Midwifery and Childbirth in America
by Judith Rooks
Paperback: 548 pages
Publisher: Temple University Press
List Price: $49.95
Having a baby is an elemental human experience profound, even sacred to some women and their families. At the same time, it is a significant component of health care. The medical model of childbirth emphasizes the pathological potential of pregnancy and birth, while an alternative model championed by midwives focuses on the normalcy of pregnancy and its potential for health. Now available in paperback, this definitive account of the many forces that intersect over the issue of childbirth explains in a comprehensive and authoritative manner the conceptual and philosophical differences between these models. The author has brought together in a clear and readable fashion the myriad strands of history, culture, science, economics, and policy that have resulted in the current condition of maternity care in the United States. She describes the disparate backgrounds, training, and roles of certified nurse-midwives and lay or direct entry midwives, and explains the contributions of both groups. Rooks believes that maternity care and childbirth in America can, and should, be better than it is today, and offers steps to take in the direction. Author note: Judith Rooks is a nurse-midwife and epidemiologist with a long career in public health. She has taught in a school of nursing, a school of medicine, and a school of midwifery. The author of more than 50 scientific and professional papers, she is also past-president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She is an Associate of the Pacific Institute for Women's Health in Los Angeles.
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