2 p.m. | McIntyre's Books
Most doctors are trained to think of a “good” birth only in terms of its medical success. But Dr. Anne Lyerly knows firsthand that there are many other important elements that often get overlooked. Her three-year study of a diverse group of over one hundred expectant moms asked what matters most to women during childbirth. The results, presented to the public for the first time in A Good Birth, show what really matters goes beyond the clinical outcome or even the usual questions of hospital versus birthing center, and reveal universal needs of women, like the importance of feeling connected, safe, and respected.
Bringing a new perspective to childbirth, the book’s wisdom is drawn from in-depth interviews with women with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, and whose birth stories range from quick and simple to complicated and frightening. Describing what went well, what didn’t, and what they’d do differently next time, these mothers give voice to the complete experience of childbirth, helping both women and their healthcare providers develop strategies to address the emotional needs of the mother, going beyond the standard birth plans and conversations. Transcending the “medical” versus “natural” childbirth debate, A Good Birth paves the entryway to motherhood, turning our attention to the deeper and more important question of what truly makes for the best birth possible.
Annie Lyerly, MD, MA is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research addresses socially and morally complex issues in women’s health and reproductive medicine, with a focus on how women and men assign meaning to reproductive events, particularly (but not exclusively) those that involve loss. After finishing medical school and residency in obstetrics and gynecology, she completed the Greenwall Fellowship in Bioethics and Health Policy at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities, and spent ten years on the faculty at Duke before joining the Department of Social Medicine and the Center for Bioethics at UNC.