Birth no. 1 was painful and traumatic; no. 2, in the middle of a marital crisis, nevertheless ended happily after a month's preparation for childbirth; no. 3 was a thing of beauty and joy forever. English journalist Danae Brook's three pregnancies underlie her passionate enthusiasm for natural childbirth, father participation, birth at home if feasible. The good points of her discourse: a neat summary of drugs used during labor; clear description of physical and psychological changes during pregnancy, labor, and delivery; discussion of related disorders or diseases; practical pointers on what to have on hand; appendices listing various childbirth organizations; bibliography; descriptions of breathing exercises and body positions for use in labor. On the other side, one gets turned off by endless Praise for the Miracles and Mysteries of the Ultimate Creative Act. . . one is suspicious of ""natal therapy""--a form of psychotherapy in which an adult is born again (not in the Jimmy Carter sense) reliving the passage through the birth canal and apparently learning where one got ""stuck. . ."" and homeopathy--that form of sympathetic magic by which various herbs or chemicals are proffered as specifics for numerous ailments (e.g. phosphorus ""takes way fear and calms the desire to be constantly reassured and caressed""). One can be in favor of natural childbirth, delighted at the prospect of bringing new life into being, without making a cult of it. So the Rx is to read with caution for the good points and take a grain of salt with the rest.