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Reviewed Publisher: 
Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks. 169 pages. ISBN: 1-57071-325-1.
Reviewed Title: 
The Gentle Greeting: An Obstetrician's Complete Guide to Planning a Loving Pregnancy and Birth Experience (1998)
Reviewed Author: 
Publication Date: 
March, 2000
Starting Page: 
Page Count: 

The detailed step by step journey through conception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum adjustments are well chronicled in this insightful book written for "expectant" parents. It is comfortable reading that flows easily from beginning to end.

The Gentle Greeting provides information about the developmental, physio-emotional changes that occur during pregnancy, and about the variety of pregnancy and birthing options available for people of child bearing age. The author goes beyond the traditional allopathic model of supine vaginal labor and routine C-section surgery to offer other vaginal birthing positions, family birthings, and water birthings.

Ronald Cole is an enlightened allopathic obstetrician who focuses on the complete wholeness (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) of the three principal parties involved-mother, father, and the child they are having. His approach is one that promotes and honors the prenate/neonate as a totally conscious being actively participating in prenatal relationships, the labor and delivery process, and in postpartum events. Advocating full participation, decision making, and selfhonoring by the parents, he empowers them to be proactively involved, clearly including them as a part of the "team" to facilitate the transition of their prenate into this world.

For those of us in pre- and perinatal psychology and health who are concerned to reach the large number of people who have only known the standard allopathic obstetrical medical model for birth, this book is a great opportunity to teach people that (1) there are multiple options for pregnancy and birth; (2) Body-Mind interactions are critically important to safe, healthy pregnancy and birth; (3) prenates and neonates are aware of and vulnerable to what they are experiencing in their environment, and (4) their "first impressions" of life are likely to affect the development of personality and temperament.

This book advocates safe alternatives within an allopathic medical framework and will be a valuable resource for pregnant couples as well as for the professionals who want to expand their own horizons in obstetrical care.