option, it really can be a safe and enjoyable birthing method!

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