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Dear Dr. Sloan,
I wanted to thank you for writing "Birth Day". I read it after my aunt-in-law recommended it based on a review in the Chronicle, and since then my husband and I have been recommending it left and right to all our friends. I'm pregnant with my first baby, due Oct 14. Your book answered most of our questions - thank you! You had us both laughing every few pages. The anecdotes were great.

A.M.
Mountain View, CA
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Hi Dr. Sloan,
I just finished reading Birth Day, and I wanted to congratulate you on writing a terrific book!

I haven't actually given birth myself, but my husband and I are thinking about starting a family soon. Being a librarian, I can't resist doing my research in advance! =) I've read lots of books on childbirth and infant care in the last year, and none of them have come close to providing such a well-rounded perspective on the history and practices of birth. I was especially impressed with your chapter on infant anatomy. The fascinating information you provide runs circles around the other books I've read.

My husband, who's a 4th year acupuncture/Chinese medicine student, has taken Western pediatrics and many human anatomy classes, and parts of your discussion were new to him, as well. He's looking forward to reading the book in its entirety.

My own science background is limited, so I was grateful for the personal anecdotes you used as "breaks" from the denser science discussions. I also appreciated your respect for and refreshingly balanced discussion of alternative methods of birthing and midwifery.

I will certainly recommend your book to expecting moms who come to my library!

Best Regards,
M.W-H.
San Jose , CA
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Thanks so much for that book. It is hands down the best book I’ve read on this process and I am now avidly recommending it to others!

A.T.
Portland, OR
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Hello Dr. Sloan,
I am well past childbearing years and never had children. But no matter, the book is great fun to read. I especially am enjoying the section on why human labor is different than a gorilla’s ability to pop out the baby with hardly any muss or fuss. I have seen babies born, but never stopped to wonder why it takes so much labor to hatch them. And now I get it. Makes the whole process even more miraculous than it already is.

And the section on pain relief, or not, and how fathers’ bodies change. I think everyone would want to read it. And your sense of humor is a delight.

I put down Oliver Sacks’ latest book on music to read yours. The only other book that might make me put aside Dr. Sacks is a well written mystery. And actually that is what your book is.

D.B.
San Jose, CA
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Readers Reviews* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun, fascinating read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a fun, quick read. I learned more
than I would have thought on the history of birth as well as the science
behind the birth experience and the baby itself...inside and out. Highly
recommended.
-Emily Tennill
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Who knew?!
I'm only half-way through this book but already need to give it 5 stars.
It's a wonderful book full of facts, history and tips for labor/delivery.
I especially enjoy the historical facts like the story of the origins of
having women labor on their backs. Amazing stuff. This is a great book for
any expectant mother or anyone interested in the birthing history and
process. Two thumbs up!!!
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Witty and informative
Of the half dozen baby/birth books I've read since I got pregnant, this
was by far the best written. Dr. Sloan had me (and my husband) laughing
every couple of pages. Filled with both insightful anecdotes and careful
historical research, it's an informative and very fun read. Unlike most
pregnancy/birth/baby books, it's downright hard to put down. It's also the
single book that best educated me on what I might expect of a hospital
birth and on the origins of today's hospital culture. There are plenty of
books out there by "natural" birth advocates to describe birth at home or
in a hippie commune, but a relative scarcity of hospital birth stories.
Through his anecdotes, Dr. Sloan finally answered the questions I had as a
first-time mom.
-A. K. Mitros "ania" (Seattle, WA USA)
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Painful Birth but Painless Science
What a book! There are a thousand things which have to come together for a
human being to be conceived and born, a fascinating unfolding of an
ordinary event that isn't ordinary at all. Doctor Sloan has a wonderfully
witty, wry manner of writing. Who ever thought such an informative book
could be so entertaining at the same time?
-James E. O'Leary (Corpus Christi, Texas USA)
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Must read for parents-to-be
Let me admit a bias before I even start... We are extremely lucky to have
Mark Sloan as our pediatrician. So when a friend told me she was
expecting, I immediately recommended him and then remembered that he'd
recently written a book. I thought it would make a good gift and serve as
an introduction to the kind of doctor he is. I found the book on Amazon,
got it a day later (thank you Amazon Prime!) and honestly, after skimming
it, my husband and I fought over who got to read it first. We rarely read
the same books, but this one has blown both of us away.
Sloan weaves real-life examples with amazingly detailed historical
information in a way that's part history lesson, part first-hand
experience -- and all fascinating.
While nothing can actually prepare you for childbirth, Birth Day provides
first-time parents with a solid foundation and historical context that
will make them feel a little less lonely and lost; and any parent will
think (as I have), "Boy, I wish I'd known that before!"
It doesn't "dumb down" anything and Sloan's genuine humor adds moments of
levity as well tender remembrances that will drive any hormone-laden
mom-to-be to tears. From all the amazing magic that happens in a woman's
body to help the pregnancy and labor move along, to the medical advances
that we rely on, to the transformation of fetus to infant, there's a
wealth of information here.
We've found our "go to" gift for expecting parents. Thanks Dr. Sloan!
-E. Duckhorn (California, United States)
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Dr. Sloan is a top notch writer
Since you are obviously interested in this type of book or you wouldn't be
reading this... this is the one to buy. Humor does make books about
"scientific" topics much more readable. Child birth is Scientific????
-Bravoseven "Bravoseven" (Northern California)
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Birth Day
This book is a very readable and informative account of the trials and
tribulations of of a wise and witty pediatrician who has delivered
thousands of babies over a long and successful career. The mix of intriguing
science with autobiographical recollections which are intentionally less than
flattering for the doc-writer present the reader with insightful tales told
with warmth and humor. An enjoyable book for the curious person who would
like to participate in the mystery of birth without the bother of
attending medical school.
-Charles R. Rasor "Chazray" (santa rosa, ca usa)
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Great Mother's Day Idea
From cover to cover, Dr. Sloan captivates the reader with fascinating
science, historical events, biography and humor that remarkably explains
the complex biology of human life. I don't even have children and I love
this book. I would recommend it to every new parent and mother-to-be. And
with Mother's Day just around the corner, Birth Day should be a no-brainer
gift idea.
-Ed Sheffield (Santa Rosa, CA)
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For all of us who have been born
This excelent book about the day of birth combines history, science, and
ancecdotes by the pediatrition author. Best of all, the book is
interesting, packed with information AND told with a fine sense of humor
and compassion. Great fun to learn so much while reading a well written
book.
-Dorothy Blake (Santa Rosa California)
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More Readers Review Birth Day on Good Reads:
http://www.goodreads.com
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http://www.coolmompicks.com/2009/09/you_say_its_your_birth_day.php
"When I was pregnant for the first time, I developed an unhealthy affinity for those birth documentaries that had previously repelled me. Something about growing a baby myself made me want to click over and immerse myself in the gory details.

A new book from pediatrician Mark Sloan, Birth Day, would have been a far better alternative. Dr. Sloan is a fantastic storyteller, weaving historical information, medical studies, and his own professional experience into a truly fascinating look at childbirth over the centuries. I really like how the level of technical detail and writing style are accessible to just about anyone.

While Birth Day would probably be most appealing to women who are currently pregnant (or chic science geeks like me), it also has a whole section on daddies, which makes it a cool dad-to-be gift too. Along with a bottle of tequila.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *http://lifeaslyricpoetry.blogspot.com/2009/08/birth-day-miracle.html
“I love this book. What more can I say? I love it. I have already heartily recommended it to women, men, people with children, people without children, people who don't even like children.”
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http://justanotherreviewblog.blogspot.com/
“If I were looking for a book on skydiving, I would search for one written by someone who had actually, well, jumped out of a plane. Literature written by those who observe on the ground or even by the pilot would definitely have some interesting perspectives, but really? Can I REALLY understand what it is to ride up in that plane, stomach turning over in knots and wondering:

"Will I survive? Will I get injured? Is this REALLY a smart idea? Maybe someone else should jump!!"

Can a pilot who has never taken the leap into air honestly comprehend the emotions of someone free-falling for hundreds and hundreds of feet? Would his interpretations of that experience ever come close to first-hand knowledge?

That is the attitude I had when I began reading the book, Birth Day by Dr. Mark Sloan, a pediatrician and father. How can a MAN know enough about childbirth? How can someone without the proper reproductive parts even GUESS to know what childbirth is? Sure, he's attended hundreds, perhaps thousands, of births, including his own 2 children. Sure, he's cared for those babies and their parents for decades, guiding them through the typical new parent fears and questions. This definitely makes him qualified to answer questions about BABIES, but about pushing that infant out? I wasn't convinced.

After I got into the book, though, my opinion began to sway. Like a toy sailboat on the ocean, my thoughts bobbed every which way...

"Just because YOU had a male OB who wasn't sympathetic doesn't mean all male doctors are that way! Give the man a chance, self. Give him a chance..."

And because his knowledge and research is so vast, written in a style that even a non-medical mother such as myself could completely grasp all of the technical terms (without feeling talked down to), I admitted that I enjoyed this book.

I said it. I liked a book by a man doctor. What's next, military school for my boys?!?

Birth Day appealed to me not because it was about birthing babies. I KNOW about birthing babies. No, Birth Day kept me interested until the end because Dr. Sloan admitted to knowing nothing of what the mother really goes through. (I mean, we can all IMAGINE the pain of getting our legs crushed by a semi-truck, but we'll all admit that we have no IDEA of what it truly means, without having that experience first-hand.) He instead focused on everything that surrounds human childbirth and the reasons (both socially, economically and physically) that our methods of delivering our children have become what they are today. I now understand why the baby's entire body must turn mid-delivery, why feminism had an effect on medicated births, and why cesareans have risen so dramatically in the past generations. (I will also never call it a Cesarean Section, now that I know "Cesarean" actually MEANS "Section"...) He managed to educate me, his reader on topics I had never considered or understood. He also made me furious to hear that the US is one of the only developed countries that doesn't use Nitrous oxide as a pain management alternative. (Read Chapter 5. I really AM irked!)

But seriously, Birth Day was a lovely book. Dr. Sloan compiled a very thorough and honest book about childbirth and infancy that would be beneficial to any woman. Especially a woman who's wanting to jump out of a plane...
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http://blog.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/birth-day/
“Author Mark Sloan has a great writing style – he combines facts, theories, and personal anecdotes in an engaging way. There’s a delightful a touch of humor sprinkled throughout the book. Not only did Birth Day keep me turning pages – I also ended up reading large sections of the book out loud to my husband. He enjoyed it too.”
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http://naturalpregnancyproject.com/birth-day-book-review/
“This book is filled with interesting information, it also features a light hearted writing style that makes the information easy to process and read. The personal anecdotes really help to bring messages home, and make the entire book much more relatable.

If you are interested in childbirth I recommend reading this book. I certainly learned a ton while I was reading it.”
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http://storieswithlittlemargo.blogspot.com/2009/08/birth-day.html
“I am forever thankful, for having had the opportunity to read parts of Mark Sloan's book prior to my delivery. It opened my eyes.”
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http://www.chicagomomsblog.com/2009/08/not-what-i-was-expecting-1.html
“The recent book Birth Story by Mark Sloan has helped me look at this unexpected experience in a whole new light…Mark has years of experience as a pediatrician and has obviously done his research, yet his own wonder and joy at the birthing process permeates every page.”
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http://12eyes60toes.blogspot.com/2009/07/birth-day.html
“Funny, interesting and accurate -- Sloan is a pediatrician who sprinkles his writing with medical school anecdotes and personal stories. Most of the book is written in a positive tone and with great respect for the entire creation-of-life process. Not to be ignored are mindblowing facts like after delivering, post partum women immediately start producing odor from their nipples which smells like amniotic fluid -- this is meant to encourage newborns to nurse. Did you know that? I did not know that!”
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http://www.wifeandmommy.com/birth-day/
“I do not plan to give birth ever again.
Nonetheless, the book Birth Day intrigued me. Dr. Sloan weaves the history of modern birth with his experience of attending 3,000 births. I couldn’t help but think of my own childbirth experiences as I read.”
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http://bonggamom.blogspot.com/2009/08/birth-story-part-two-and-three.html
“A wonderful book…”
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http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear.com/nursing_wear/
“Birth Day is written in a very informative and entertaining style. Dr. Sloan presents a lot of information in a way that conveys complexity but still remains accessible. I think you'll enjoy it.”
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http://feeds2.feedburner.com/notjustaworkingmomblogspot
“I absolutely loved this book. It was not a parenting book, thank goodness, but a historical adventure of birthing through the ages by a wonderful pediatrician. With all his experience as a doctor helping babies into the world and taking care of them afterwards, was also completely clueless when it came to being his own wife's birthing partner. He may be a typical new dad, but he sounds like a great doctor and wrote an informative an entertaining book. He included information about historical and current birthing practices, pain management and why gorillas have it so much easier than humans, and the varying roles of the daddy when their progeny is born.”
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  http://bryanavenue.typepad.com/because_a_blog_is_cheaper/page/2/
“… I'm currently reading this absolutely fascinating book called "Birth Day" by Mark Sloan, MD”
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http://wellthoughtoutspot.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html
“Reading the new book Birth Day by the ironically-named Dr. Mark Sloan (“Paging Dr. McSteamy from Gray’s Anatomy”), I was fascinated by the chapter on the history of the epidural and pain relief in child birth. The descriptions of old-timey remedies for labor pain were shocking. I can just picture one of my beleaguered ancestors screaming at her midwife 200 hundred years ago, “Where’s the damn viper fat!!!? I can’t take it anymore!”
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http://birthchange.blogspot.com/2009/06/book-review.html
“I am loving it all the way through and learning so much, too! I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in pregnancy and birth. A great summer read!”
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http://cheeseparty.blogspot.com/2009/08/on-birthing-naturally-or-am-i.html
“The book details the science, evolution and history of childbirth and I found it utterly fascinating.”
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http://coloradohenningers.blogspot.com/
“I loved this book! I would highly recommend it. It was just such a fascinating look at childbirth.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * http://enjoybirth.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/birth-day-by-mark-sloan-md/
"I have read a LOT of books about birth, this one was different because it was written from the pediatricians perspective, and taking a deeper look at the baby’s aspect. I liked this and learned some new things!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * http://www.thefabulousmisss.com/fabulous_miss_s/2009/08/book-discussion-birth-day-by-mark-sloan-md.html
“Birth Day, by Mark Sloan is interested, detailed, intriguing, engaging and inspiring…Every page was filled with information that made me think, consider and ponder my current state as a pregnant woman.”
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