In the 1930s, Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician, encouraged natural childbirth. In his book Childbirth Without Fear, Dr. Dick-Read stresses the importance of educating women to understand the changes in their bodies during the normal processes of pregnancy and birth. Dr. Dick-Read describes a situation called the "cycle of fear," initiated during labor when a woman experiences contractions for the first time. He describes uterine contractions as the "unknown," the fear that triggers muscle tension -- increasing the woman's perception of pain. Relaxing the mind as well as the body is the focus of Dr. Dick-Read's method. He believes that a woman with a relaxed mind and a relaxed body perceives less pain and deals more effectively with the labor and birth process.