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Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan
Authors: Magnus Murphy, MD & Pauline McDonagh Hull
ISBN 13:
Prometheus Books
List Price: $21.00   432 Pages  Soft Cover 
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   MedicalScienceBooks.com Medical Book Review:

     Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan gives an honest assessment of the risks and benefits of both vaginal and cesarean births.  The book is one of the first to support elective cesarean as an important option for women, citing circumstances when planned cesarean is a healthier and even more economical option than vaginal delivery.  The authors present evidence disproving much of the accepted thought on vaginal and cesarean delivery, giving us all something to think about.

     Most of the information available until now has been in support of a vaginal delivery, with cesarean as a last option.  Therefore, when the mother is unable to deliver vaginally, she can become disappointed, feeling less adequate than a woman who delivers vaginally.  In Choosing Cesarean, the authors give evidence proving that elective cesareans can have much more desirable outcomes, and should not be considered a last resort, but rather a suitable option to prevent complications of all kinds.

     It is worth mentioning that the authors are not against vaginal births, but rather present factual evidence to support the medically acceptable option of a scheduled cesarean delivery.  When weighing all of the options for delivery, this is an important, often overlooked method.  Any woman making a birth plan should add this book to her reading list, while healthcare professionals and policy makers would also benefit from the information presented in this book. 

Ratings (1-10 , 10 being the highest):

Overall Rating:


Authorís objectives met:



Organization of information: 9
Significant number of illustrations: 2
Suitable for intended audience: 10
Overall presentation: 9
Quality of illustrations: na
Usefulness of book:   9
Value: 10
Writing style: 9


Obstetrician and gynecologist Magnus Murphy, MD, and journalist/advocate Pauline McDonagh Hull offer a compelling case for surgical delivery as a legitimate birth choice for informed women. By offering a wealth of medical evidence from around the world and thoughtfully countering the many objections detractors have lodged against it, the authors convincingly demonstrate that a planned cesarean birth at thirty-nine-plus weeks is a safe and often preferred alternative to a planned vaginal delivery. An indispensable guide for women, their families, and medical professionals.

Table of Contents:




Chapter 1. A Cut above the Rest: My Own Informed Decision
Chapter 2. How Two Cesareans Shaped a Life's Work
Chapter 3. The Safest Birth Choice for Your Baby: Planned Cesarean
Chapter 4: Birth Satisfaction: Cesarean Ranks Highest
Chapter 5. Doctors Who Support Cesarean Choice
Chapter 6. Protecting Your Pelvic Floor
Chapter 7. Lives Destroyed by Vaginal Birth
Chapter 8. Worldwide Cesarean Rates, Attitudes, and Experiences
Chapter 9. The Politics of Birth
Chapter 10. Before They Say It: We Answer Our Critics
Chapter 11. Cesareans Cost Less Than You Think
Chapter 12. Cesarean for Sex: The Ultimate Birth Taboo?
Chapter 13. The Risks of Planning a Cesarean
Chapter 14. The Day of Surgery: What Happens, Step by Step
Chapter 15. Tips on Preparing for and Recovering from a Cesarean
Chapter 16. Cesarean Birth Stories
Chapter 17. Informed Choice: Necessary, Complex, and Challenging
Chapter 18. The Evolution of Natural Birth and the Future of Cesarean Birth


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