THE RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT PARENT: How to Have an Easier, Healthier Hospital Birth Together by Valmai Howe Elkins

THE RIGHTS OF THE PREGNANT PARENT: How to Have an Easier, Healthier Hospital Birth Together

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This agreeably repackaged collection of mostly-familiar childbirth information has an urgent message for parents: to get the childbirth you want, don't take no for an answer. The book's purpose is to resolve the impasse between parents and the medical establishment. Under the heading of ""Ultra-Prepared Childbirth,"" the advice boils down to good preparation, assertiveness, and the assumption that the hospital staff wants help--if only you explain, nicely, what you want. The author, a childbirth educator, is insistent about the benefits of unmedicated birth. Her six ""rights of the pregnant parent"" include family-centered care, dignity, and a supportive doctor. But these are not ""rights"" according to either law or to the policies of most American hospitals, she points out; legal attempts to guarantee even the father's right to attend birth have been ""universally unsuccessful."" Much about childbirth in France and Holland and the horrors of American hospital birth: admission forms, enemas, routine fetal monitors, IVs, induced labor, drugs, episiotomy, stirrups, handcuffs, and so on. There's an intriguing bit on the ""kneechest"" position, which apparently causes breech and posterior babies to roll over for a proper presentation at birth; unfortunately, the author doesn't explain how to do it. In all, this is mostly old stuff, but with a clear and upbeat presentation, and worth repeating since most women need all the help they can get to negotiate a dignified birth in an American hospital.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1977
Publisher: Two Continents