Sheila Kitzinger

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Sheila Kitzinger
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Sheila Helena Elizabeth Kitzinger MBE (29 March 1929 - 11 April 2015) was a British natural childbirth activist and author on childbirth and pregnancy. She was a social anthropologist specialising in pregnancy, childbirth and the parenting of babies and young children. Although she lectured on midwifery she was never a midwife. She campaigned for women to have the information they need to make choices about childbirth.

Kitzinger was born in Taunton, Somerset and died in Oxfordshire after a short illness.

She was honorary professor at University of West London, where she taught the MA in midwifery in the Wolfson School of Health Sciences. She also taught workshops on the social anthropology of birth and breastfeeding.

She was a strong believer that all women who are not at high risk should be given the choice to benefit from a home birth . She was a keen writer and her books cover women's experiences of antenatal care, birth plans, induction of labour, epidurals, episiotomy, hospital care in childbirth, children's experiences of being present at birth and post traumatic stress following childbirth.


  • A Passion for Birth: My Life: Anthropology, Family and Feminism, Pinter & Martin 2015, ISBN 9781780661704
  • Birth & Sex: The Power and the Passion, Pinter & Martin 2012, ISBN 9781780660509
  • Improving Maternity Services: Small Is Beautiful - Lessons from a Birth Centre (Foreword), Radcliffe Publishing Ltd 2006, ISBN 1-84619-095-9
  • Birth Crisis, Routledge 2006, ISBN 0-415-37266-6
  • The Politics of Birth, Elsevier, USA 2005, ISBN 0-7506-8876-9
  • Understanding Your Crying Baby, Carroll & Brown 2005, ISBN 1-904760-21-X
  • The New Experience of Childbirth, Orion 2004
  • The New Pregnancy & Childbirth - Choices & Challenges, Dorling Kindersley 2003
  • Birth Your Way - Choosing birth at home or in a birth centre, Dorling Kindersley 2002, reissued by Fresh Heart Publishing 2011, ISBN 978-1-906619-18-3
  • Rediscovering Birth, Little, Brown 2000, ISBN 0-316-85393-3, reissued by Pinter & Martin 2011, ISBN 978-1-905177-38-7
  • Becoming a Grandmother: A Life Transition, Simon & Schuster 1997, ISBN 0-684-19619-0
  • Birth over Thirty-Five, Sheldon Press 1994, ISBN 0-85969-691-X
  • The Year after Childbirth: Surviving and Enjoying the First Year of Motherhood, Scribner 1994, ISBN 0-684-19615-8
  • Ourselves as Mothers, Bantam 1992, ISBN 0-04-440742-4
  • The Midwife Challenge (Issues in Women's Health series), Pandora Press 1991, ISBN 0-04-440845-5
  • Pregnancy Day by Day: The Expectant Mother's Diary, Record Book, and Guide, Knopf 1990, ISBN 0-394-58751-0
  • The Crying Baby, Penguin Books 1990, ISBN 0-14-009410-5
  • Breastfeeding Your Baby, Dorling Kindersley 1989
  • Your Baby, Your Way, Pantheon Books 1987, ISBN 0-394-75249-X
  • Giving Birth, How it Really Feels, Victor Gollancz Ltd 1987, ISBN 0-575-04110-2
  • Being Born, Grosset & Dunlap 1986, ISBN 0-448-18990-9
  • A Celebration of Birth - The Experience of Childbirth, Penguin 5th ed 1984
  • Woman's Experience of Sex Penguin 1983
  • Birth Over 30, HarperCollins 1982, ISBN 0-85969-365-1
  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth Dorling Kindersley 1980, rev 1989, rev 1996, rev 2004 ISBN 0-679-45028-9 (Knopf US edition)
  • Giving Birth: The Parents' Emotions in Childbirth, Victor Gollancz 1971



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