January 29, 2013

Really Natural Books: The Business of Baby

business_of_baby.jpgThe Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line by Jennifer Margulis is an eye opening book that discovers what many midwives, natural childbirth advocates and mothers suspect about the maternal medical infrastructure of this country.

In the tradition of Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death, an eye-opening work of investigative journalism that challenges our common wisdom about pregnancy, childbirth, and the first year of a baby's life, showing how the mother and child's wellbeing are often undermined by corporate profit margins and the private interests of the medical community

Award-winning journalist Jennifer Margulis questions the information parents are given by the medical community and the consumer culture, addressing the relationship between the vast money-making business of pregnancy and the early childcare advice parents are given. Margulis encourages us to question what we're told about prenatal and infant care and explains how financial interests skew the care we give to mothers and infants. She investigates how the diaper industry perpetuates longer delays in potty training than ever before; why cesareans are increasingly prevalent; why more women don't breastfeed; and why, despite our state-of-the-art medical technology, the United States has among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world.

An illuminating combination of investigative journalism, meticulous research and in-depth interviews with parents, doctors, midwives, nurses, and scientists, Margulis's critique uncovers how business interests and profit margins undermine the health of pregnant women and their babies. Shocking, groundbreaking, and revelatory, The Business of Baby arms parents with the information they need to make informed decisions about their own health and the health of their infants.

Randomly opening the book, I came upon a section discussing the Hepatitis B vaccine which is given to hospital born babies in the US almost immediately after birth. Why? It is a sexually transmitted blood-borne virus. My midwives taught me your child was only at risk if you were an IV drug user or prostitute. Furthermore, instead of vaccinating the vast majority of infants, it would make more sense to test the mothers for the illness (which does occur in routine prenatal care) and then respond appropriately. Margulis quotes a pediatrician that says the vaccine is given not because they fear children will get sick but just in case they grow up to be part of this at-risk group (IV drug users and prostitutes). Plus, there are safety concerns with the vaccine.

Vaccine discussion is just a small part of this book. From Cesareans to ultrasounds, this in depth analysis of birthing practices in the United States needs to be read by all expectant parents to help you make informed choices and save money. I highly recommend this book!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at January 29, 2013 9:45 AM

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