The American Way of Birth

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9780525935230: The American Way of Birth

The author of The American Way of Death provides a history of American childbirth from the nineteenth century to the present, exploring conventional and alternative methods, public health-care programs, high-tech births, and more. 75,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Mitford ( The American Way of Death ) interviewed obstetricians, midwives and antenatal and postnatal mothers for this journalistic probe of how Americans are born. In graceful prose she relates our appalling infant mortality rate to the obstacles poor women face in finding prenatal care and decent hospital treatment. After reviewing the potential hazards of obstetrical forceps, electronic fetal monitoring and diagnostic ultrasound, Mitford discusses the complications mothers often face after having a cesarean section and examines the financial and legal motives behind doctors' widespread performance of these largely unnecessary procedures. She takes readers on a grand tour of the midwifery scene, from a Bronx center for low-risk women to a Californian context in which the medical establishment harasses home-birth midwives with police break-ins. In an epilogue Mitford documents hospital routines and deceptive overbilling, criticizes the American Medical Association's powerful lobby, which squelches healthcare reform, and reviews efforts to pass a Canadian-style national health insurance bill that would eliminate the profiteering of U.S. hospitals and doctors. First serial to Good Housekeeping.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Mitford's probe into American obstetrics as well as the hospitals, clinics, and welfare agencies that supervise the prenatal care and births of American babies results in an indictment of the medical practices surrounding something that should not make us sick--giving birth. She also broaches the broader subject of the healthcare system or lack thereof, which governs much of American behavior surrounding the individual's own healthcare practices or failure to seek it out. Although her book is mostly anecdotal and meant to be read as if she were speaking to us directly, her attempt to be witty is annoying. Furthermore, much of the content lacks focus and will have difficulty holding the reader's attention from beginning to end. For a more engaging analysis of American birth practices, see Robbie E. Davis-Floyd's Birth as an American Rite of Passage ( LJ 8/92). For public libraries only. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/92.
- Patricia Sarles, Mt. Sinai Medical Ctr. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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