The Birth Partner

Penny Simkin, Author
Penny Simkin, Author Harvard Common Press $12.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55832-010-9
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
To give the birth partner a clear understanding of the process of bearing a baby, and the role that he or she is to play, Simkin thoroughly examines parturition, from essential supplies for mother and baby to how to handle an emergency delivery. She writes knowledgeably and in a readable style, but has an unfortunate habit of tendering gratuitous advice (she notes that the partner can help the mother during the ``birth phase'' by staying ``close by''). She also fails to explain certain suggestions (why does the birth partner need a swimsuit to shower with the mother?). At her best, Simkin makes the birth partner aware of medical decisions that may lie ahead and of the importance of indulging the mother with constant tender loving care and encouragement during labor and delivery. But those who have attended a competently taught childbirth preparation class will find much of the text familiar. Simkin, herself an instructor, wrote Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: A Complete Guide for Expectant Parents. Illustrations not seen by PW. (July)
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