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“The Joy Of Natural Childbirth” by Helen Wessel

September 22, 2009

The Joy of Natural Childbirth
is one of my favorite books on the topic of having a natural birth at home or in the hospital.  You will discover the advantages and disadvantages of a  natural childbirth.  She covers a variety of topics, including

  • How effectively relax during labor.
  • What if your water breaks and your not in labor.
  • Do you have to experience true pain during labor?
  • How does being educated eliminate fear?

The first edition of this classic book was originally published in 1963. Dr. Sears, M.D. says this book is “a must for spiritually minded couples”.  The Joy of Natural Childbirth presents a well-researched scriptural philosophy of God’s goodness in birth. Helen Wessel addresses this topic with warmth in an even handed, non-alarmist fashion. Inside the book you will find it covers physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of natural childbirth, the husbands role in enhancing pregnancy, birth, and parenting; common fears and misconceptions; the all-important information on pre-natal nutrition, preparation for joyful, natural birth, &  breast feeding advice.

The author’s wisdom is gleaned from extensive research and from experience as a mother of six and grandmother of an ever increasing number. She is founder of a ministry which certifies educators and trains couples in natural childbirth. This indispensable guide would be a welcome resource for any expectant mom. The first half of the book is written as a story, about a young couple expecting their first baby. There is a lot of information to be picked up in the story, and even more follows in the second half of the book.

The second half of “The Joy of Natural Childbirth” is written for the medical minded.  If you are a midwife, doctor, doula, husband or a curious mother, you will really enjoy the why’s of labor and delivery.  Some of the chapter titles are “Childbirth Through the Centuries,” “Childbirth in the Bible,” “The Medical Model,” “Family Sheltered Birthing,” “Birthing God’s Way,” “The Joy of Natural Childbirth,” and “The Joy of Breastfeeding.” One of these chapters alone makes the book worth buying. All of them put together makes it a must-read, even if you are not planning a natural birth.
Even though this book is no longer in print, you usually are able to find used and new copies for sale on amazon.com (make sure you get the 5th edition.  It’s the most recent, up-to-date, and easiest to read).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    October 7, 2009 7:06 pm

    Joy Of Natural Childbirth is such a great book. I would definitely recommend to any women who wants to have a better understanding of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Thanks for this overview!

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