Unassisted Childbirth
2nd Edition
by Laura Kaplan Shanley
February 2012, 164pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39715-8
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39716-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Contrary to popular opinion, prior to the advent of the modern-day hospital, women and babies in healthy tribal cultures rarely died in childbirth. Women in tribal cultures often had such a relaxed attitude about birth that some of them actually gave birth while sleeping. All told, Americans spend $80 billion a year on childbirth. Could it be much of this medical intervention is actually unnecessary?

This book reveals how giving birth is an inherently safe, relatively painless process that is best performed without the assistance of doctors or midwives, and how confidence and a positive attitude reduces fear—and therefore the pain—of labor.

According to Laura Kaplan Shanley, a renowned leader in the natural-birth movement, human birth is inherently safe and relatively painless—provided we refrain from physical or psychological interference. The problems often associated with birth can be traced to three main factors: poverty, unnecessary medical intervention, and fear. When these causes are eliminated, most women can give birth either alone or with the help of a partner, friends, or family.

This second edition of Unassisted Childbirth leads with a history of childbirth and then describes how most deliveries occur today, detailing why these processes don’t serve mothers or babies. The information in this unique book gives women yet another legitimate choice in childbirth that doesn’t rely on doctors and technology, and allows parents, birth professionals, and general readers to reexamine their most basic ideas about birth and learn to think in new ways.


  • A bibliography of unassisted childbirth resources
Laura Kaplan Shanley is an author, freelance writer, speaker, and childbirth consultant widely recognized as one of the leading voices in the natural-birth movement. Her expertise is frequently sought out by television and movie production companies, as well as media outlets around the globe. Her published work includes articles for an array of news outlets. Shanley maintains a website dedicated to natural childbirth at www.unassistedchildbirth.com.
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