Listen to an interview with Judith Pence Rooks about the historical context of midwifery on KUER's "Radio West" (Salt Lake City), 7 February 2005.
Having a baby is an elemental human experienceprofound, even sacred to some women and their families. At the same time, it is a significant component of health care. The medical model of childbirth emphasizes the pathological potential of pregnancy and birth, while an alternative model championed by midwives focuses on the normalcy of pregnancy and its potential for health. Now available in paperback, this definitive account of the many forces that intersect over the issue of childbirth explains in a comprehensive and authoritative manner the conceptual and philosophical differences between these models. The author has brought together in a clear and readable fashion the myriad strands of history, culture, science, economics, and policy that have resulted in the current condition of maternity care in the United States. She describes the disparate backgrounds, training, and roles of certified nurse-midwives and lay or direct entry midwives, and explains the contributions of both groups. Rooks believes that maternity care and childbirth in America can, and should, be better than it is today, and offers steps to take in the direction.
"...clear, articulate, and well-researched work.... (It) is a treasure trove of information and resources to everyone who works in the maternity services, to policy-makers, and to women. No library or bookshelf should be without it. This scholarly treatise is the most exhaustive, balanced, and comprehensive book on midwifery that has been written, and it will serve as an impetus and inspiration to a broad audience."
"We have been waiting a long time for this book: a comprehensive, readable, and authoritative discussion of the important role of midwifery in the United States. It will spark a passionate—and long overdue—dialogue about the way pregnant women are taken care of in this country."
—Roger A. Rosenblatt, MD, MPH, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
"Rooks has written a comprehensive, balanced and eminently readable book."
—The Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering