Women have an innate ability to give birth, a knowledge that has been acquired through thousands of years of evolution. Yet all too often fear and stress can get in the way and block the natural process of childbirth.
In this inspiring new book, Susanna Heli, an experienced doula and physiotherapist, shows how childbirth can be transformed by understanding how fear can affect birth and how it is possible to overcome it by using four simple, dynamic and effective tools to rediscover the inner power to give birth. The tools are equally effective whichever type of birth you choose, and whether or not you have given birth before.
A birth partner can play a key role in preventing worry and fear during birth. The book offers practical advice to help the birth partner support the labouring woman. Confident Birth will give you and your birth partner all the tools you need to cope with the challenges of childbirth, and make it an empowering and positive experience.
"Realistic but inspiring, with lots of breathing exercises. There's also a really good birth partner section. The book finishes with everything you'll need to remember during labour – ideal for mums-to-be..." Pregnancy & Birth Magazine, February 2013
Posted by Tamara L on 21st Apr 2013
Wow, what a fantastic little book! I loved everything about this and only wish I’d had the chance to read it when I was pregnant. Heli’s message is empowering and reassuring, and it’s obvious she has a wealth of experience in pregnancy and childbirth. I imagine this book to be the closest you can get to hiring your own doula. It includes fantastic exercises to do during pregnancy and labour, emotional personal stories and is full of wonderful, heartfelt advice for any mum-to-be.
Posted by SJG on 8th Feb 2013
For anyone wishing to take control of their birthing experience, this book is a must read.
For anyone wishing to support a woman who wants control of her birthing experience, this book is a must read.
It proffers calm and gentle information, explaining the biology of birth, with methods of dealing with labour. Fear and stress are a labouring woman's biggest enemy, the production of adrenaline all too likely to inhibit the process. Not denying that these emotions may play a big part for many women nor seeking to eliminate them, this handbag sized book explores ways of handling and coping. Neither does the book demonise intervention, rather it offers women tools to deal with all eventualities - giving them empowerment and control when at their most vulnerable.
A great little book, easy to read and of invaluable help.
Posted by Jen on 15th Jan 2013
A fantastic book! It is a small book that does not look intimidating to pregnant mums (unlike some books out there) but it is absolutely packed full of confidence increasing and knowledge building information. The front cover sets the tone for the whole book, the amazing feeling of overwhelming love and relief when your baby is first put into your arms, just amazing, you can feel it radiating from the cover alone!
Heli's writing style is easy to read and conversational, scattered with birth stories to inspire and back up her points. The sections are short with summaries at the end so you could read this book quickly or easily dip in and out of it for key points. Split into 3 key sections the book covers: Birth, Tools to help in labour and Support - what others can do to support.
I have had 2 children, one by cesearean and one by vbac and I really wish that I had read this book before my labours, it would have instilled a lot more confidence in my body and my decisions may have been a lot different. This book really gives you some great tools to help with natural labour and also gives fantastic information to the person supporting the Mum in labour - information very rarely found in other literature.
All in all a fantastic book, a must read for all pregnant women and birthing partners.
Posted by Karen Hall on 7th Nov 2012
Confident Birth is an attractive book with a well-argued premise that empowering women with confidence in their own bodies and a good understanding of what happens during birth is a deeply positive move. Heli asks why we should be so afraid of childbirth, when maternity care has never been better; perhaps a quick dip into Birth & Sex would provide some insight: Kitzinger points out that we may have medically safer outcomes, but the psychological experience of contemporary childbirth may be something to fear. Heli focuses on the modern expectation of painless instant gratification in a consumer society, and explores the role of pain in labour, to help women develop tools and strategies for listening to their bodies and making positive decisions.
The first section of the book explores our attitude to pain and childbirth, with some exercises for the pregnant women, and short birth stories to illustrate her points. The second section offers four tools for coping with pain in labour, and the third section offers useful guidelines for the support person.
Confident Birth is aimed at the pregnant woman who wishes to prepare herself for a positive experience of birth. It uses language of empowerment and trust in the body and the instincts. It skirts the mystical, and while occasionally idealising labour (for example, describing it as “something to deepen our emotional intelligence” p.19), Heli does not demonise intervention. The gentle, encouraging tone makes it highly suitable for expectant parents; there is a good clear description of what labour is actually like, including physical and emotional sensations, and what the woman might need at different stages. It would also make an excellent handbook for a birth doula.
Posted by Alyson on 7th Nov 2012
I read this book from cover to cover in just a few days. I loved the size of the book, the layout and writing style which was so easy to read and understand. Susanna Heli has succeeded in creating a book which really helps raise confidence and trust in your body as a birthing woman helping us to get back in touch with our bodies and have faith in their ability to give birth naturally. I used hynobirthing during the birth of my son which made a huge difference and my experience was amazing (after having been petrified of the whole process!)
A lot of the techniques of hypnobirthing are echoed in Susanna's book but there are additional elements added in and I thought the use of sounds are verbalisations were fantastic and I could so see how they would have been useful to me had I known about them. The book is separated in sections with a few introductory chapters which explain about the importance of confidence and activating the calming/relaxing system in the body. The physical process of birth is also explained. Susanna then goes on to identify 4 techniques that can be used in labour. There is also information for the support person and real life stories and examples.
The book is not advocating no pain relief during labour, but rather talks about using what's available but also drawing on your own bodies huge ability to calm, soothe and relive pain itself. The author is a mother of two who works as a doula and also spent time as a nursing assistant on maternity wards. She is also a physiotherapist specialising in pregnancy and birth and delivers lectures to midwifery students. If I had one criticism of the book it would only be that it is assumed you will go to hospital to have your baby, although home birth is discussed in the book when going through the techniques it is always hospital birth that is referred to. However this is a very minor complaint and in no way detracts from the content, message and spirit of the text. I will be recommending this book to all my pregnant friends!
Posted by Barbara Higham on 4th Nov 2012
This is a helpful little book for expectant mothers and their partners illustrating straightforwardly a practical approach to achieving natural childbirth. It looks at the emotional aspects of fear, which are frequently ignored by modern obstetrics, and how to manage these so as to avoid the inevitable cascade of interventions that is the result of anxiety in labour. Having given birth to my children using similar techniques to those outlined here, I recommend this book wholeheartedly because women need to understand the simple principles involved to allow themselves to give birth confidently. No matter how sceptical you are about giving birth without medical intervention, read this book and you won’t regret it!
Posted by Eleonora Lawson on 30th Oct 2012
I like everything of this book! The cute size, the concise length, the chapters’ division, and the inspiring content! It is a wonderful resource to understand and become familiar with the journey that giving birth is. I would highly recommend this book to every expectant mum as well as friends or family that may be present at birth or indeed to doulas or any practitioner supporting pregnancy and birth. It is a very practical book. The most amazing gifts the author gives in this book are the 4 tools you can use to make birth the most comfortable and empowering experience you can have or witness. It is a must have book.