Reviews

Proactive Support of Labor: The Challenge of Normal Childbirth (Second edition)

New to this revised edition is a highly critical expose on what the authors argue is the common practice in obstetrics of misinterpreting and wrongly applying evidence. The sections on audit and quality control have also been revamped.

As with the first edition, the authors argue the need for urgent reform in the way labour (especially that of first-time mothers) is managed. They present sobering statistics to illustrate how the proliferation of medical intervention in childbirth has resulted in an upward trend in dissatisfaction among women. Factors contributing to this situation are explored and the physiology of normal labour is revisited, providing a backdrop for the author’s subsequent recommendations.

The proactive approach the authors have developed and successfully implemented in their own organisation, consists of a clear plan for labour care aimed at achieving safe, spontaneous vaginal delivery and improved maternal satisfaction.

Although the authors use the Dutch model of care to present their approach, it remains timely and relevant to any setting in the developed and developing world.

The book is engaging, successfully striking a balance between academic theory and prose, which should appeal to professionals and non-professionals.

A highly recommended read for anyone involved in the delivery of maternity care including nurses, obstetricians, doulas and midwives.

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