A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Childbirth Experience

Anne Drapkin Lyerly, M.D. Avery, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-1-583-33498-0
In 2006, Lyerly began the Good Birth Project, a landmark research study that asks the question: “What constitutes a good birth in the eyes of the childbearing women?” Her research team conducted interviews with 101 mothers about their birth experiences, and the results of that study serve as the basis for this insightful book: “an effort to craft a notion of the good birth that turns... on what women say is deeply at issue for them.” While the book is aimed at mothers and soon-to-be-mothers, Lyerly also has an important message for the medical community, midwives, and other birth advocates who are in the middle of an important but polarizing debate (“medical” vs. “natural” childbirth), in which “women lose.” Lyerly admits that “no doubt there is and will likely continue to be some degree of tension between obstetrics and midwifery,” but she attempts to make a place in the conversation for women’s voices. Those on the side of midwifery may yet dismiss Lyerly as a medically trained and practicing obstetrician and the mother of four children who were all born by cesarean. But she also notes that “every women does deserves a midwife,” or rather, the kind of care that treats childbirth as a profoundly emotional and transitional experience, and that respectfully fosters a mother’s agency, personal security, and connectedness. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/17/2013
Release date: 08/01/2013
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-58333-549-9
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