Pushed : The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block is a must read for anyone who cares about maternity care = everyone. Block explores maternity care with an incredible balance between credible research and anecdote. Her voice consistently searches for the truth while maintaining a focus that aims to shed light on the experiences of modern women navigating the shockingly muddy waters of having a baby in modern America.
I especially appreciate Block’s investigation that pushes back against the damaging and infuriating phrase, “The only thing that matters is a healthy baby!”. Of course a healthy baby matters, but so does a happy mama and family. As anyone who has experienced a traumatic birth, nearly 85% of women in the U.S., this simply isn’t true (Northrup, MD). In a modern society, we can do better for our mamas, babies, and families.
Not only is Pushed a history lesson for many, it has the power, through knowledge, to instill confidence in women when discussing their birth options with their healthcare provider-no matter where or how they choose to birth. On a deeper level, Pushed can also be a tool in opening conversations with our mothers and grandmothers regarding their birth experiences.
Pushed is the updated and evidence based resource I was looking for during my first two pregnancies. I read it throughout my third pregnancy, and I still regard it as one of my best resources for discussing home birth with those who have questions and/or concerns. It did take a bit to get through as several sections are dense with statistics. Get your highlighters and pens ready to take notes! I would also suggest a few post-it notes. Enjoy!