There’s a wealth of information out there for expectant mums on pregnancy and birth, but so often the dad is left out of the conversation. Male midwife Mark Harris seeks to redress the balance with this new book, drawing on his decades of experience with couples as they make the transition to being new parents.
Covering topics from massage to sex, and pain relief during labour to breastfeeding, this is a lively, honest and frank discussion of pregnancy and birth from a man’s point of view. Mark explores how to harness the power of birthing hormones, how to remain calm and aware in the birthing room, how to communicate effectively, and ultimately how to live the process of becoming a father to the full.
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I just loved the informal tone of this book. Lots of great advice and information. I just wish he promoted home birth a bit more! Next time.
An excellent book written by a male midwife with 5 of his own children! Bought for my son who is to become a dad for the first time, what more needs to be said?!
Its insightful, entertaining, fairly short and explains everything a partner of a pregnant woman needs to know about pregnancy, birth and infant feeding. And I don't just mean all the practical stuff but the stuff that really matters, which will help make their transition to parenthood the beautiful and positive experience that it should be.
Bought this on a recommendation, but must say my husband and I found it to be sexist and childish...
If your partner is pregnant, read this book! Read it now. Immediately.It'll make you laugh and teach you a thing or three.<br />Here's my full review: http://thebirthhub.co.uk/men-love-and-birth-and-a-few-giggles/
Billed as 'The book about being present at birth that your pregnant lover wants you to read,' this book is aimed predominantly at men as fathers-to-be and as birth partners. Mark has filled it with explanations of how we relate to people and the world around us, how hormones work for and against us during birth, and what actually happens during the birthing process. As such, it's a useful read for anyone working in birth, as it does offer some refreshing perspectives.
Mark is garrulous in person and his chatty style comes across well on the page, successfully combining a grounded and down-to-earth approach with occasional forays into 'new age wank' [p109], which some readers might find off-putting. I'd recommend sticking with it, as Mark acknowledges that it is hard to find more grounded language with which to discuss the interplay of hormones and energies between a man and a woman in the birth room. I forgive Mark his occasional generalisations about gender roles in the home, as they do make sense in the context of the book; but I wonder how readers would respond if it was a woman writing that Òbirth has been hijacked by men.Ó [p56]
The book sets out to give you 'the tools to keep you grounded when adrenaline wants to sweep you off your feet;' [p36] and really does achieve that. Chapter two explains the role of hormones and suggests subtle ways to elevate levels of oxytocin; much of this advice is useful for relationships in general, and not just in this specific context. Chapter three advises men about looking after themselves, and the two chapters of dialogue between Mark and a group of men are packed with information, coping strategies, and advice about how to relate to midwives. Mark himself is an experienced midwife and can be considered an authority on this matter!
Chapter seven on breastfeeding is spot-on in terms of the accurate information offered, and covers a fair bit of political ground too. I felt it would be useful to include the helpline numbers, as in my experience, it is very often new fathers who call the line seeking help on their partners' behalf.
Men, Love & Birth is humorous, practical, and pitched at just the right level for men who want to figure out what their role is in birth and early parenthood. It's also rather saucy in places.
This is an excellent book for any man who wants to support his partner during labour and birth and afterwards. Writing in a very accessible and chatty way Mark Harris uses his knowledge as a man, a birthing partner and a midwife to inform men about what happens during the birth process and how to support their lovers (I love that he uses the word lover) during this amazing time. Unlike many other books about birth that are aimed at men this book is not patronising or jokey, it is a very straightforward and useful guide to supporting your partner through labour, birth and beyond.<br /><br />As a childbirth educator I shall be recommending this book to all the men who come through my classes.