Synopses & Reviews
In the U.S., nearly half of all mothers are chemically induced into labor whether they want it or not; almost a third give birth via C-section. For women who want an alternative, choice is often unavailable: Midwives are often 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? When did normal, physiological birth become a crime? A Groundbreaking Journalistic Narrative. Pushed presents the complete picture of birth in America from the front-lines. Crisscrossing the country to investigate all sides of the issue, and witness to several births--from a planned Caesarean to an underground home birth--Jennifer Block examines childbirth as a reproductive rights issues, exploring the implications of the widely held assumption that routine C-sections, inductions, and epidurals equal medical progress. Block's research and experience show that while medical intervention certainly has its place, there is compelling evidence that we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and fetal health: Either women's bodies are failing, or the system is failing women.
Block examines childbirth as a reproductive rights issues, exploring the implications of the assumption that routine C-sections, inductions, and epidurals equal medical progress. She argues that medical technology is being overused at the expense of maternal and fetal health.
A groundbreaking narrative investigation of childbirth in the age of machines, malpractice, and managed care, Pushed presents the complete picture of maternity care in America. From inside the operating room of a hospital with a 44% Cesarean rate to the living room floor of a woman who gives birth with an illegal midwife, Block exposes a system in which few women have an optimal experience. Pushed surveys the public health impact of routine labor inductions, C-sections, and epidurals, but also examines childbirth as a womens rights issue: Do women even have the right to choose a normal birth? Is that right being upheld? A wake-up call for our times, Blocks gripping research reveals that while emergency obstetric care is essential, we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and infant health.
A provocative and incisive analysis of medical intervention at childbirth-an experience that has become the American norm, even as women seek more choice
About the Author
Jennifer Block is a former editor at Ms. Magazine and an editor of the revised Our Bodies, Ourselves. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Mother Jones, and Elle. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.