Pushed by Jennifer Block

December 17, 2007 in Birth, Birth Stories, Cesarean, Childbirth Education, Doula, Pregnancy, VBAC

Pushed:  The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

by, Jennifer Block

Wow, what a book!  When I read books from the library, I put little slips of paper on the pages I want to go back and look at.  You should see my book; there is easily over 20 pieces of paper sticking out of the top.  This tells me I need to buy this book!  I am just sad I didn’t buy it in the first place, as my library copy is now past due and I don’t have time to take notes on all I wanted to.  So this may be a brief review, mostly because if I wrote ALL my thoughts it would become a book itself.  J 

Who is the audience for this book?   Any person interested in birth.   I would love to see this be a text in a college class to help people think about birth before they are pregnant.  It would be wonderful in sociology or a women’s studies class.  Really everyone of childbearing age should read this book!

I loved the way the book started; with a hurricane causing a hospital to change the medical way they normally handled birth due to limited supplies/manpower/energy.  They cancelled the planned inductions for the week; they sent moms home if they were not in active labor.  The staff saw a LOT of normal births, instead of the typically medically managed births.  Because they were not using pitocin “We had no cases of fetal distress during labor and respiratory distress of neonates following delivery…. And an incredibly low cesarean rate.”  Wow, what a concept, let women progress through their birthing time on their bodies own timetable and you have better outcomes for babies and moms?  Revolutionary!  

The book just gets better and better.  It touches on inductions, cesareans, vbacs, unassisted births, home midwives, doulas and much more.  There were 2 scary scenes that I would say pregnant moms trying to GIP (gestate in peace) may want to avoid.  Page 203-207 and Chapter 7.  The rest is safe. 

Frankly this book really made me think about birth and my rights as a woman.  The choices I make during my births and the power I DO have.  It made me also more aware of the way the government/OBs/insurance companies, are trying to take away my choices.  This should be a woman’s issue, but it isn’t embraced by the women’s groups, they see it as a medical issue.  But we need to remember normal birth does not need to be a medical event! 

The book ends with this thought by Jennifer, after commenting on how the goal of having a healthy baby is used to scare women into doing things that are not necessarily evidence based,  “Today women have unprecedented access to the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves-and therefore the best decisions for their babies.  They are in fact in a far better position to make evidence-based decisions than their doctors.  They have a right to make those decisions, and they should make those decisions.  The goal is to have a healthy family.”

I think this is SO true.   Women of the world, take the power back!  Inform yourselves of our choices, empower yourselves, and choose to have a healthy family!   This is where a good INDEPENDENT childbirth class is so great (not hospital based) Because we can share the information on what the choices are, the pros and cons of them, caregiver options, birthing options as well as basic childbirth information all together in one class.  To help families figure out the best choices to help them have the best birth possible. 

This is a MUST read!

Jennifer also has a blog!

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