Birth and Sex

Birth and Sex : The Power and the Passion

4.27 (30 ratings by Goodreads)
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Birth and sex are often talked about as if they were contrasting experiences. In fact, they each involve the same rush of hormones in an action drama in which mind and body work in harmony. When a woman is free to follow her instincts and give birth naturally, waves of endorphins surge in the bloodstream with the same energy as in ecstatic lovemaking. Birth and sex mingle to become one in the thrilling, sweet, intense and overwhelming experience of creation. Yet in the Western high-tech birth culture the environment often inhibits the spontaneity of birth, resulting in pain and distress. Pregnancy and birth are de-sexed and treated as medical conditions. Women are turned into objects on which doctors act. In this compelling and controversial new book Sheila Kitzinger explores the complexity and depth of female sexuality during pregnancy, birth, and after the baby comes. She shows what can be done to create an environment in which a woman is able to trust her instincts and be confident in her body. By rediscovering the power and passion in our bodies, we can reclaim the spontaneity and sexual ecstasy of childbirth.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 133 x 215 x 15mm | 254g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white halftones
  • 1780660502
  • 9781780660509
  • 162,272

Table of contents

1 1. De-sexing Birth; 2 2. Genital Geography; 3 3. Sex and Pregnancy; 4 4. Active Birth-giving; 5 5. Active Management; 6 6. Episiotomy; 7 7. Birth and Language; 8 8. Birth Dance; 9 9. Water Birth and Song; 10 10. Home Birth, Midwives and Doulas; 11 11. Sex After the Baby Comes; 12 12. Changing Childbirth
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About Sheila Kitzinger

Sheila Kitzinger M.B.E, M.Litt was a social anthropologist of birth and author of 25 books published internationally, most on the emotional journey through this major life experience. At Oxford in the 50s she discovered that the social anthropology of that time was almost entirely about men. She decided she would do research to discover what was important in women's lives, and focused on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

Her five children were all born at home. She lectured widely in different countries and has learned from mothers and midwives in the USA and Canada, the Caribbean, Eastern and Western Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, Latin America, South Africa and Japan, and from women in prison and those who have had a traumatic birth experience.

She died April 11, 2015.

Her website is
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Rating details

30 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 50% (15)
4 33% (10)
3 13% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 3% (1)

Our customer reviews

I have to admit that I didn't initially find this book an easy read - but I think the reason I found it a struggle is also paradoxically the reason I ultimately liked it so much. The book is packed full of information, in intricate detail, and well backed up with research findings and history. I felt it was an extremely comprehensive book covering all of the major issues surrounding women and childbirth today. I found it enlightening as a woman and mother and found it helpful in processing my own experiences of birth. My favorite chapter was 'Birth & Language' as I have always felt that the very language we use around birth and the pregnant woman is quite negative and combative. I love that the importance of relationship is highlighted and the need for the birthing mother to feel completely secure during the birthing process and able to let go. One thing that struck me that was briefly touched on in the book was the impact of the woman's life experience and the need for secure and responsive birth and care in her own childhood that would in my opinion have a considerable impact upon her ability to maintain the security and peace that would result in such a positive birth experience. After a slow start I really enjoyed this book and I feel much more informed and empowered after reading it. Would definately recommend!show more
by Alyson Wills
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