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January 30, 1954

Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth

JAMA. 1954;154(5):459. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940390083039

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The first edition of this book was published in 1942 when Read was a relatively unknown English obstetrician. This present revised and enlarged edition is introduced after the widespread discussion of the author's philosophy and extensive experiences with it in many parts of the world. Five chapters have been added, including a sketchy description of the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, some prenatal dietary instructions, and the physical and emotional benefits of breast feeding and rooming-in. The chapter on prenatal and postnatal exercises is well illustrated. The basic philosophy presented is that ignorance of the childbearing function engenders fear; fear causes tension; and tension interferes with the normal process of labor and causes pain. The author attacks this problem by banishing fear through lay education and the participation of the mother in this most important physiological function. This concept did not originate with Read nor does he take credit for

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