I'm really glad I read this book before I had my son. I had him in a hospital with a doula. I think that the real birth stories and information in this book really got me through some of the tough parts of my labor, because I knew that what I was going through was normal. I used some of the things that the women in the real birth stories used like changing positions and the sphincter law. I am sure this book helped me achieve the birth I wanted. Yes, this book is a bit "crunchy" as another reviewer put it and occasionally a little graphic, but I think natural childbirth is that way in real life anyway. It's good to read about the reality of birth instead of going into labor without understanding how it works.