July 15, 1944

Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth

JAMA. 1944;125(11):817. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850290057029

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This book was published in England under the title "Revelation of Childbirth." The thesis that Read expounds is that human reproduction is a normal, natural, biologic process. Pregnancy and labor should be conducted in this light. Pain associated with labor is the result of fear engendered by generations of ignorance, misconception and false teaching. The fear of parturition has become the great disturber of the neuromuscular mechanism of labor.

The author removes the pain associated with labor by the elimination of fear. Education during the antepartum period is directed toward impressing the pregnant woman to regard labor as a normal, biologic process devoid of all pain and discomfort. Anxiety is avoided by a careful explanation of all the facts which enter into normal pregnancy and labor. As an adjuvant to this peace of mind, she is taught to relax by systematic exercises introduced at the fourth or fifth month and

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