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Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan Paperback – January 24, 2012


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Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan + The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know About a Cesarean Birth + Strategies for the C-Section Mom: A Complete Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Guide
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1 edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616145110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616145118
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,683,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read for all women."
—Dr. Jennifer R. Berman

"An excellent presentation of the complex issues surrounding maternal request cesarean delivery. . . .
The authors have addressed the most common and most debated pros and cons in such detail as to allow the individual patient and her physician to make a truly informed decision."
—Ralph W. Hale, MD, Executive vice president, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

"A must-read for all women. Women need to be informed with all information related to elective c-section versus vaginal birth. This book arms women with the information needed to make the choice that suits them best."
—Dr. Jennifer R. Berman, Urologist and sexual health expert, Berman Women’s Wellness Center

"As a global maternal health advocate, I hope that all women will someday have more birth options to choose from—and that once a woman has had access to information about her options and makes an informed decision about her birth, the rest of us will stand behind her to support that choice."
—Christy Turlington Burns, Director/producer No Woman, No Cry; founder, Every Mother Counts

"At last a sensible and ‘easy-to-read’ book about the pros and cons of cesarean at the mother’s request. It reviews the scientific evidence thoroughly enough to satisfy professionals but also explains it in straightforward language for the nonmedical reader."
—Phil Steer, MD, frcog, Emeritus professor, Imperial College London; editor in chief, BJOG, An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

"A thoroughly readable book, beautifully written and well researched. The authors offer a supportive approach with informed decision making. . . . A compelling book I can thoroughly recommend."
—Dr. Peter De Jong, Consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, University of Cape Town

About the Author

Magnus Murphy, MD (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), is the author (with Carol L. Wasson) of Pelvic Health and Childbirth: What Every Woman Needs to Know. He is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. He is also in a private practice specializing in pelvic floor disorders and at the Pelvic Floor Clinic at the Calgary Regional Health Authority. He created the website www.pelvicfloor.com, which provides information on these disorders.

Pauline McDonagh Hull (Farnham, Surrey, UK) is editor of www.electivecesarean.com, a Web site that provides specific information on elective cesareans and offers support to women with this birth plan. She also campaigns for recognition of the legitimacy of planned cesareans via her blog www.cesareandebate.blogspot.com. Formerly, she worked as a BBC News broadcast journalist and producer in London.

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Customer Reviews

The collection of evidence is irrefutable and comprehensive.
JayBee
I am not ashamed of my negative feelings, and it is really sad that more women don't just come out and admit it, too.
vikram verma
This book lays out the pros and cons of both vaginal and surgical birth.
ElleMNOP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By vikram verma on June 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book after having a vaginal birth with my first child. I prepared *extensively* for that birth, and it didn't turn out well. I focused on the positive (not realistic), did hypnosis (didn't work), had two doulas (neither helpful), Etc. I partially blame my midwife for assuming I wanted a vaginal birth at almost all costs, but most of all blaming myself for hoping mother nature was kind.

Anyone who carries around some special prize in ethics for women who squeeze life out of their vagina as being in any way inherently better than those who want to know if something else might be a better (or yes, less difficult) option, are people who DO NOT have your best interest in mind. I know: I have been around them. They are an industry with ideological bias, and those thinking outside that box are rare, or in hiding, or still figuring out the truth.

In summary, I made every possible effort I could to have a natural, safe birth. What I ended up with is a damaged pelvic floor, a damaged perineum, damaged self and sexual image, extremely uncomfortable incontinence issues, and a new fear of ever going through that again. I am not ashamed of my negative feelings, and it is really sad that more women don't just come out and admit it, too. Shame on all of you who would try to silence us and downplay our concerns!

Still, I am also a advocate of home births, water births, Etc, for some women in some situations. Just not me, and just not as a rule, despite the broken system for hospital births.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By BreastfeedingWithoutBS on October 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
When I was informed that my baby was still breech at 38 weeks and that a cesarean section was required, I knew that I was supposed to feel angry, saddened and cheated of the chance to have a "normal" delivery; instead, I felt secure, in control and--let's be frank--pretty relieved. Anyone who wants to know why should read Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan by Magnus Murphy, M.D. and Pauline McDonagh Hull. In this important book, the authors make a convincing case for cesarean delivery on maternal request as a valid form of birth and as the best choice for some women.

Hull is a journalist while Murphy is a urogynecologist (essentially, someone who spends his time propping up busted pelvic floors), and their book reflects this mixture of the medical, the personal and the political. It is a comprehensive guide for anyone considering choosing cesarean or interested in learning more about the issue, discussing not only the case for cesarean but also the practical and emotional aspects of planning and recovering from a surgical birth. In particular, the book does an excellent job of puncturing the sloppy science and media hysteria which has blighted popular discussion surrounding the safety of cesarean birth. Stats surrounding cesarean safety are usually based on "mixed" data which combines planned and emergency sections; if you look at the data for planned sections alone, the safety record of this birth type is generally at least as good as that of spontaneous vaginal delivery. Furthermore--and this is another important point which comes up several times in the book--an emergency cesarean is usually the result of a planned vaginal delivery.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. W on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a comprehensive guide to cesarean birth and it clearly highlights the most recent research in this area. It is an important work that finally provides women with the ability to provide informed consent regardless of the mode of delivery chosen, and for those who do ultimately choose to give birth by cesarean it provides useful information on what to expect.

I applaud the authors for bringing logic and science to a debate that is often fueled by politics, ideology and misogyny.

I bought this book when I was expecting my second child and only wish it would have been available while I was pregnant with my first - it would have saved countless hours trying to wade through the evidence on my birth choices.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brittney Matthews on June 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose to have a cesarean with my daughter 5 years ago and in that time I've been subjected to scrutiny based on that decision. Of course, before I chose the elective c-section I did my research and spoke with my OB/GYN. He supported me wholeheartedly and even offered the personal factors affecting his views on maternal requested cesareans. His wife underwent a vaginal delivery with his oldest and an additional attempt at vaginal delivery which ended up an emergency c-section with his second child. For their last born, his wife had a planned c-section and the difference between all three deliveries was resounding. Not only that, the damage from the first two vaginal experiences left his wife in her older years to be subjected to prolapse and a laundry list of traditional child birthing "side-effects", many of which women NEVER hear as being associated with vaginal delivery/trauma from attempted vaginal delivery. Anyway, my doctor told me had he known the risks he posed on his wife by suggesting a vaginal delivery all those years ago he never would've allowed her to put her delicate pelvic structure at risk when planned cesareans offer a safer alternative. I appreciated my doctors input and along with researching the few primitive and seemingly "underground" websites that dared to say anything positive about planned cesareans, I made my decision for my daughter and I. My experience with the elective cesarean was peaceful and gentle, the recovery period was only about 4 days, and most importantly my baby girl was not subjected to bruising or battery from the birth canal and her life was never in danger due to complications with mother nature. I am pregnant with our second little girl and I'm so happy I found this book!Read more ›
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