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Publisher's Summary

Since the original publication of The Birth Partner, partners, friends, relatives, and doulas have relied on Penny Simkin's guidance in caring for the new mother, from her last trimester through the early postpartum period.

Now, in audio for the first time, The Birth Partner remains the definitive guide to helping a woman through labor and birth. The Birth Partner includes thorough information on:

  • Preparing for labor and knowing when it has begun
  • Normal labor and how to help the woman every step of the way
  • Epidurals and other medications for labor
  • Pitocin and other means, including natural ones, to induce or speed up labor
  • Non-drug techniques for easing labor pain
  • Cesarean birth and complications that may require it
  • Breastfeeding and newborn care
  • And much more

For the partner who wishes to be truly helpful in the birthing room, this audiobook is indispensable.

©2018 Penny Simkin (P)2020 Echo Point Books & Media, LLC

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What listeners say about The Birth Partner

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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5-star book, 1-star people leaving 1-star reviews

Even though I've only listened to a bit (and reread sections of the book), this has been really helpful.

Can we just talk for a minute though about how *not* distracting it is to have inclusive language? These 1-star reviewers could have a point if the language was changed so much as to break the line of communicating substance. Not so here at all. Even with that, figuring at worst that would make it a 3-star book.

You know what is slightly distracting -- the actual interjections of different, possibly AI-generated speech. Not a single one of these delicate fascists mentioned that. Would actually give it a 4-star review of the audio because of that. But my 5-star review can't offset a single 1-star review. Alas, the world is unjust, so too the Audible review platform.

Would certainly pay a low fee if anyone develops an app to filter these people out of any other reviews. Tweet at me @OneGuyTweeting . For any 1-star or would-be 1-star reviewers tempted to yell at me there, how about you take that time to support the birthing person in your life instead?

6 people found this helpful

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struggling to finish.

I was very excited that this was available on audio bc I have very little time to sit down and read and this is a book that I have to complete for a training I'm doing. Instead of using the pronouns she/her, "birthing person" is used over and over and over in an attempt to be more "inclusive" but it's extremely distracting and annoying.

5 people found this helpful

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5th edition changes disappointing

I was so excited to see an audible version of this book so that it would be more convenient for my husband and I to listen to it together, but I have to say I’m extremely upset that the only version available is this new version with gender neutral terminology. I’m disappointed that there isn’t an option for an audio without these distracting changes.

4 people found this helpful

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Pronouns distracting

I understand why they did it, but it just became too distracting when they replaced the word “women” with “birthing person.” I see how in other areas pronouns are important, but when it comes to this area, it’s very clear what gender the person is who is giving birth biologically.

3 people found this helpful

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  • g
  • 09-08-21

Good info, but I don’t like the “PC” update

In an attempt to be politically correct, the 5th edition calls women, moms in labor, and laboring women the “laboring person.” It’s distracting and truly unnecessary. Made me enjoy the book a lot less and more difficult to understand.

3 people found this helpful

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Pretty helpful as new dad

This book is for everyone—birth partner (whether romantic/parent, the birthing person themself, a new doula or nurse etc. Whether you’re a cis gender heterosexual male like me helping your wife with your first baby together, or you’re a trans person that’s going to be a single parent and your close friend is helping you through the process.

I saw some reviews raging at the inclusive language (eg birthing person instead of mother because the “mother” might not be giving birth or the birth giver might not identify as feminine). That type of commentary makes me laugh. The opinion that revising for inclusive language in any way detracts from the reading experience is fundamentally incorrect and heartless. Everyone is entitled to be who they are, whether that’s typical or atypical. Gender constructs are silly anyway. Men used to wear high heels and makeup—eg Louis XIV and he was the most powerful man in medieval Europe, reigning for decades as the “Sun King of France.” High heels and makeup aren’t considered manly today but that may change once again. Culture and norms should serve the needs of the people who live in it and to the extent it doesn’t the culture should evolve; we should not be beholden to serve the culture.

Anyway back on topic, overall book was pretty helpful to give me a sense of like “okay these are the different pieces on the chess board and this is how they work.”

I wish there was more on the fourth trimester (ie post birth period) but that’s not really what the book was about. The book is fundamentally about the birth itself and how to prepare.

There was a middle chunk where the book was going down every rabbit hole of potential issue that was a little tedious to get through. Don’t know how I’d want it changed though, it was helpful to understand a little about every possible contingency. And the testimonies of new parents didn’t resonate with me but maybe that’s really nice for others.

There were a few technical glitches but not sure whether that was the app or book.

Good book overall. Book kind of pushes “natural” birth. We’re planning an epidural. But whether you’re like me or you’re planning an at home birth or you’re planning to connect with the spirit of the universe and let a doula be your guide, this book is a great layout of all the mechanics and nitty gritty that a baby coming out of a human entails.

2 people found this helpful

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Expectant parents please read

A wonderful resource for every expectant parent. Best read early in pregnancy. A very helpful empowering tool.

2 people found this helpful

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Woke garbage

Lady can’t even admit that women give birth. It’s not ‘birthing people’ you woke psychopath

1 person found this helpful

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Poor Editing, Terrible Narration

Narration is read like a pre-flight safety briefing. Whoever edited this audio REALLY butchered chapter 3 - it restarts several times throughout the track

Still informative, but you should probably just buy the paperback.

1 person found this helpful

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super helpful

I am a doula in training and this book is very useful for my beginning workexperiences

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-21

So disappointed

I tried to listen to this book and I was so exited because I got recommendations from doulas to read it. But in a attempt to be political correct Penny Simpkins talk about expecting mothers as "The birth person" this was confusing and provocative and totally unnecessary. Could not finish the book, after three hours of hearing the birth person a hundred times I had to turn it of. Talk about butchering your good work. So sad.

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  • Andrew Hosford
  • 11-08-21

Unfortunately I couldn’t listen to this book.

I have not listened to more than the first chapter. The woman reading the books style is unbearable for me. It is incredibly robotic. Also, the use of the term “labour person” is grating.

The reviews of the book itself seem very good. So I will be buying and reading in paperback form.

If robotic, wet sounding speech is not something you like, perhaps buying the paperback would be best for you too.