Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Review: Deliver This!

"I think it's important for such a personal choice to be honored and for women to have every opportunity to learn about the different options and decide for themselves."

I found this book to be amazingly objective and the above quote pretty much sumarizes the author's attempt to include both the pros and cons of each type of birthing experience. She delves into both unmedicated home birth, what some people would call "crunchy" and into elective C-sections in a hospital setting and everything in between on the delivery spectrum.

Cohen also delves into the underlying anxieties and issues beyond how a woman's baby enters the world; the judgement that women face when making any big public decision, which includes criticism from other women and mothers, as well as the public and their own families. Cohen rightly points out that there is enough pressure on women as it is, both externally and internally. Women are demonized if they aren't self-sacrificing and martyr-like for their children and both home birth advocates and women who choose C-sections are condemned for being selfish and putting their interests above the baby.

But women can be just as harsh to their own; women who choose home birth are astounded that other women choose to give birth in a hospital while women who give birth in a hospital think that home birthers are endangering themselves. Cohen steps in between and legitimately analyzes both sides and is able to present all current types of birth objectively.

I've read a fair bit on the subject of birth, which includes watching The Business of Being Born and have to say that this is the most balanced book I've read thus far. Born mainly stays on the home birth side of the fence, without recognizing that not all women could or should have a home birth. Yes, the birth industry in the United States could use a lot of work, but giving women the choice to choose how and where they birth is the first step and perhaps the most important one.

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