Reviews

Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, November/December 2009
Nicette Jukelevics...has written a groundbreaking exposé of cesarean birth in the United States...Jukelevics asserts that a key factor in the increasing cesarean rate is the failure of health care providers and hospitals to provide clients with evidence-based information on cesarean birth, its risks and benefits, and actions that can increase a woman's ability to give birth normally. Jukelevics describes a 'culture of secrecy' that makes it difficult for pregnant women...to make sound decisions about their own care, including women not being given accurate information in the process of obtaining informed consent...Jukelevics directly addresses expectant mothers with specific suggestions for evaluating the reasons that their health care providers may give for recommending cesarean birth. She details actions women can take during pregnancy and birth to cope with labor pain, help labor progress normally, and avoid interventions that are known to increase the risk of cesarean birth...Although it is directed toward expectant parents, (the book) is evidence-based, with extensive references that clinicians and scholars will find valuable...Even as an experienced practicing midwife, this reviewer found the book to be an eye-opener.

Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, June 2009

Long-time childbirth educator, doula, and childbirth activist Nicette Jukelevics has produced an exhaustively researched, compelling argument for turning back the early 21st century's head-long rush to rising cesarean birth rates...It's primary goal is to help...women make better, informed choices about their birth experiences. For any woman truly interested in having some say about her baby's birth, the book will be an invaluable tool...it should also be useful for midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, family physicians, and even obstetricians who do not embrace the ever-expanding use of cesarean section.

Christiane Northrup, MD, Author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom
This book made me want to stand up and cheer! It's must reading for everyone who is concerned about the health of mothers and babies, and that should be everyone!

Jessica L. Kelly-Shaieb, J.D., President, BirthNetwork National
Jukelevics has compiled an extensive collection of materials for mothers and health care providers to help curb the disheartening trends in U.S. maternity care today. She should be applauded for her work. This book is both compelling and user-friendly. I recommend it to anyone who is concerned about cesarean rates today and looking to make a difference for themselves or for their clients.

Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S., Former Director of Women's and Children's Health, World Health Organization
The present epidemic of unnecessary births by cesarean section in the United States is resulting in dozens and dozens of tragic deaths of women and babies. The only way this shocking excess of unnecessary cesarean section birth can occur is if pregnant women are lied to about the safety and risks of cesarean birth versus normal (vaginal) birth. This book should be required reading of all pregnant women in the U.S. as it uses the best scientific evidence to educate them to all of the reasons to say NO to a cesarean birth unless a serious medical complication exists.

Peggy O'Mara, Editor and Publisher, Mothering
Nicettle Jukelevics' Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth is a tour de force. Her exhaustively researched book is just what U.S. women need right now to protect themselves from skyrocketing birth interventions.

Susan Jenkins, JD, The Big Push For Midwives, Campaign Manager
This is a much-needed book, which combines top-notch scholarship with practical advice for the consumers and health professionals who labor (pun intended) in the trenches of the cesarean section battleground. Ms. Jukelevics has made an important contribution to our knowledge base about cesarean section, and has done so in a way that is accessible by the women and families who are confronted with the bewildering and contradictory flood of opinion, and conjecture about this major surgical procedure. I intend to recommend this book, not only to everyone I know in the birth activist community but also to the many women who, in their blogs and online questions, daily express their confusion and distrust regarding their obstetrician's recommendations about c-section and VBAC.

Gretchen Humphries, Advocacy Director, International Cesarean Awareness Network
Not only is this a well researched and easy to understand work, it also demonstrates quite clearly that the Emperor has no clothes. Obstetrics in the U.S. is broken and the fix will come from women and their families, not the ineffective and self-protecting medical establishment.

Connie Livingston, President, Perinatal Education Associates, Inc.
Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions is an important book for our times.  Ms. Jukelevics presents a no-nonsense view of childbirth today in America through statistical data, evidence-based research plus a unique historical perspective that will enable the reader to see how we have gotten to where we are today in obstetrical care.  This is a must read book for all expectant parents as well as birth professionals.

Ruth Wilf, CNM, Ph.D., Coalition For Improving Maternity Services Leadership Team
Essential reading for all women thinking of having a baby. 

Ida Darragh, CPM, North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
I've finished your book, and am so amazed at what you have put together!  It's a great resource, and a pleasure to read.  Thank you so much for all the work you did to write this book.  I hope it's a huge hit with the consumer and professional communities!

Sharon Storton, MA, CHT, LMFT, Licensed Psychotherapist, www.solaceformothers.org
There I was, in tears on the airplane somewhere over San Luis Obispo, sniffling and weeping at the amazing Chapter 6 in your book. Of course I was thrilled to be included by name in such an auspicious work. Right along with remarkable names like Penny and Phyllis- oh, my! I jumped out of my seat at page 62: 'Some mothers experience their cesarean as a physical assault and a form of institutional violence. For some mothers the surgical birth is experienced as a rape.' The suggestions for self care on page 67 with the resources got me to blurt, outloud embarasssingly enough, 'Yes!'  Your work is the first of its kind. You wrote the truth, and it got published. I can't wait to see how you change the world.

Midwifery Today Magazine
This book could not be more timely, in the light of the fact that the broken health care system in the US is on the radar screen of citizens and politicians alike...The cesarean rate is fast approching one-third of all births and is currently the most common major surgery performed. The financial costs (both present and future) of this surgery far outweigh those of midwife-assisted childbirth, yet it carries a mortality rate of two times that of vaginal, birth, is a major cause of increasing preterm births that require more resources, and is used by obstetricians to justify future costly interventions...This book should be read not only by people who plan to have babies, but by policymakers and providers as well, so that we can all work to change the sytem to one that values human beings and their informed choices, is humane and is cost-effective. 

Brenda Parrish, DEM, CLC, CCCE, CD (DONA)
I am a midwife, certified childbirth educator, certified doula and certified lactation counselor.  Because I don't have enough going on in my life, I recently started a podcast called Bellycast. It is now available through iTunes as well as on my podcast blog site. It features news, information and commentary about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting. I recently purchased your book and am currently reading it. It's one of those books that you would like to underline all the important stuff you want to refer back to but you realize you would be underlining EVERYTHING because the whole book is SO full of good information. I love that it is well researched and documented." www.sgbirthservices.com, bellycaster.blogspot.com