A Pleasing Birth: Midwives And Maternity Care (Paperback)
  • A Pleasing Birth: Midwives And Maternity Care (Paperback)

A Pleasing Birth: Midwives And Maternity Care (Paperback)

Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 04/01/2005
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Women have long searched for a pleasing birth-a birth with a minimum of fear and pain, in the company of supportive family, friends, and caregivers, a birth that ends with a healthy mother and baby gazing into each other's eyes. For women in the Netherlands, such a birth is defined as one at home under the care of a midwife. In a country known for its liberal approach to drugs, prostitution, and euthanasia, government support for midwife-attended home birth is perhaps its most radical policy: every other modern nation regards birth as too risky to occur outside a hospital setting. In exploring the historical, social, and cultural customs responsible for the Dutch way of birth, Raymond De Vries opens a new page in the analysis of health care and explains why maternal care reform has proven so difficult in the U.S. He carefully documents the way culture shapes the organization of health care, showing how the unique maternity care system of the Netherlands is the result of Dutch ideas about home, the family, women, the body and pain, thriftiness, heroes, and solidarity. A Pleasing Birth breaks new ground and closes gaps in our knowledge of the social and cultural foundations of health care. Offering a view into the Dutch notion of maternity care, De Vries also offers a chance of imagining how Dutch practices can reform health care in the U.S. not just for mothers and babies, but for all Americans.

Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9781592131037
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 395 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm

"In this detailed and thoughtful study, De Vries does much more than introduce us to the peculiar maternity care system of the Netherlands; he forces us to reexamine our assumptions about the way health care systems are organized, and offers new, and revolutionary, ways to think about health care reform. This is sociological analysis at its best."-Charles L. Bosk, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Medical Ethics, University of Pennsylvania
"A Pleasing Birth provides the most comprehensive look yet into the history, the philosophy, the social attitudes, the structures, and the institutions that underlie the Dutch maternity care system. Raymond De Vries explains why and how health policymakers in the Netherlands continue to put such importance on midwifery, home birth, and everything needed to support them."-Ina May Gaskin, author of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery
"De Vries provides the definitive work on the Dutch obstetrical system, showing how this system not only reflects strong cultural values, but also has become entirely evidence-based, pointing the way toward better birth for all nations. A Pleasing Birth is essential reading for social scientists, birth professionals, birth activists, and educated consumers-a masterpiece of insight!"-Robbie Davis-Floyd, Ph.D., author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage
"De Vries goes beyond why birth is pleasing in the Netherlands to larger questions about the role of maternity care in the health care system, how the political system influences health care, who pays for and who profits from the provision of health care, and the effects of culture."-Judith Rooks, author of Midwifery and Childbirth in America
"[R]eaders from across the spectrum of participants in childbirth are urged to read this critical and important contribution to the literature, bearing witness to women's physiological capacity to give birth without assistance, to experience 'a pleasing birth.'"-Birth
"This is a rewarding book to read."-Sociological Research Online
"[DeVries'] book is a close examination of the attitudes, statistics, traditions of resisting professional interference, politics, and legislation of healthcare and much more, and it gives the reader a full understanding of The Netherlands' remarkable achievements in the realm of healthy pregnancy and birth."-Midwifery Today
"The insights that [DeVries] brings are fascinating... [I]t provides a greater understanding for those who wish to influence and change health policy."-Sociology of Health and Illness

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