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Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn

“Throw away your ‘what to expect’ guide! This book is what every mom-to-be needs.”
—Marjorie Greenfield, MD; author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book

“Current research, wisdom, and women’s voices together create the most comprehensive book on understanding your options. It will educate, inspire, and nurture you to make informed decisions as you welcome your baby into the world.”
—Debra Pascali-Bonaro, LCCE, CD (DONA), PCD (DONA); coauthor of Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth Experience; director of Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin, PT; Janet Whalley, RN, IBCLC; Ann Keppler, RN, MN; Janelle Durham, MSW, ICCE, LCCE; and April Bolding, PT, DPT, CD, CCE is already one of the bestselling pregnancy books on the market, with more than 1,400,000 copies sold! Now completely updated, this award- winning* guide provides expectant couples with valuable information to help make informed choices about pregnancy, birth, the postpartum period, and newborn care.

Notable updates to the new, 5th edition of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn include:

1. Cesarean prevention and related changes: Significant medical recommendations were recently released to reduce the number of cesarean births. The recommendations will have a sweeping impact on maternity care, and have necessitated many revisions and updates in the 5th edition. Affected topics include: when and why inductions are done, the definition of how long normal labor “should” take, and when intervention for prolonged labor is needed. The recommendations have also motivated caregivers to try a variety of alternatives before approving a cesarean delivery and have even affected how fetal heart rates are interpreted.

2. Pregnancy: Updates include an expanded discussion of advanced maternal age, obesity, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension—all of which are becoming more common. The 5th edition includes current guidelines for each of these topics and updated information on new options for screening for birth defects.

3. Induction: The 5th edition incorporates new information about elective inductions (those done for no medical reason) have become much less common due to new recommendations on the importance of letting babies determine the timing of their birth. Elective inductions, if done, should only be done after 39 weeks.

4. Inclusivity: Although previous editions have included “nontraditional” families and used gender-neutral language about the partner, the 5th edition uses gender-neutral language for the pregnant parent and includes resources for transgender and gender-queer parents.

5. Baby care: Although previous editions have always provided excellent coverage on health and medical care for newborns, the 5th edition contains more content on practical issues, such as holding, bathing, and dressing a newborn.

6. Breastfeeding: One large feeding chapter has now been divided into two chapters. The first addresses breastfeeding, feeding expressed breast milk, and formula feeding. The second addresses challenges and complications that can arise with breastfeeding. This change was made in response to comments from readers who reported that all the potential complications presented together with the basics of feeding raised their anxiety. Now readers concerned about feeding basics can get that information quickly and easily. If readers want more detailed information, they can find it in a separate chapter.

7. Insurance: With the Affordable Care Act, there are important changes in health-care benefits, which the 5th edition addresses.

8. Pain Medications and Comfort Techniques: Updated details on pain-medication options include combined spinal-epidural, which is starting to become more common. Also updated is the research on the effectiveness of nondrug pain coping techniques, which includes the concept of counterirritation—an effective method in which the laboring mother creates some controlled discomfort (such as squeezing a comb into her palms) to distract herself from labor pain.

9. Microbiome: Recent research shows that the microbiome (the collection of bacteria, viruses, and other organisms that live in or on our bodies) has a significant impact on our immune systems, digestion, and more. The 5th edition discusses how to build a healthy microbiome during pregnancy and postpartum, and also how to help seed the baby’s microbiome, which is especially important if the baby has antibiotics, is delivered by cesarean, or is formula fed.

10. Nutrition and Fitness: Updated nutrition guidelines to help parents make healthy food choices include a new section on increasing Vitamin D. Also included are guidelines for prenatal exercise, making notable changes to previous recommendations for pelvic floor exercises. Now that some states have legalized the use of marijuana, a section has been added discussing the risks of use.

11. Environmental Safety: The 5th edition includes updated information to make parents more aware of environmental safety issues, such as: EMF, PBA, phthalates, and glyphosate.

Readers can also find additional maternity care information at, as well as helpful forms and worksheets.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn is available in stores and online.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

Paperback, 512 pages
Cover price: $19.99 

Penny Simkin, a physical therapist who has been a childbirth educator and doula since 1968, trains childbirth educators, doulas, and doula-trainers and frequently conducts workshops for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

Janet Whalley, a registered nurse and lactation consultant, has been a childbirth educator since 1975.

Ann Keppler, a registered nurse, parish nurse, and lactation specialist, has taught childbirth classes and new-parent classes since 1975.

Janelle Durham, a social worker who has worked with new parents since 1993, is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and lactation educator.

April Bolding has a doctorate in physical therapy and is a childbirth educator, birth doula, water fitness instructor, and author.

*Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Award Winner, iParenting Media Awards Best Products Winner, Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Award Winner, Living Now Book Awards Bronze Award Winner, National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Award Winner, Best Books Award Winner, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards Finalist

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