What People Are Saying

Kudos to Henci Goer and Amy Romano, who have produced this comprehensive and authoritative review and analysis of what the obstetric evidence does and does not support. Given the soaring rates of medical intervention in birth, this case for an optimal approach  could not be more timely!

Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM, PhD (Hon.)

The balance between the mini-reviews of the science, the practical steps women and health care providers can take to support physiological birth, and the honestly in how they address the complex and dynamic nature of giving birth in the US, makes this book a must read for everyone involved in providing maternity care services.

Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, FACNM, University of Michigan

This book is about evidence with attitude. Meticulously referenced, it addresses all the main issues that must be faced if our dysfunctional maternity care system is to be challenged and changed. The central debates in the field are dissected to allow the reader to understand why the existing methodologies often are incapable of disentangling the disputes, leaving the field open to powerful professional interest group biases and conflicts of interest. It is not pretty stuff but much needed.

Michael Klein, MD, Emeritus Professor Family Practice and Pediatrics

An invaluable resource for those who want to reform maternity care! It rigorously and skillfully analyzes the evidence base for physiologic care and powerfully argues how the medical management model has gone wrong.

Diony Young, author and consultant in maternal health

Optimal Care in Childbirth is a long overdue and very important contribution that will lead to a more safe, sane, and satisfying pregnancy care system.

Steven Calvin, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine; Co-chair, Human Rights and Health Program, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

As midwives we support transformation, both in our deeply personal work with mothers and babies and as advocates for a new vision for US maternity care. This book is a primer for success in both the professional and political arenas midwives navigate every day.

Brynne Potter, CPM, North American Registry of Midwives Board of Directors, Founder of Private Practice, Intuitive Charting Software for Midwives

Using careful and powerful writing, Goer and Romano mince no words in sharing their findings and provide the reader with the arguments needed to promulgate optimal care in childbirth.

Helen Varney Burst, CNM, MSN, DHL (Hon.), FACNM , original author of Varney’s Midwifery

Goer & Romano have given the maternity care community a gift in their robust examination and synthesis of the evidence supporting best ways to achieve optimal, physiologic birth for women and infants. The United States and the world are experiencing a cesarean explosion with potential short- and long-term health implications. This book will help clinicians and consumers consider the evidence and work together on shared decision-making about best approaches to maternity care.


Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, Varney Professor of Midwifery, Yale University

From the Book