From Publishers Weekly
According to writer and editor Block (Our Bodies, Ourselves), "the United States has the most intense and widespread medical management of birth" in the world, and yet "ranks near the bottom among industrialized countries in maternal and infant mortality." Block shows how, in transforming childbirth into a business, hospitals have turned "procedures and devices developed for the treatment of abnormality" into routine practice, performed for no reason than "speeding up and ordering an unpredictable...process"; for instance, the U.S. cesarean section rate tripled in the 1970s, and has doubled since then. Block looks into a growing contingent of parents-to-be exploring alternatives to the hospital-and the attendant likelihood of medical intervention-by seeking out birthing centers and options for home-birth. Unfortunately, obstacles to these alternatives remain considerable-laws across the U.S. criminalizing or severely restricting the practice of midwifery have led the trained care providers to practice underground in many states-while tort reform has done next to nothing to lower malpractice insurance rates or improve hospital birthing policies. This provocative, highly readable expose raises questions of great consequence for anyone planning to have a baby in U.S., as well as those interested or involved in women's health care.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"A gripping expose... Provocative and hotly controversial analysis of a side of reproductive rights feminism seems to have forgot." -- Kirkus Reviews, (Starred Review) 5/15/07
"A stirring discussion of reproductive rights, informed consent, and the rights of the mother vs. the fetus... Recommended." -- Library Journal, 5/15/07
"The book is loaded with interviews, statistics and...some quietly deft storytelling." -- Chicago Reader, 6/29/07
"This is a worthwhile book for anyone who cares about reforming our health-care system--right from the start." -- Kansas City Star, 10/02/07
"[Block] really gets that maternity care is a woman's issue that all people should care about, not just mothers, and she has no agenda through a birth experience or professional work in maternity care. Pushed shines a spotlight on maternity care and asks important questions about the standard practices in America." -- BOLD Book Club, October 2007