This book deals with how the medical system and perceptions of birth as a medical event are causing the caesarean epidemic. Although the book is American and an understanding of that system is needed to put much of it in perspective, it does not lose its relevance in crossing the Atlantic, but rather highlights how midwifery care is crucial. It looks at taking control of your own birth and avoiding unnecessary intervention.
There are lots of quotes from mothers. Sources of further information are American, as is much of the extensive reading list. Henkart writes nearly two-thirds of the text; the rest is from seven other authors, each writing a complete chapter. Forewords are by Michel Odent and Nancy Wainer Cohen (author of Silent Knife and Open Season).
This book would be useful for mothers, especially those who have had a caesarean or traumatic vaginal delivery. All antenatal teachers and health professionals supporting these mothers should also find it useful. It doesn't have the facts and figures of Silent Knife or the emotional impact of The VBAC Experience, but I would have loved to have had this after my first caesarean.
Debbie Chippington Derrick (1996)
First appeared in NCT New Generation June 1996