*Starred Review* The outspoken former director of Women's and Children's Health at the World Health Organization believes maternity and perinatal care in the U.S. are seriously flawed. To make the point, he cites recent Centers for Disease Control findings that 28 countries have lower maternity-mortality rates; 41, lower infant-mortality rates. This despite the fact that the U.S. spends twice as much or more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation. Wagner places responsibility squarely on the shoulders of obstetricians and the lobbying power of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Interested in one thing above all else--maintaining control of a lucrative market--that group, he avers, foists unnecessary, expensive, and invasive medical interventions upon women when none are needed. Obstetricians are only necessary, he says, in a minority of cases in which serious medical problems threaten the life of mother or child. For the most part, childbirth isn't a medical condition, and infant and maternal mortality rates are lowest in countries in which midwives attend to it. Speaking from his experience as a clinical perinatologist and a perinatal epidemiologist and supplemented by the hoard of credible sources cited in the copious endnotes, Wagner pulls no punches in advocating a woman's right to control the entire reproductive process, from conception through birth. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"Dr. Wagner depicts the state of obstetrical care in the United States with clarity and accuracy. He is clearly an 'insider' who has the courage to tell the truth about how our love affair with birth technology adversely affects both mothers and babies. Importantly, he outlines a path toward much-needed change. Born in the USA should be 'must' reading, not only for all pregnant women, but also for all ob/gyn physicians, hospital personnel, and those who make public policy. Dr. Wagner has done all of us a great service with this book." - Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom"