Caesarean : Just Another Way of Birth? book cover
1st Edition

Just Another Way of Birth?

ISBN 9780415401364
Published July 16, 2007 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

This book critically analyzes the place of caesarean in childbearing at the beginning of the twenty first century. It questions the changes that are taking place in childbirth and, in particular, the effects and implications of an increase in caesarean births.

This controversial work by a practising midwife and researcher, includes discussion of:

  • the context of the operation and description of it
  • health systems around the world and their caesarean incidence rates
  • decision-making and cultural/medical constraints
  • the short and long term implications of caesarean for baby and mother.

Using up-to-date research, Rosemary Mander bases her argument on a firm evidence-base and argues that the rapidly rising caesarean section rate may not be for the benefit of either the woman giving birth or her baby. Rather, the beneficiaries may actually be those professionals whose investment is in extending the range of their influence and thus increasing the medicalization of normal life.

Table of Contents

1. ‘The Game of the Name’  2. What’s Being Asked and Why? Research into Caesarean  3. The Caesarean Operation - Issues and Debates  4. International Matters  5. Caesarean Decision-Making - Who’s Choosing?  6. The Immediate Implications of Caesarean  7. The Long Term Implications of Caesarean  8. The Significance of Trial of Labour and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)  9. Conclusion

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Rosemary Mander is Professor of Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She is both a practising midwife and an active midwifery researcher.


"A meticulous and exhaustively referenced study…Rosemary Mander tackles evidence from randomised controlled trials as well as legend, myth and fiction, and throughout her book places the discussion surrounding Caesareans in a social context. This makes for a fascinating read." -- Sheila Kitzinger, birth activist and midwife

"A short review cannot do justice to the book's richness, precision, and compassion. Rosemary Mander combines attention to language, meticulous organization of each topic, knowledge of medical issues, and critiques of available research and research methodology with a positive view of the benefits of midwifery and an accurate perception of women's rights and needs, among them comfort, appropriate care, attention to the whole picture, and truly informed consent. Implicit in the text is a plea for practitioners to reorient their studies, attitudes, and practice so as to meet those crucial needs." -- Jane Pincus, Co-Author of Our Bodies Ourselves, Birth, Vol. 35, No. 1, March 2008