I have to start by saying this book is MEAT. It took me a great while to get through the majority of it - just because I had to keep revisiting information, fact checking, etc... It was quite a mouthful, and I am still trying to digest all of the information!
That said, I love this book. It touches on so many subjects at the heart of United State maternity care, with the underlying tone that we are not providing evidence-based care in the majority of hospital births. We all know that our maternal/fetal morbidity and mortality rates are abysmal when compared to other developed countries. And OCC works hard to try to get to the heart of those practices that are harming our outcomes the most.
They also don't paint obstetrical care as the problem, but obstetrical practices. Systematically, each chapter is broken down into 5 main parts. These are:
Title and quotes from medical literature. The quotes are oftentimes chosen to show the gamut that obstetrician's points of view and practices run.
The argument at large, citing the research of that given topic, translated into easy-to-understand facts and figures.
Strategies for Optimal Care, or, how we can better our obstetrical care.
Mini-Reviews - a statement, followed by a mini-review of the medical literature available to us and what it shows.
References - cited sources for all of the numbers, facts, and information in that given chapter.
It is huge, this wealth of information. Don't believe me how much information is in here? Take a look at the table of contents /list of chapter topics. Although I have read some of the scathing criticisms of this book, I think those nay-sayers are missing the point of it - this book is not here to cover every possible scenario of labor and birth, so those things that we may be doing right for certain situations will probably not be noted in OCC. Also, this is not a midwifery training manual, it is a supplemental discourse on standards of care - so you won't find information on stages of labor, anatomy and physiology, and how to time contractions.
I am happy to have this newest addition to my library, and I have already found myself using it for many situations that might warrant the wealth of information within it's bindings. During the review process, this book followed me into 4 different birthing chambers, found it's way into three obstetricians hands, 2 midwives hands, and a host of L&D nurses hands. Everyone whom I shared with planned on getting their own copies - and everyone was impressed by the information and how it is presented.
If we are able to modify current U.S. obstetrical practices to reflect even a portion of the standards of care outlined in Optimal Care in Childbirth, America will see a dramatic increase in safety and satisfaction in terms of maternal and fetal healthcare. Some of the practices they promote, though, will be hard to come into practice - as they will require trust, patience, and a wholistic understanding of the human system. OCC gives me hope - hope that women and their care providers will find the information provided within these pages and begin a swelling tide of change in the United States - a change toward more Optimal Care in Childbirth.
If you wanted to purchase your own copy - the authors wanted me to let you know that domestic shipping is free and discounts are available for multiple copies sent to the same address. Now.. on to a chance to win a copy! Giveaway I am so thrilled to be able to offer this. Henci Goer and Amy Romano have offered a free copy to one of my readers. All you have to do is follow the rules below. #1 MUST be done. Beyond that, you can do any additional numbers for additional entries to win. PLEASE remember to create a new comment for each task completed, so that you get credit for it. If you are entering for your particular birth worker (doula, childbirth educator, obstetrician, PCP, midwife, DOC, etc..), then you can get an additional entry by telling us why you want to win it for them, and tell us about that birth worker!
Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter, then tell me you did here :)
Tell me which chapter of their book interests you most and why
Tell me why your particular birth worker should get this book
Giveaway open to continental U.S. entrants only, my apologies all of my international friends. Entries will close on Feb 28th, the drawing will occur on March 1st, and I'll post the winner here. You'll have 3 days to claim your prize, or another winner will be drawn. Good luck!