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Childbirth and Pain Relief:
An Anesthesiologist Explains Your Options

by Sanjay Datta, M.D.

One of the reasons StorkNet was created was to encourage all women to become educated about pregnancy and the birth process. Such knowledge empowers women to pursue the kind of birth they truly want. Childbirth and Pain Relief is an excellent resource and should be a part of the education process for any pregnant woman interested in childbirth pain relief.

This book is short, easy to read and full of valuable information. It begins with the changes that occur in the female body during pregnancy followed by a chapter on Natural Childbirth. Dr. Datta discusses the evolution of Natural Childbirth and even includes a brief section on waterbirth.

The remainder of the book discusses "births assisted by anesthesia and pain medication." While comprehensive, again, it's not overly technical. Included in this section are the stages of labor, history of pain-relief medicines in childbirth, and what's currently available - if needed. Dr. Datta explains the types of anesthesia and analgesia, advantages and disadvantages to each, how they're administered, side effects for mom and the effects, if any, on the baby. The illustrations and charts are very helpful. Anesthesia options for Cesarean delivery are also mentioned as well as post-operative pain relief.

The book closes with several questions and answers, recommended resources and a glossary.

Dr. Datta is a strong supporter of informed decision-making. Nowhere is the pregnant mother pressured or expected to choose pain medication. She is encouraged to learn about the options and make her own decision.

Dr. DattaAuthor bio: Dr. Sanjay Datta is the immediate past Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliated hospital, a position he held for eight years. His department oversees and manages the delivery of more than ten thousand babies per year, and is one of the busiest academic departments in the country. Under Dr. Datta's leadership, it is also considered one of the best in the world. In addition, Dr. Datta is currently a Full Professor in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. He completed his preliminary training in England, followed by an obstetric anesthesia fellowship at McGill University in Montreal.

During his twenty-five-year medical career, Dr. Datta has also served as a Visiting Professor at many of the world's leading medical schools including the Mayo Clinic, Yale University School of Medicine, Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Columbia University, McGill University in Canada, University of Toronto, University of Basel (Switzerland), and the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil).

He resides in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.

Published by Next Decade, Inc., 2001

Book review by Maribeth Doerr

Click here to visit our guest interview with Dr. Datta

To Purchase:
   • Childbirth and Pain Relief at
   • Childbirth and Pain Relief at Amazon UK
   • Childbirth and Pain Relief at Amazon Canada


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