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Challenging negativity and fear of childbirth, and brimming with everything you need to know about labour, birth and the early weeks of parenting, The Positive Birth Book is the must-have guide for pregnant women. A widely acclaimed bestseller since it was first published, it has empowered hundreds of thousands of women worldwide to make informed, positive choices about their births.

Fully revised and updated, this new edition will help you work out what kind of birth you really want, and learn how to maximise your chances of getting it. The book’s trademark Visual Birth Plan icons can be downloaded for free to help you create a birth plan for every eventuality.

Written in Milli Hill’s trademark warm and witty style, discover vital information on everything from the truth about pain and what giving birth actually feels like, to your choices and rights in the birth room; from optimal cord clamping, to postnatal mental health; from the inside track on breastfeeding, to positive, gentle caesarean.

Whether you plan to have your baby in hospital, in a birth centre, at home or by elective caesarean, this essential, non-judgemental guide shows you how to raise your expectations and have the best possible birth experience.

New for this edition:

  • How to plan for a positive birth in difficult times
  • Reworked chapter on choosing where to have your baby
  • What you need to know about exercise in pregnancy from Charlie Launder, author of Bumps and Burpees
  • Top tips for breastfeeding from Amy Brown, author of The Positive Breastfeeding Book
  • New section on your rights in pregnancy and birth by Bashi Hazard of the Human Rights in Childbirth International Lawyers Network
  • Essential information about your pelvic floor, core and postnatal incontinence by Nikki Bergen, creator of the Belle Method, and Luce Brett, author of PSML


"Completely changed my way of looking at giving birth."
Ella Mills, Deliciously Ella

"Full to bursting with useful stuff - and so refreshing to read something positive about all types of birth."
Sarah Taylor

"A much-needed, brilliant, reassuring, pioneering, kick-ass book that all women should read!"
Emma Jane Unsworth

'Genuinely life-changing.'
Jess Brammar

"[Milli Hill's books] are much-needed, brilliant, reassuring, pioneering, kick-ass books that all women - especially mothers - should read!" Emma Jane Unsworth

"Seriously sound, straight-from-the-hip advice." Mother&Baby Magazine

"One of my very favourite birth writers." Ricki Lake

"The Positive Birth Book takes expectant parents through the maze of information and choices, in a down to earth, practical, empowering, reassuring way. I highly recommend that you put your feet up, relax and enjoy preparing yourself for the birth of your baby by reading this great book." Sue Atkins, ITV This Morning Parenting Expert

"A great read: honest, lively, fresh and helpful. This book puts women in the driving seat which is key to positive change." Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives

"Whatever a positive birth means to you, this book will make you believe you can do it. It's the book I wish I had read before I had my children!" Green Parent Magazine

"It's everything a pregnant woman and her partner needs, in one fab book!" Sheena Byrom OBE, Midwife and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives

"I love this book. Everyone's going to love this book. Because it gives mothers what they now most need - accurate facts, proper reassurance, and about a thousand reasons to be excited about birth." Natalie Meddings, Founder of Tellmeagoodbirthstory

"Chatty and thorough and uplifting: this book is a whacking great confidence boost right where it's needed." Kate Evans, Author of Bump: How to Make, Grow and Birth a Baby

"The Positive Birth Book is a must-read for every mum-to-be. By showing that birth can be an amazing, empowering and life-enhancing experience, Milli Hill is giving birth to a whole new way to think about bringing life into the world." Siobhan Freegard, Founder of Channel Mum and Netmums

"Finally, we can put to bed the old saying that 'as long as mother and baby are healthy that is all that matters.' Having a positive birth experience can be even more healthy, not just for the physical well being mom and newborn, but for their state of mind. This book shows how birth can be transformative. Don't give birth without it!" Tina Cassidy, Author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

"This is a book for all women-whether they will be on the normal birth pathway or have more complex needs, and whatever their take on things. The Positive Birth Book brings together complex ideas, material and research and it is all written so clearly. The words of women who have given birth are exquisite, and I so appreciated the inclusion of topics like human rights in birth and the importance of continuity of care. We are confronted with a huge job of raising women's expectations and transforming the culture of birth at the moment - and this book will really help. I loved it." Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives

Current Stock:
2022 | paperback | 328pp | 234x155mm

Reviews Hide Reviews


Karen Hall on 8th Jun 2022

Review of the 1st edition. This is an interesting and extremely thorough manual for birth, written by Positive Birth Movement founder Milli Hill, whose passion for improving childbirth shines out of every page. The obvious comparison is with 'How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out,' being published around the same time and for a similar audience. But The Positive Birth Book is much less yummy mummy guidebook and more thinking woman's handbook, with comprehensive chapters looking in depth at the decisions to make during pregnancy, the experience of labour, different kinds of support, ways of working with pain, and a lot less shopping. Hill takes a strong evidence-based position, referring extensively to NICE guidelines, and with contributions from other very respectable authorities including Birthrights' Rebecca Schiller and ABM Chair Emma Pickett. Usually I skip through the personal anecdotes, but they have been used really effectively in this book, breaking up an otherwise non-stop march of densely factual information. A particular strength of The Positive Birth Book is the chapter describing what labour is 'really like'. A tricky subject to cover, given all the possible individual experiences, and inevitably it's a long chapter with some idiosyncratic but accurate descriptions. Hill goes on to argue the case for writing a birth plan, and she's right that the process involves some engagement with the subject rather than washing one's hands of any involvement in what might unfold. This is a difficult case to make, knowing that so many women struggle to come to terms with disappointment and grief when birth doesn't meet their expectations. There is a good case for providing information and some decision-making strategies, which this book also does. A cute 'visual birth plan' tool is also offered. A final chapter provides a taster of post-birth existence, touching on the fourth trimester concept, some basic but happily accurate information about breastfeeding, and postnatal feelings and changes. Here Hill signposts rather than going into much detail, since this would go beyond the remit of this already very detailed book. I know that much inspiration and information for The Positive Birth Book was crowd-sourced, and the results have been articulately curated by Milli Hill into a really wonderful resource for pregnant women who are keen to do their research and take ownership of their birth experience.


Edward on 8th Jun 2022

Review of the 1st edition. This book is brilliant. In the polarised and distracting debate between ‘earth mothers’ and epidurals, all that really matters is that parents choose what they would prefer. Of course, Mr Stork may throw in a couple of curve balls, but you have loads of options and knowledge is power.