This book reveals how giving birth is an inherently safe, relatively painless process that is best performed without the assistance of doctors or midwives, and how confidence and a positive attitude reduces fear—and therefore the pain—of labor. According to Laura Kaplan Shanley, a renowned leader in the natural-birth movement, human birth is inherently safe and relatively painless—provided we refrain from physical or psychological interference. The problems often associated with birth can be traced to three main factors: poverty, unnecessary medical intervention, and fear. When these causes are eliminated, most women can give birth either alone or with the help of a partner, friends, or family. This second edition of Unassisted Childbirth leads with a history of childbirth and then describes how most deliveries occur today, detailing why these processes don't serve mothers or babies. The information in this unique book gives women yet another legitimate choice in childbirth that doesn't rely on doctors and technology, and allows parents, birth professionals, and general readers to reexamine their most basic ideas about birth and learn to think in new ways.