Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine Paperback – Feb 16 2009
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If you’re pregnant or planning to be, read this book! Dr. Kerr’s wise embrace of nature and technology demonstrates that the best births have the right mix of midwifery and medicine.
--Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, creators of the film The Business of Being Born
A must read for the expectant parents who want a natural birth but also want to have the security of a safe and happy delivery. Dr. Kerr is an impassioned advocate of patient empowerment in the birthing process. She has always practiced what she so eloquently believes. Congratulations to Dr. Kerr for writing this very timely and much needed book on natural childbirth in a hospital setting.
--Bob G. Field, M.D., former Director of High Risk Obstetrics, Sutter Medical Center, Santa Rosa, CA
Women who want a natural childbirth often feel compelled to choose between a home birth and a hospital birth. They want the warmth and comfort of home, but they also desire the security of the medical support available in the hospital. Kerr, a family physician who provides family-centered childbirths, tells families how they can have the best of both worlds. She had two children, one in a birthing center and one at home, and trained with Ina May Gaskin at The Farm before going to medical school at the University of California, Davis. Her book offers clear guidelines for integrative childbirth, emphasizing the "Five C's": choice, communication, continuity, confidence, and control. Parents learn how to choose a health-care provider and hospital that will partner with them for a fulfilling birth experience. Physicians learn how to work with patients and their families to make sure this happens. The stories of 15 families who have had "homebirth in the hospital" illustrate that it does work. This is an excellent book for public, health sciences, and consumer health libraries.
Homebirth in the Hospital is an outstanding book and a must read for all expectant parents as well as the providers who care for them. Dr. Kerr has truly integrated concerns for safety and the use of appropriate technology of the medical model with the skills and comprehensive wisdom of the midwifery model, thereby using medical interventions only when truly necessary. Dr. Kerr clearly illustrates with detailed examples how women and their clinicians can work through the challenges that are unique to each woman's individual birth. Caregivers and women will benefit by seeing how empowering and healthy normal and natural childbirth can be when using skillful hands-on maneuvers, instilling confidence and facilitating the woman's own ability to understand what her body can do, the choices she has, and the confidence to communicate her needs. This book is a significant contribution to modern and normal childbirth.
--Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LCSW co-author of The Doula Book
A much-needed book showing that women can have real choices in hospital childbirth, and that the key ingredient in their ability to give birth as they wish is the ideology, the wisdom, and the heart of the practitioner. In this case, that practitioner is Stacey Kerr MD, who, like the best of midwives, is there to guard, guide, and inspire the women she attends to help them achieve their desires. A must-read for any woman interested in giving birth normally in the hospital setting―usually very difficult to achieve, but entirely doable, as this book beautifully demonstrates, when the doctor is truly on and by your side.
--Robbie Davis-Floyd PhD, author, Birth as an American Rite of Passage
Homebirth in the Hospital is a wonderful breath of fresh air! Dr. Kerr’s balanced approach to childbirth is inspiring and very helpful. I highly recommend this book.
--Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
Dr. Stacey Kerr's wonderful book of birth stories shows how the midwifery model of care can be provided within a hospital setting. I hope that Homebirth in the Hospital reaches a wide audience of parents-to-be and physicians, as it's just what the midwife ordered! It should be required reading for all obstetric and family practice residents.
--Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery
About the Author
Stacey Marie Kerr, MD, is a family physician who has provided family-centered childbirth experiences for her patients for over fifteen years. In 1989, at the age of 39, she received her MD from the University of California, Davis, Medical School. She completed her residency and earned her Board Certification in Family Medicine in 1992, probably the first grandmother to graduate from the Santa Rosa UCSF residency program. Dr. Kerr writes about current issues in medical practice and has published extensively in medical journals, including JAMA, California Family Physician, and Sonoma Medicine. She writes a monthly health column for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. She currently lives in Santa Rosa, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Homebirth in the Hospital
I could not stop reading this beautiful book. Thinking it would be mostly technical but interesting, I found that it read like a novel. You are on an urgent appointment with Dr Kerr, meeting interesting people, becoming involved in their experiences, their emotional ups and downs.
The stories are gripping, exciting, sometimes sad, and always uplifting.
The structure of the book is creative and reads easily. The many pictures enhance the feeling of "being there."
Dr Kerr moves through many lives, intent on bringing new little people into the world in a safe, kind, and gentle way. And, just happens to present the complete guide to childbirth.
Any couple contemplating getting pregnant should read this book, and their parents, and their friends, and their doctor. By Linda Loveland Reid, authTouch of Magentaor of
Every story included some sort of medical intervention. One story even says 'this is as simple as it gets' and still had an intervention!!!!! Very disappointed that there were no "natural" birth stories in here. I know they are possible but this book almost makes me believe its not. I expect these stories represent the hospital setting from the late 90's, just beginning to integrate less medicalized births as routine for every women. The stories are far from what true natural birth advocates dream about for the future. The hospital settings still have ways to improve in many communities. (there's no reason to screen EVERY women for pregnancy diabetes without warning signs, babies can be born without vaginal exams, why do ALL women get ultrasounds when there's no family history or warning signs to warrent more info, etc.) We've come a long way from using ether and leather straps, but still this book by no means represents natural birth in the hospital
Not only do most of the birth stories involve cascades of intervention, but the whole book continually reinforces that you'll have an empowering birth experience as long as you completely trust your care provider and do as they say like a good patient.
I tried to keep an open mind and kept reading hoping that at some point Dr. Stacey would come through on offering a more balanced approach, but after finishing the book today, I wish I would have given up on it and read something better.
Whenever the women in the birth stories would immediately accept the medical interventions that only occasionally seemed necessary, they were praised for being level headed, pragmatic, reasonable, full of common sense, etc...implying that anyone who dare question whether getting their membranes swept or using what seems to be cytotec (though it is never actually identified) when there was no indication of fetal distress must inherently be foolish, unreasonable and lacking common sense.
Dr. Kerr attempts to offer continuous care, works to gain her patients' trust, but beyond that does not seem to understand the midwifery model of care or truly support natural births despite her supposedly extensive amount of experience with home birth and her time spent on The Farm.
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