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StorkNet's Bookshelf
Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to
Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth

by William Camann, MD and Kathryn J. Alexander, MA

There are many books on the market today regarding childbirth and many more on pregnancy and childbirth. How can you choose the best one with such a large selection? If you're looking for information on coping with labor pain, StorkNet can help by recommending THE BEST book out there . . . Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth.

As stated in the introduction, the goal of this book is "to provide you with the information you will need to make confident, informed choices regarding your pain-relief preferences well before the day of your baby's birth. Once labor begins, your understanding of the pain-relief choices available will help you feel empowered to keep all of your options open and determine for yourself which pain-relief methods reflect your own values, priorities and personal preferences."

So why is it important to know what to expect? The authors explain it best . . . "The reality of labor should not be downplayed in an attempt to prevent you from feeling anxious. Chances are you already feel apprehensive about what to expect in the delivery room, whether this is your first baby or not. When others describe childbirth in terms that are meant to soften the severity, intensity, and duration of labor, you are put at a disadvantage. If you are unable to realistically anticipate the sensations you may experience during childbirth, including pain, you may find the experience overwhelming and feel unprepared to make clear, well-informed decisions regarding the types of coping strategies and pain-relief options you may prefer to use once labor begins."

Many of our StorkNet visitors tell us they were unprepared for the intensity of labor pain. Dr. Camann writes, "I have observed that women who arrive prepared, open-minded, and flexible throughout the course of their labor and delivery seem to fare best and appear more satisfied with their childbirth experience." Easy Labor will provide you with the tools to be well-informed and prepared.

The chapters include:

  1. Your Labor Pain - How Painful Is It?
  2. Your Very Normal, Very Common Fears of Childbirth
  3. Full-Throttle Pain Relief: Techniques that Can Eliminate Your Labor Pain
  4. Easing the Pain: Medications to Relieve (But Not Eliminate) Your Pain
  5. Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Labor-Pain Relief
  6. Pain Relief for a Cesarean Delivery
  7. Want to Avoid Painful Suffering? So Did They
  8. Don't Let This Happen to You
  9. Birth Stories From the Other Side of the Stirrups!
  10. How Your Caregiver's Attitudes Can Impact Your Childbirth Experience

Other highlights of the book include:

  • List of common factors that can impact your labor pain. "The specter of losing control of their own behavior may be as much of an incentive for women to have an epidural as their fear of pain." ~ Penny Simkin

  • List of fears for first time moms and repeat moms with suggestions for managing them

  • Lots of "Did You Know" points such Women who use water immersion during the first stage of labor report significantly less pain than women who do not labor in water.

  • The longest chapter of book is the one on Complementary and Alternative Approaches which discusses a variety of nonmedical pain relief methods including Lamaze, Bradley Method, laboring in water and waterbirth, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, labor support, aromatherapy, sterile water papules, TENS, and the birth ball. Each of these sections includes such information as what it is and what it does, how it's done and how it feels, why you would choose it, benefits and limitations, partner's role, caregiver's perspective with quotes from a variety of caregivers, patient's perspective, etc.

Easy Labor is a comprehensive look at the various types of pain relief in childbirth, be it medical or nonmedical. It's written in a warm encouraging style, chock full of information to help readers be well-informed on their options. It's nonjudgmental and unbiased, and simply one of the best books available on this subject.

From the introduction:
"Women today enjoy more pain-control choices than during any other time in history. However, until recently, pain relief during childbirth was often considered an either-or proposition. Either you were going to choose to have a baby "naturally," using no medication, or you were going to use the best medical pain-relief options available, typically an epidural, to relieve pain during childbirth. Many moms discover that they have a variety of options available to them, and those options often include a combination of both medical and nonmedical (alternative) pain-control interventions. Once labor begins, many women find that their own particular course of labor will determine which of those options are most effective in providing a comfortable birth experience."

Visit our interview with the authors!

To Purchase:
   • Easy Labor at Amazon.com
   • Easy Labor at Amazon UK
   • Easy Labor at Amazon Canada

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