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Laboring On Birth Transition in the United States - Book Review

Touted as the first "feminist sociological analysis of birth in the United States", Laboring On can fit into the Women's Studies, Sociology, Midwifery and Health sections of your library. 

Together Wendy Simonds, Barbara Katz Rothman and Bari Meltzer Norman explore American birth practices and delve, in an easy to read manner, into the varying and conflicting perspectives of OB/GYNS, Midwives, CNMs and Doulas.

Throughout the book the authors focus on the medical model as separating mom from baby and doing what is best to prevent lawsuits, Nurse Midwives mostly having to compromise their ideals in order to work under the medical model of birth, Midwives needing to balance being the most knowledgeable of birth yet having the least rights of all practitioners and Doulas as championing the way in hospitals.

Interviews with medical professionals are printed verbatim, then analysed in Laboring On, which helps the reader find the nuances of doctor's language and the defeat in the voices of the Certified Nurse Midwives working in hospitals. 

This book provides a strong insight into the politics of birth and why America's maternity wards are in the shape they are in today.

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