Check out my 29 Amazon reviews!

Making informed decisions on childbirth

The first 29 Amazon customer reviews are in and the result is 4.4 out of 5 stars!

Update: the associated promotion has now ended. You can still buy my book using the links below and on any other Amazon platform. Please “follow” my blog if you’d like to be informed of the next promotion. logo

Thanks so much to all childbirth enthusiasts who have already posted their review on Amazon!

I am grateful for the overwhelming positive feedback as well as for the pointers to improve my book.

Read on for a selection of reviews or click here to see all reviews on

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Free copy of childbirth book in return for an honest review

Making informed decisions on childbirthWhether you’re simply passionate about natural childbirth or you are pregnant and want to read as many books as possible but it’s getting a bit expensive, read on…

I’m looking for people to review my brand-new book about evidence-based childbirth on Amazon and I’m willing to give you a free kindle copy or a severely discounted hard copy to do so. I welcome both positive and negative feedback.

Update: I’ve received over 180 review requests and have collected 29 reviews so far. Therefore this offer is now closed. Please send me a message if you want to obtain a free copy in order to review the book for a magazine or other published document. Please “follow” this blog if you want to be informed of future promotions or other news regarding my writing.

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The paper version is out and the kindle version is discounted!

Update: This kindle discount deal is now over. If you would like to be informed of future promotions of this book (both ebook and printed versions), please do one of the following:

– click “follow” in the sidebar or at the bottom of this page
– click “like” on my facebook page


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Fussy babies, reflux and attachment

And there we were with our brand new baby. That first night might have been the hardest of all. Louis was breathing very heavily and his little noises were preventing me from sleeping next to him. Because we were a bit worried after having to sign off responsibility to be able to take him home, neither Leonard nor I got much sleep that night. In the end Leonard slept on the sofa with Louis in his crib right next to him. My mum had proposed to come and help when the baby was born, but I had asked her to wait 2 weeks. I had been worried that she would come, swoop in and take over, and that Leonard and I would not be able to find our own way of doing things. Needless to say that after a week of severe sleep deprivation and cracked nipples I regretted that decision deeply! When she finally came, Leonard and I were incredibly relieved and grateful. She even took a few shifts during the night, which is really above and beyond what you could expect of a grandmother. But we were desperate.

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Evolution of our birthing capabilities

A different interpretation of the increased use of interventions is that women have evolved to be worse at childbirth and that there are more complications now than there used to be. French obstetrician Michel Odent argues that since the use of artificial oxytocin during labour and childbirth, our natural oxytocin system (on which childbirth, placenta expulsion, attachment and breastfeeding relies heavily) has been very much underused in the last several decades. In accordance with recent advances in epigenetics and evolution theory, this underuse might result in the oxytocin system not working as well anymore in subsequent generations[1] (see Box 21). But even if this were to be true, current statistics of 85% intervention-free births in some settings (which include high-risk births) still mean that C-section rates of up to 50% and induction rates of 20-30% are not at all justified. Moreover, if our current overuse of oxytocin-based interventions really has the power to mess with our ability as a species to give birth, breastfeed, love, and function socially and sexually, this would be a very strong argument to not use artificial oxytocin, unless absolutely necessary. By no means should this theory be used to justify more interventions.

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Breastfeeding after a traumatic birth

Establishing breastfeeding is often more complicated after a difficult birth. Sadly many people who experience a traumatic birth may also experience a sense of failure and loss for not being able to breastfeed, especially if they really wanted to. The good news is that although you cannot have complete control over the way you give birth, breastfeeding is quite a different story.

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Oedipus in modern-day France

I used to think that Freud was crazy when I thought about his theory about the Oedipus complex. I mean, really! Every boy wants to have sex with his mother and kill his father? And I could relate even less to castration anxiety. Were boys really afraid of being castrated by their father, to end up with a cut off penis like their mother?

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The basic needs of labouring women

French obstetrician Michel Odent puts forward the very interesting question of what the basic needs are of labouring women[1]. In order to answer this question he looks to physiological concepts such as adrenaline-oxytocin antagonism and the concept of neocortical inhibition.

Adrenaline-oxytocin antagonism

The mechanism of adrenaline-oxytocin antagonism means that mammals (including humans) cannot release oxytocin at the same time as they release hormones of the adrenaline family.

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Reader input

I welcome any questions, comments, corrections or advice regarding my writing on this blog or in my books. I will do my best to answer promptly and if it is something that I think might be interesting to others, I will discuss it in a new post.

Also, don’t hesitate to send me links to anything relevant you read or to share your personal story.

And finally: challenge me! As a scientist I firmly believe in scepticism and discussion being the driving force behind scientific progress, so don’t be afraid to tell me your opinion!

Sofie Vantiers

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