For many thousands of years women have given birth among people they know in a place they know well, usually their own home. Knowledge is shared between the participants and birth is a social event. In northern industrial societies today, when a woman gets pregnant she may be presented with various options. Yet if she is having her first baby she has only the vaguest idea of how birth really feels and how other women cope. In this new and revised edition of her classic book, Sheila Kitzinger explores the universal experience of pregnancy and birth. She looks closely at the place of birth, how women move in childbirth and what is done to help them and examines the bond traditionally formed between mothers and midwives.