How you were born

How you were born
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ISBN:  978-1-78066-125-4
Publisher:  Pinter & Martin

Delivery:  FREE UK delivery!



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  (8 Reviews)

Author: Monica Calaf
Illustrator: Mikel Fuentes
Edition: 1st

Binding: paperback
Format: 210 x 210 mm
Pages: 40
Illustrations: colour throughout
Pinter & Martin edition available: worldwide
Translation rights: the authors

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A clear, gentle and loving description of the process of birth, with charming illustrations – perfect for satisfying a child's curiosity about how babies are born.

How you were born is part of a delightful series of illustrated books by Monica Calaf and Mikel Fuentes, which also includes Your Daddy and Me, When you were in my tummy, and You, me and the breast.

Average Rating (8 Reviews):  
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Lovely book
Tuesday, 24 January 2017  | 

I got this book for my 2 year old daughter who was born at home. (The book talks about planning a home birth but leaves it open if you wanted to add in "but we decided to / had to birth in hospital".) She absolutely loves it, and says "That's me!" "that's Mummy" about the characters. Beautiful illustrations with some diversity which is lovely to see (my daughter identified one of the characters as "Ba" - her Indian great-grandmother). I highly recommend for children to understand what happened the day they were born.

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Really Lovely
Wednesday, 18 March 2015  | 

We love this book. I was asked to review it for my blog and my boys regularly ask to read it. The illustrations are beautiful and it's a lovely way to start the conversation about childbirth.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015  | 

I bought this book when my four-year old started asking questions about his birth and both of us fell in love with it as soon as it arrived. This is a gentle, beautifully illustrated book which makes it easy to explain to young children how they were born in an honest yet appropriate way. While the book focusses on home birth I was able to use the book as a guide to tailor it to my own birth experience and to tell my son how he was born. He's now become really attached and is often found reading this, looking at the pictures and asking questions. I really recommend this for all parents as a way to answer some of the questions some of us find hard. An excellent book!

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How you were born - a nice, uncomplicated way to talk to children about natural birth
Tuesday, 26 August 2014  | 

How you were born - I found this book to be really useful to talk about birth with my 4, almost 5 year old. When she saw the cover, she was delighted straight away with the picture, and loved all the illustrations inside. She liked the story so much, she asked me to read it to her again, and so I did.
It is simply put, uncomplicated way to start the conversation about natural birth. I loved the details about the parents planning for a homebirth, but also be ready to go to the hospital, and no further details are given, so the book could be used to discuss both a homebirth, and a hospital birth with the child.
My daughter really loved the book and asked related questions - did she swim in my belly like the baby from the book? Did I have a midwife? Did she greet my daughter on her arrival? Did her Daddy cut the cord like it happens in the book? She knows she breastfed the way this baby did, so she simply pointed out the breastfeeding pictures in the book.
It is a very gentle, simple book, yet giving all the details a 3-6 years old child might need to know about the beginning of life.

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A charming introduction to birth
Saturday, 16 August 2014  | 

This is a beautifully illustrated book about birth for children up to around the age of 8. It contains facts about birth presented in an accessible way, such as the breaking waters and contractions. It describes a home birth, but it could easily describe a regular hospital birth. While the story of the birth is quite specific, the illustrations provide a starting point for discussion of other kinds of birth. I love the idea that this book is part of a set featuring the same family. I think the continuity is helpful for the age group targeted. I think the set would make a beautiful gift for a curious child, especially one expecting a new sibling and wondering about their own journey.

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How You Were Born
Tuesday, 12 August 2014  | 

How You Were Born is a book to be read with young children which tenderly and simply explains the process of birth.

It describes a straightforward homebirth without intervention, presenting the birth of a baby as a normal, calm event.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a book just for children who had been born at home, but, actually, although it does focus on a homebirth, there’s plenty of opportunity for discussing a birth in a birth centre or hospital.

The book begins by describing the anticipation of parents, family and friends surrounding a pregnancy. This provides an opportunity to discuss all the people that are important to the unborn baby and would be a great point to consider the role of Big Brother/Sister if preparing a younger sibling for the new arrival.

A bag is packed in case there is a need to transfer to hospital with pictures of the things that might be needed, including a birth ball and things for Mum and the new baby. I was baffled by the inclusion of soap and eau de cologne however, but would probably draw a big cross through those and use that as a discussion starter about how babies look when they’re born, how they don’t need to be scrubbed and how they recognise the smell of their mum, as well as her’s and Dad’s voice, so she doesn’t need to mask that with perfume!

However, this is a good way to initiate the conversation that some babies are born at home and some in hospital.

The birth process is then explained gently, describing Mum’s tummy muscles working in strong waves to help the baby move down, with drawings showing her being supported by her partner and a midwife, in the bathtub, listening to music and vocalising – “Aaaaaaaaa” with contractions.

Once born, the baby is cuddled and breastfed during 3rd stage (delivery of the placenta) and there is a brief description of the role of the placenta which one could embellish on depending on the age and curiosity of the child.

So, it’s the story of a straightforward birth. It is the process that’s described so well and you could easily not mention the fact that it’s a homebirth if that suits your requirements. It would also be easy to weave in other details if you wanted to, to make it personal to how your child was born.

The book is marketed as being for children aged 2-5 and it is, indeed, ideal for that age group: lovely, serene drawings and text explaining, very basically, the physiology of birth. My youngest child is 9 yrs old and I decided to read it with him to see what he thought. We got a huge amount out of it – he asked lots and lots of questions, especially about the placenta, umbilical chord and his own tummy button!

I think the book could have a reassuring role for pre-school children preparing for the arrival of a sibling and hopefully negate any anxieties.

How You Were Born is a story that can enhance childrens’ understanding of birth, whatever their age; almost every page invites discussion if appropriate but equally covers the subject matter adequately as it is.
How You Were Born is published by Pinter & Martin

Louise Daniels

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A beautiful and useful book
Sunday, 10 August 2014  | 

How You Were Born is a beautiful children's book. Although the content seemed complicated for my three year old at first, she enjoyed it so much that she asked me to reread it to her twice straight away, and many times since. She has also since explained to me where her baby sister came from. I think it's the images that make the book so appealing to both child and adult eyes, as they are striking, bold and beautiful. They also really tie down what the text is explaining, which helps children to understand the facts in the book. I wish I had had a copy of this book when my second child was born, as my firstborn didn't quite grasp what was going on in mum's tummy. As well, this book hints at home birth, and doesn't gloss over important facts like the placenta, contractions, the arrival of the midwife, etc, while also avoiding going into too much detail about those things. Too often we gloss over important, world-affirming information when we engage with our children. I know we will read this books many more times over the years to come, and I expect my children will not feel confused about pregnancy and childbirth thanks to it.

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Beautifully illustrated
Friday, 8 August 2014  | 

How You Were Born is a beautifully illustrated children’s book about pregnancy and birth, it’s part of a series of books around birth with a breastfeeding theme. The illustrations are absolutely adorable and really capture the love, expectation and excitement surrounding a new baby in the family.

I love the fact that the mum in the story has a home birth and breastfeeds; what a great way to normalise feeding and having a baby. Not many children’s books show birth and breastfeeding, certainly not without scenes of hospitals, scales and bottles, so this little series is a great find. It’s also a factual book too from the very rounded pregnant bump to the cutest placenta you have ever seen, it includes cord cutting and contractions. And mum’s hair is amazing as it threads its way around the family!

One of my favourite parts and one which I think children will like is the continuity within the series because How You Were Born leads on to You, Me and the Breast. I enjoyed comparing some of the spreads. For example in both books mum attends a baby group. In You, Me and the Breast the mum's pregnant rounded bumps have become cute little breastfed babies.

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