Childbirth without Fear
by Grantly Dick-Read

[2nd Edition, 2004, Pinter & Martin Ltd., London: $17.00, 338 pages, paperback]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 74, Summer 2005, © 2005, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Cher Mikkola.]

This classic book has been reissued, after having been first set in print in 1959. I have to wonder how many babies it saved from the ravages of 1950s’, 60s’ and 70s’ obstetrics, before midwifery in all its wisdom reemerged. This wonderful wise man acknowledged the “dignity of motherhood” and that “mother love is a power that must be the centre of our work as obstetricians.” His pioneering book discusses anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and birth, pain of labor, how fear plays a part and how to dispense with it, diet in pregnancy, the judiciousness of breastfeeding and rooming-in, the partner’s roles in pregnancy and birth and the mess obstetrics was making of the processes of pregnancy and birth. He honored the wisdom of natural birth and advocated ceaselessly for it, probably endangering his reputation in the world of obstetrics.

This book is as timely and important as it was forty-five years ago. It will inspire you and the women you serve and give amazing perspective about how far-or on how not-far-we’ve come. I highly recommend it for your lending library.

Reviewer Cher Mikkola is a contributing editor at Midwifery Today magazine, the editor of Midwifery Today E-News, and a freelance writer, editor and proofreader who specializes in the field of birth.

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