Prepare for a safe and joyful birth-with the help of America's foremost baby and childcare experts Since women enjoy more birthing options today than ever before, the path toward a safe and satisfying birth can be fraught with important decisions. Planning, understanding the resources available to you, and developing your own birthing philosophy can make all the difference. In this comprehensive, reassuring, and authoritative guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on pregnancy, babies, and parenting have become widely praised bestsellers, thoroughly explore the abundant choices couples face when anticipating the birth of their child. The topics covered in The Birth Book include: * Selecting the right birthing environment and team *preparing physically and emotionally for childbirth *using prenatal tests and technology wisely *defining the father's role *selecting a childbirth class *lessening the discomfort and speeding the process of labor *choosing or avoiding anesthesia *finding the birthing position that's best for you and your baby *decreasing your chances for a cesarean birth *turning a surgical birth into a rewarding experience As the parents of eight children and as medical professionals with nearly three decades of experience, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears are uniquely qualified to answer virtually every question you might have about the birth process. Their one-of-a-kind guide, rich in information as well as inspiration, enables you to plan and create the birth you want.