January 14, 1983

Changing Childbirth: Family Birth in the Hospital

Author Affiliations

Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center Chicago


by Diony Young, 516 pp, 13 illus, paper, $18.95, Rochester, NY 14617 (PO Box 17025, Irondequoit), Childbirth Graphics, 1982.

JAMA. 1983;249(2):282-283. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330260088050

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Changing Childbirth: Family Birth in the Hospital, by Diony Young, is a book that should be read by every person dealing with women in childbirth, especially persons responsible for planning hospital birthing rooms and free-standing birthing centers. The book is heavily researched and, wherever possible, in controversial items, Ms Young attempts to be as objective as possible. The bibliography is immense. She approaches her topic with a missionary zeal, and, although the primary aim is improvement of family birth in the hospital, the bottom line is humanization of the birth process even within the framework of modern technological advances. For this, she is to be highly commended.

In the chapter "Selected Obstetrical Practices," Young discusses the pros and cons of many issues provoking discussions between consumers and providers of obstetrical services. These issues include routine fetal monitoring, routine IVs, routine episiotomies, and routine enemas. While one might not agree with