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August 20, 1949


Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.
From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1949;140(16):1256-1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900510006002

In the foreword to Helen Heardman's recent book, "A Way to Natural Childbirth," Dr. F. J. Browne, professor of obstetrics at the University of London, writes: "Nothing has been more remarkable in the practice of obstetrics within the last ten years than the increasing appreciation of the value of principles enunciated by Edmund Jacobson in 1929 in his book 'Progressive Relaxation' and afterwards applied to midwifery by Grantly Dick Read in his two books, 'Natural Childbirth' and 'Revelations of Childbirth.' "

In considering the recommendations of those who advocate the use of procedures aimed at physiologic, or "natural," childbirth one should understand that the technics suggested are concerned with more than parturition itself. In its broad application it represents an attempt on the part of those who care for pregnant and parturient women to gain further understanding of the physiology of pregnancy and labor, including its emotional aspects, so that these