The Better Birth Book is the first of its kind in Ireland. Right from the initial positive pregnancy test this highly useful guide takes expectant parents through the maze of information and choices available as they plan for one of the biggest events of their lives - the birth of their baby. More importantly, by asking the tough questions other pregnancy guidebooks avoid, The Better Birth Book helps mothers understand the critical decisions that they need to make in order to actively participate in their own healthcare. In addition to providing comprehensive guidance and advice on how to have a stress-free and enjoyable childbirth experience, The Better Birth Book also provides a wealth of data on the policies and outcomes at maternity hospitals in Ireland, the rates of caesareans, episiotomies and other invasive procedures, the growth in home births, water births and other alternative childbirth options and a comprehensive directory of midwives, birth assistants and other childbirth practitioners in Ireland. The Better Birth Book was written to empower women in Ireland to take back control of their bodies and their births. It is not just about what to expect when expecting - it is about how to ensure the best for mothers and their babies. The Better Birth Book will be essential reading for all mothers to be and anyone interested in birth in Ireland.