Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

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A provocative and incisive analysis of childbirth in the age of machines, malpractice, and managed care.

In the United States, more than half the women who give birth are given drugs to induce or speed up labor; for nearly a third of mothers, childbirth is major surgery - the cesarean section. For women who want an alternative, choice is often unavailable: Midwives are sometimes inaccessible; in eleven states they are illegal. In one of those states, even birthing centers are outlawed.

When did birth become an emergency instead of an emergence? Since when is normal, physiological birth a crime?

A groundbreaking journalistic narrative, Pushed presents the complete picture of maternity care in America. Crisscrossing the country to report what women really experience during childbirth, Jennifer Block witnessed several births - from a planned cesarean to an underground home birth. Against this backdrop, Block investigates whether routine C-sections, inductions, and epidurals equal medical progress. She examines childbirth as a reproductive rights issue: Do women have the right to an optimal birth experience? If so, is that right being upheld?

Block's research and experience reveal in vivid detail that while emergency obstetric care is essential, there is compelling evidence that we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and infant health: Either women's bodies are failing, or the system is failing women.

Customer Reviews:

  • A must read
    An absolute must read for: anyone entering motherhood, anyone who works with health, anyone who knows someone entering motherhood.
    Informative, a true eye-opener.
    This book is on the "required list" for my childbirth classes.
    Ana Paula Markel...more info
  • Scary But Necessary Reading
    My first (and only) birth was quite horrifying. After being induced because my contractions slowed the contractions became very painful, after 18 hours I asked for an epidural. The resident put the tube in wrong and the epidural didn't work properly, immobilizing my legs, but leaving the horrific contractions. After 30 hours the midwife broke my bag of waters and after 36 hours I had a fever and my son's heart rate was becoming erratic. They put me in for an emergency C-section, but gave the anesthesia through the same tube as the epidural. Well, it didn't work properly, and I felt almost everything during the 45 minute c-section, so long because my son was stuck and the doctor stopped midway to do a "cease and assess" and to formally complain about the overseeing anesthesiologist.

    So! Bad things that you are totally unprepared for can happen! And while this book IS completely biased, it is better to know about all of the possibilities and be mentally prepared for them rather than be blindsided by them. If you are an intelligent woman/couple you can take from this book what it offers: perspective. It will also help you understand what you may and may not want to do during those "informed decision" times they tell you so much about during birthing classes. Yeah, you make the decisions, you can always ask for more information if you need it. Well, what they don't tell you is that if you ask your doctor, your doctor is biased, so if you don't do your own research going in you will do whatever your doctor says because it is the only opinion you have, besides your own, which seems meaningless and naive next to a doctor's recommendation.

    Read it, be scared for a little while, and then know you are going into your birth with more information. I am pregnant again, I found that this book helped me decide what kind of physician I wanted to go with. My husband is very against home birth, and I understand his fears, he was traumatized by the first birth, too, he feels that we should still be in a hospital "just in case." So, this book helped me choose a doctor that understands that I want a "home birth" in a hospital. I hope it will help you, too. ...more info
  • Amazing--you must read
    I knew our current obstetric system in America to be flawed, but I didn't realize how flawed it truly is until I read this book. Block presents her arguments clearly, with plenty of statistics and footnotes to back up her claims, and the information she provides on the limited choices women have when birthing a child is frankly astounding. I think everyone (including men, and women who don't plan to have children) should read this book so that they can pass along the knowledge to other women who are pregnant who may not know what they might face during birth. If you're pregnant and have been told you must be induced, or schedule a c-section, or are not a candidate for a VBAC; if you had a c-section that was for CPD or failure to progress; if you've been told your baby is getting too big or your amniotic fluid too low, et cetera, I encourage you to read Pushed. I think there needs to be a revolution in maternity care and childbirth and the only way that revolution can begin is with pregnant women demanding that they be treated better. Block shows that a majority of cesareans aren't necessarily safer for either mother or baby, while remaining objective and non-judgmental. Thank you to the author for revealing important truths about modern obstetric care. ...more info
  • Question the Establishment!
    I loved this book for so many reasons. This book isn't "anti-hospital birth" or "anti-obstetric practice" as some reviews have made it seem. It simply strives to raise awareness regarding what is considered to be safe, acceptable, and good medical practice when most of those practices aren't evidence-based models. It leaves no grey area when revealing conclusions of multiple studies that show exactly why many hospital practices are not helpful, and in many cases, unwanted and unnecessary. It shows how our most common obstetric practices evolved and why and what we, as consumers, as parents, as women, should be asking and demanding be done differently.

    As a doula, I loved this book because it truly reaffirms that birth is, 97% of the time, not a medical emergency - it is not a catastrophe that mother and/or baby must be rescued from. We are fighting nature by demanding that mothers be restricted in movement, spend most of their time in bed, be denied food and drink, and deny them the emotional support that most laboring women crave.

    As a mother, I loved this book for many of the same reasons I loved it as a doula, but also because it doesn't BLAME the mothers, consumers, and women. You are supposed to trust your doctor, and if we didn't would anyone see them for anything? It's not about being anti-hospital, but making informed decisions and not being bullied or intimidated into making a decision the hospital feels is least likely to result in a lawsuit.

    Some things in the book made me cry. Some things made me laugh. I couldn't believe that we're allowing these things to be done to women and their children. Overall, it broke my heart. It broke my heart that it needed to be written, but I am so glad it was. I would recommend this book to absolutely every person. It not only applies to mothers, women, and fathers, but every person who has ever felt that perhaps their medical care wasn't what it should be, or what they wanted. Truly, a jaw-dropping read. LOVED it....more info
  • Brilliant investigative writing!
    What praise can I give this book that has not already been said.

    Jennifer is a brilliant investigative journalist. Everyone who thinks needs to read this book.

    As a doula, CBE and LC I've read a lot of textbooks and advocacy about birth and breastfeeding. What I really enjoyed is this book reads like a novel or mystery. I loved the the familiar tone, and style of Jennifer's writing.
    ...more info
  • A Must-read For Any Woman Contemplating Childbirth
    Not only was this an amazing book packed full of easy-to-understand statistics and little-known information on what hospital birth is like in the US, but it is an absolute page-turner with plenty of gripping real-life stories from all types of people (physicians, nurses, midwives, mothers, lawyers, activists, etc.) with experience in this system.

    I used to have a vague idea, before this book, of some of the interventions I would absolutely not allow if I were to give birth in a hospital, but since reading this book and doing some additional research (via other books and internet) my eyes have really been opened. I could never watch TLC's "A Baby Story" the same way again!

    I think this book is a must-read for any woman contemplating childbirth. It is such a shame that SO FEW women know that there are options OUTSIDE of the hospital, and that they don't have to be forced by physicians to submit to procedures and interventions (e.g., episiotomies, continuous fetal monitors, cesareans) to which they DO NOT consent.

    Read this book (and others) to prepare yourself....more info
  • Eye opening, interesting and a must read for ALL women!
    Pushed was very informative and gave you SO much information about maternity care then and now. It also gave insight as to how to prep myself and how to be an informed consumer as to the type of maternity care that I would like to have. This book encourages women to take back birth and be informed instead of blindly trusting it to "the experts". I would HIGHLY recommend anyone who is considering going into the OB/GYN field and to any women who can get pregnant. This is fantastic! Once I started I couldn't put it down!...more info
  • Never mind "What to Expect"--read this first
    Sixteen years after my own "failure to progress" emergency C-section, Jennifer Block brought it all back in minutes. Intervention leading to intervention was the story of my first son's birth. My second positive pregnancy test jumped straight from joy into abject fear. Fear is a good motivator sometimes--our last two were born at home with two certified (and illegal at the time) midwives. Their beginnings aren't muddled in with my own trauma. The sad fact is, it's all thought of as so "normal" that most women today don't know what they've lost.

    This book should be mandatory reading-- I agree with the previous reviewer--America needs a revolution in it's birth practices. I plan on helping start it by giving this book to every woman I know thinking about becoming pregnant. Thanks to Jennifer for all the hours spent researching this material. It is sorely needed....more info
  • Brilliant!
    I just finished reading this book and I was left feeling that Jennifer Block has hit all of the nails right on their heads. I have taught a childbirth education class and am a doula, and this book challenged my thinking on modern birth and what information I am giving out to women when I interact with them.

    Block puts abuse of pregnant women and denied women's rights into the spotlight. Pregnancy and delivery today are really about women's rights at the very core. I was impressed beyond belief with the very last page of the book. It pulled everything together in such an unbelievably perfect way.

    The facts presented in the book are what make it most impressive. Anybody who doesn't read this book is truly missing out.

    Not everybody can let go of control and give it up to the women. Some think they can control women's decisions and tell them that they know what's best for them. I call that abuse. Once you read this book and understand it, you'll feel good honoring women's autonomy and choices in birth....more info
  • An absolute must-read for all women, not just mothers
    This book gives a highly documented and throughly examined perspective of the current state of average American maternity care. I'm so happy I read it in preparation for pregnancy. Every young mother I know has had a c-section, and none of then set out to have one. Definite must read for all women, not just those who want to conceive. Feminists should investigate maternity rights rather than just focusing on reproductive rights....more info
  • Another c-section casualty
    I had a completely complication-free pregnancy and planned on a natural birth. Like so many of the women detailed in this book, I ended up with a c-section because of fears of macrosomia (big baby). At my 40 week appointment, when I had not yet started dilating, the OB decided the baby was getting too big and I needed a c-section. When I protested, be brought in two colleagues and the three of them went through every possible complication for vaginal delivery of a large baby: shoulder dystosia, cerebral palsy, even stillbirth (yes, they sat there and told me if I didn't get a c-section it wouldn't be there fault if I had a stillbirth). I felt completely bullied and powerless and had the c-section. My daughter was a health 9 lb 12 oz, but I had terrible problems recovery from surgery, awful breastfeeding problems (my milk took over a week to come in), and postpartum depression that made bonding with my baby and, well, everything in life, difficulty. I still believe I could have had a vaginal birth. And now I'll likely never be able to have a VBAC, since so few hospitals and doctors allow them, unless I go the home birth route. This book showed me I was not alone. And while I don't have conclusive statistics, I can say that among my two sisters-in-law and three friends who were pregnant when I was, all six of us -- yes, all six -- had c-sections either for macrosomia or "failure to progress." And these were all healthy, normal pregnancies. Truly scary....more info
  • should be required reading for OBs (& everyone else!)
    As a birth doula living and working in New Jersey, the state with the highest cesarean rate in the nation and where much of the research for this book was done, I am so pleased to have updated research and witty, heartbreaking and compelling stories to offer my clients and suggest to everyone I meet. The title choice is amazing; women are being pushed and it's time to push back.
    Jennifer Block's research is up to the minute and is impeccable. She aptly details how we got here and makes some suggestions about how to find our way out of the mess we are in. Her depiction of physiological, normal birth as compared to the laundry list of interventions that we have come to believe are necessary for birth is a wake up call.
    She lets women know the real risks that they may not be told about primary and repeat cesareans, inductions, routine use of pitocin and other interventions when used casually instead of as life-saving tools.
    Though we spend the most money and employ more interventions everyday, our country ranks among some of the lowest in terms of the health/safety/survival of babies and mothers surrounding birth. The crisis that maternity care has become in this country does not just impact birthing women; rather, it touches every tax payer, employer who offers insurance, every school child...everyone. If I were to give birth to my nearly 10 year old son today, my chance of a surgical birth, by statistics alone, has increased 8 fold...things are out of control.
    We need to find our outrage and I hope this book will help us do just that. ...more info
  • Everyone should read this book!
    In the past week I've met 2 women whose insurance companies have refused to pay for a homebirth. I think it's pathetic that someone can walk in and ask for a $6000 c-section while another woman can't give natural birth with a midwife in her home for $1500. This book gives great background information on birth in our society yesterday and today. It's everything you wanted to know after watching 'the business of being born'. Please read it!...more info
  • Fabulous read (with only one objection)
    I'm a mother of a toddler and expecting my second baby at Christmastime. I was blessed with a beautiful (for a hospital) birth with my son and hope that I'll have the same experience with this baby -- but I know from experience that I may have to fight for it. I may have to argue with the nurse who wants me to lie on my back, I may have to tell the doctor that I do NOT want an episiotomy, and I may have to kick out the residents buzzing around.

    Why do women who want a natural, hands-off birth (without induction, without epidurals, without C-sections) have to fight so hard for one in a hospital setting?

    "Pushed" is a very well-researched, readable look at how we got to this point. Block talks to mothers, midwives, doulas and doctors and, I think, really presents all sides of this issue.

    I particularly appreciated her interviews with doctors who were sympathetic to moms who want VBACs or vaginal breech deliveries but unable to offer them because of insurance liability reasons. (If I were a doctor, I wouldn't want to risk losing my home or my kids' college fund so that someone else could have a VBAC, honestly.) This is an issue that I think gets the short shrift in many books and articles on modern birth -- it's not that doctors are necessarily trying to manage birth so that they can get to the tee times or make a few extra bucks from a C-section. Many of them want to help mothers have their ideal births but just can't take the risk, from a legal standpoint.

    I do wish that Block had presented more solutions -- ideas for solving the current problem weren't really addressed -- and had also taken more of a look at why the insurance industry seems so reluctant to cover doulas, midwives and birth centers, when they usually result in a substantial savings. (My first birth was in a hospital, and my second will be as well, because we don't have the almost $4,000 to pay out of pocket for the local birth center.) She does mention that some moms have hospital births because they can't afford the out-of-pocket expenses of a homebirth or birth center birth, so it seems like it would have been a small jump to investigate why that is.

    Now, here's my one complaint: In the final chapter, "Rights," Block took a very obvious pro-abortion-rights stance that I thought was out of place in the book and could likely offend a good number of her readers. (Many of the "crunchy" moms I know are pro-life.) Not to get into an abortion debate here, but I don't know why we can't assert that a fetus (particularly a full term one) has rights, as well as a mother -- especially in light of all the evidence Block presents that VBACs, vaginal breech births, etc. AREN'T dangerous to the baby; it doesn't seem like an either-or argument to me. At any rate, the "fetal rights" cases that Block addresses feel crammed in and not at all relevant to the rest of the book, from my perspective. Not to mention, ending the book discussing abortion, after spending the entire thing talking about what's best for mothers and best for babies, was extremely jarring.

    Overall, though, this was a great read and definitely a must for any pregnant woman or anyone at all who's interested in why American women are giving birth the way they are right now....more info
  • Required Reading
    I read this book before I gave birth. It was eye opening for me in many ways. Of course I had friends who had medical births without problems (at least so far) and so I assumed I too would go to the hospital, have an epidural and then take home a baby.

    As it turned out I ended up going 10 days over, they attempted to dilate me and ultimately ended up with a C Section.

    Was it ideal? No. - Was it what I wanted? No. - Do I feel robbed by the system? Not at all. I think the difference for me was that I knew going in there what my options were. I knew that I had the right to push back and the right to refuse anything I didn't want. I had the right to ask questions and explore options. This book gave me the knowledge to have a good experience even if it wasn't the one I had envisioned pre-birth.

    Read this book, know your options, understand the motivations and then roll with the punches....more info
  • Wonderful Book
    I have had four children, one c-section which was my first child and the next three at home with a highly trained midwife (direct entry), and hopefully the last one will be at home as well with the same wonderful woman. The information was accurate and detailed and the presentation made it impossible to put down until the end.

    I wish I had a book like this to read before I had my first child 12 years ago.

    ...more info
  • Every Woman Who Is Pregnant or Plans On Becoming Pregnant Needs To Read This
    It's no secret that the modern maternity care system needs a major, complete overhaul. But will we get it? Will it ever happen in this society that generally views birth as 'medical' , 'something to be treated' and not as a 'natural occurrence'?
    How can we repair a system that is so detrimental to women and children? How did birth get this way?

    These are a few of the many penetrating questions Block poses to the reader throughout the book.
    She has made this subject accessible with incredible wry wit, thorough research and compelling narrative.
    This is a book every woman needs to read. If you are a woman who has given birth, even contemplating birth and pregnancy, you need to read this.

    What needs to be done so that the process of birth is viewed as a normal occurrence and not that of 'something to be fixed'? The 'view' needs to change somehow. At the rate modern obstetrics is going, however, it looks like it's going to be awhile.

    I'm not surprised that most physicians and OB's would completely balk at this book-it goes against what they practice, it shows the underbelly of the medical establishment.

    Pick up this book. Read it.

    http://krisunderwood.blogspot.com/...more info
  • A Revolution Is Needed
    This book is so needed. Women need to know what is happening in hospitals concerning births. Knowledge is the key. I got involved in the natural childbirth movement a couple of years ago. I overheard two businessmen calmly discussing a scheduled c-section. It went like this, "no problems with the meeting. My wife has scheduled the c-section for 3 pm on Thursday." They might as well have been discussing a golf game. Something inside me snapped. This was so wrong on such a fundamental level. I was not a mother and not even married at the time, but I set out to find out as much as I could about this epidempic and it is an epidempic. We fight for so many rights, why not the right to give birth? This book is enlightening, informative, and much needed....more info
  • Excellent!
    This book is well researched an presents a complete picture of the issues surrounding childbirth choices.

    I strongly recommend reading this to anyone who is pregnant, will be pregnant, is a feminist or in any way cares about women. The issues raised are crucial to improving our maternity care and offering true informed consent and maintaing the right to refuse treatment. ...more info
  • Insightful and horrifying at the same time
    I was amazed to read how obstetrics are handled in the USA (as an American woman who's had two children in American hospitals). I have been fortunate. Many other women are not. It is critical to read this book and be informed about your obstetric care if you are or intend to become pregnant (or someone you love is pregnant). ...more info
  • Taking Childbirth Back!
    As a labor and delivery room nurse I applaud the writer of this book for getting this valuable information out there! I want to hand the book out to every pregnant woman, every obstetrician, and every labor and delivery room nurse. We have to stop the nonsense. I love what I do, but hate the technology that has taken the natural process of childbirth away from women. Women have to stop fearing the most incredible experience you can have and those in the medical fields have got to stop fostering the belief that if it can go wrong it will. This book is wonderful! Jennifer you rock! =)...more info
  • Amazing Investigative Journalism
    Jennifer Block's book is such an eye-opener. Her thorough research indicates that the typical U.S. hospital birth is not ideal for the health and long-term well-being of mothers or babies. In fact, the multitude of "standard" hospital interventions, chemicals and montitors actually expose mother and child to a host of unnecessary risks. This book is a must-read for anyone considering having children or working in childbirth. ...more info
  • Everyone should read this
    This book is incredible, frightening, empowering and a much-needed wake up call for parents, doctors, people who want to become parents, pregnant women and their partners...I love the way that Block weaves personal stories into scientific studies and history of maternity care and obstetrics. She brings the subject matter to life, and I'm so glad that I am armed with this knowledge for when I become pregnant....more info
  • excellent book!
    My only constructive criticism is that I wish the book had been written with some sort of working outline and/or organized better. Otherwise it is a page turner and a must read for all who care about childbirth in the US.
    ...more info
  • A Must Read
    This book is one of the best books I have ever read, hands down. It is very well researched, yet manages to maintain an immense readability, something that is often hard in a work with this much research support. I would recommend it to any parent....more info
  • Do no harm
    I'm shocked every day when I meet a woman who defends obstetrical intervention. I have to stop and realize that different things are at play here: 1) perhaps they were forced in a situation they didn't like while giving birth, and are so ridden with guilt by the negativity surrounding their own birth experience, they must edit that history to remember their child's birth as the joy it should have been - this is understandable; or 2) perhaps they are still in the confines of societal thinking that encourages trust in the authority and high-social ranking of "doctors."

    Though I ache to stop every woman I see and ask her "Have you done your research?"; though I ache when I hear a woman say "Oh, I'm getting an epidural for my birth"; and though I ache when I see a woman's face scrunch in fear at the mention of a home birth; and though I want to shake them and force them to read, to research, to learn what is being done to their bodies as women, I can't get everyone.

    I hope Jennifer Block's book can do the shaking for many of us.

    I responded to a reviewer who gave this book 1 star. Again, I doubt I will completely ever understand what makes a woman attack any support of her rights, but apparently it exists, and it saddens me. I'll post the response here as well.

    All women, all fathers, push back.


    It seems to me that the only people NOT reading the unbiased medical statistics and research studies are the obstetricians. Jennifer Block did her research; she backed it up not only with citations, summaries, notes and interviews with the medical establishment, but she went one step further and found the women who actually experienced those statistics you so desire. She has researched more about birth in this country than most medical students learn in their entire medical school career. If you're a mom, a woman, a father, a sister, etc., it would behoove you to do your own research. Never take anybody's word for it - find it yourself. If you think Jennifer Block didn't do her research, I urge you to do it yourself. In combination with Henci Goer's book "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" - which includes, in the book, the literature and statistics all parents and researchers require, you're urged to make your own choice. And the literature makes it clear: obstetrics in this country is horrendous; it is failing; and it is dangerous. Keep me far away unless the time comes when I need an obstetrician for what they were intended: a complication. I believe it's in their oath: "Do no harm." It's a slap in the face when a woman's husband has to bar the door to an operating room while she's screaming "I do not consent to a c-section" and she is IGNORED, her husband tossed aside, and her risk of danger and death forcibly increased by 4 times.

    Trust me. I did my research. Try reading a book instead of flippantly commenting on one. If you happen to be a mom who experienced something she didn't want, and only now realize it, then I sympathize with your experience. But take control of that intervention and that experience, and realize that we have been brought up in a culture of trusting the man in the white coat. Only when we research ourselves do we realize they are just people....more info
  • Mandatory reading for anyone planning a hospital delivery
    I read Jennifer Blocks "Pushed" in the 5th month of my first pregnancy. How lucky was I that this book came out right on time! A friend strongly recommended it to me and it was one of the best bits of advice I received during my pregnancy (another great bit was to pretend I was on my cell phone when walking down the street to avoid inane comments on my huge belly).

    Most importantly, this book showed me how important it is as a pregnant woman to sit up and take charge of your delivery. In the end, I didn't receive my ideal birth experience (I ended up with an emergency c-section) but I PUSHED back and stood up for myself as a patient in a way that I know that I wouldn't have felt informed enough to do if I hadn't read this book. "Pushed" effectively gives windows into the history of pregnancy and delivery in America and looks at the trends in both the insurance industry and medical practices. It is well researched and a strong example of good journalism. Ms. Block shows the solution for that "ideal birth" is a personal experience and personal choice. The issues are not black and white. Midwives are not a panacea. Doctors are not your enemy; they are struggling under the heavy foot of our current insurance system's structure. Your own silence is your enemy.

    I would have completely avoided a hospital delivery if I could have, but a medical condition made that impossible. Reading "Pushed" helped me to feel confident enough to ask questions, to ask for alternatives and to sometimes say no, because I did my homework, new my choices, and it was my right. I think Jennifer Block's work helps to reveal the over-reaching authority the medical industry has taken over the experience of pregnancy for women, infantilizing women by excluding them from full disclosure of the risks involved in the options that make it easy for doctors to control the natural pregnancy: pitocin, epidurals, episiotimies, fetal monitors. "Pushed" reminds us that the body, and the woman who owns it, has a voice and authority as well.
    ...more info
  • Grateful New Jersey Girl
    A must read for All Women Concerned about how they will be treated when they become pregnant.
    Also a must read book by all Women in New Jersey and all women in the entire United States that plan to or have given birth. All Health Reporters should read this book prior to attempting to print one more lie about Maternity Care in the United States. All those that have been attempting to address these issues will finally be pleased to have the past several years Escalating Cesarean Crisis explained to the masses, issues that Midwives, Doulas, Equal Rights Activists, Students of Women's Studies, Reproductive Rights Activists in the United States- have known about and have not had such a well done book as Jennifer Block's - "PUSHED" available until now. This book gives a great overview of the Cesarean Surge that women in the United States have been victims to and unfortunately experienced.
    Get ready for the next feminist wave - All Women must read this book!
    Women are no longer going to be compliant patients, they are going to be hiring Lawyers, joining class action suits for unnecessary surgery and getting second opinions prior to their care providers scheduling them at 37 & 38 weeks, They will be actively looking for and hiring Obstetricians that have HIGH Ethics and LOW cesarean rates. They will be questioning Hospital Administrators Policies and no longer tolerate Politicians lack of action to address this medical crisis in the United States.
    Well Done Jennifer. I can not wait to read your next book.
    Signing this endorsement of your book
    - Grateful New Jersey Girl.
    ...more info
  • Well Researched, Shocking and Necessary
    I never thought of myself as someone who would consider a home birth, but after having ever myth of modern maternity masterfully debunked through this well researched book, I'm convinced that home birth is safer than the alternative. Our "modern" maternity care system suffers from the classic "if you build it they will come syndrome". After spending so much time, money and energy on developing machines and chemicals that "help" women give birth, the system now needs to justify the expenditures by pushing these interventions on women who don't need them. Every woman should read this book and begin seeing the absurdity of statements such as "it's taking too long" or "your baby was too big for you". Women where built for labor and nature has few timeliness. Read the book and learn the truth. ...more info
  • Great journalism
    If there's any justice, this book will win journalism awards and stand the test of time as a great piece of American muckraking. Smart, well-written, and fact-based while still full of elegant anecdotal storytelling, PUSHED is recommended reading for anyone who was ever born, and definitely for everyone might be giving birth sometime soon. Thoughtful and reasonable in presentation, the content within is downright radical. Outstanding work, very recommended reading. Thank you Jennifer Block. You've done many woman a great service by writing this book....more info
  • Pushovers?
    That's what the is author must think pregnant women are.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    Pregnant women deserved top quality evidence based medicine. Not this uselss pap. ...more info
  • very good read
    This book was recommended by the ican-online.org a ceserean awareness group. It helped me understand a lot about child birth and the best place to give birth. It has references of the studies that were done and quoted in the book. It is really good to read especially if you are planning a VBAC. I really enjoyed this book....more info
  • Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
    As a childbirth educator for many years, having gone thru the 70's "education explosion" and hearing the stories of how women regarded their 2nd or in some cases 3rd childbirth experience as a joy rather than a horror story, all because of education and knowing how to manage a natural, unmedicated childbirth, I loved this book. It puts into perspective what happened, an historic chronology of birth right up to the really bad place we are in today. I really appreciate and identify with the research and development that was put into making this accurate, readable and inspirational. I pray it is read and responded to by those who can initiate change. ...more info
  • Amazing
    Finally, a book that spells out the problems with modern maternity care. I am surprised this book hasn't gotten more attention in the media. Any person considering having children should read this book....more info
  • Every expecting mother needs to read this book!
    This is the most important book that any expecting mother could read. This book reveals the truth about how hospital birth is not the best and safest way to have a baby. Mothers need to know that they do have a choice and that their pregnancy does not have to be treated as a disease. This book is eye-opening and empowering to all women whether pregnant or not. ...more info


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