Parenthood is full of secrets. The pregnant body, labour, the mysteries of a new child, the transformation of relationships - men and women are themselves reborn as they become parents. This text collects the work of 50 accomplished writers to guide new parents through this complex terrain. Arranged chronologically - from early pregnancy to late infancy - the text can be read solidly or dipped into in the middle of the night. Here, a curious reader can find a frank essay about breastfeeding, an accurate story about labour, or a tender poem about the terror of holding a newborn child. ""Birth"" covers the huge emotional spectrum that new parents pass through - from fear and loathing to uncontainable joy. Embracing all kinds of parents - gay and straight, mothers and fathers, married and single, adoptive and biological - the book unlocks, through literature, the secrets of parenthood that science and society rarely reveal. This book aims to be an enduring guide to the emotional and spiritual changes of parenthood.