What practices and policies best promote safe, healthy, satisfying labor and birth? What harms do routine or frequent use of tests, procedures, and restrictions introduce? What nonmedical factors drive the current maternity care system?

Meticulously documented, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach pulls back the curtain on medical-model management of childbirth. Written for those who want to practice according to the best evidence, assist women in making informed decisions, or advocate for maternity care reforms, Optimal Care in Childbirth provides an in-depth analysis of the evidence basis for physiologic care as the standard of care. The book examines:

  • why the research shows so little benefit for physiologic care and so little harm from medical-model management
  • what’s behind the cesarean epidemic
  • what the research establishes as optimal care for initiating labor, facilitating labor progress, guarding maternal and fetal safety, birthing the baby, and promoting safety for mother and baby after the birth
  • the true, quantified risks of primary cesarean surgery, planned VBAC versus elective repeat cesarean, instrumental vaginal delivery, and regional analgesia
  • how the organization of the maternity care system adversely impacts care outcomes

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