Hard Labor: Reflections of an Obstetrical Nurse

Hard Labor: Reflections of an Obstetrical Nurse

by Susan L. Diamond
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

An obstetrical nurse who spent nearly a decade working on labor and delivery wards, a prepared childbirth instructor, a mother of two, and now a registered doula (a type of birth attendant), Susan L. Diamond has an unmatched perspective on the impact of modern medicine on the process of birth. In Hard Labor, readers learn that women in labor are routinely

Overview

An obstetrical nurse who spent nearly a decade working on labor and delivery wards, a prepared childbirth instructor, a mother of two, and now a registered doula (a type of birth attendant), Susan L. Diamond has an unmatched perspective on the impact of modern medicine on the process of birth. In Hard Labor, readers learn that women in labor are routinely dehumanized by artificially established "labor curves" and confined by often unnecessary machinery. Diamond's vision is of childbirth as a natural, normal event which should be enhanced by modern medicine.

Hard Labor introduces readers to dozens of mothers, fathers, and families, and reveals the triumphs and tragedies that fill labor and delivery wards. From the sadness of death in utero to the joy of unexpectedly delivering twins, Hard Labor is a moving reading experience.

For this edition, Diamond has added a section on how she left "organized" medicine to take her message directly to women, and on her recent work as a certified doula.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A rambling, highly personal memoir cum exposé by a labor-and-delivery nurse fed up with the American way of birth.

Fascination with childbirth, plus the realization that her own childbearing was over, led Diamond to become first a prepared-childbirth instructor and then an obstetrical nurse. After receiving her nursing degree, she spent the next eight years in various hospitals, both miltary and civilian, sometimes on staff and sometimes under contract with a nursing agency. Her account of those years is chockful of horrendous stories of childbirth, mostly demonstrating how dehumanizing the hospital system is. Hospitals, she says, have adopted a pathological/technological model of childbirth that regiments a natural process and gives rise to a host of intrusive procedures. As the nurse performing these, Diamond frequently felt caught between the needs of the patient and the demands of the doctor. Complaints about doctors abound—she describes some as arrogant, indifferent, and insensitive, and their behavior as downright disgusting. She also has harsh words—rude, lazy—for coworkers. Nor is she easy on herself, frequently bewailing her own lack of assertiveness. Finally, exhausted and depressed, she turned away from nursing and to writing. This angry book is the result. Anyone wanting to experience childbirth vicariously will relish these graphic stories of labor and delivery, but pregnant women should perhaps be warned away. If Diamond's picture of current childbirth practices is as accurate as it seems to be, women already committed to a hospital delivery may be in for an unnecessarily rough time.

As an insider's look at current hospital obstetrical practices, this has the ring of truth, but the details of so many births become repetitious, and the author's emotional ups and downs tend to get in the way of her central message.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466865570
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
03/04/2014
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
391,646
File size:
534 KB

Meet the Author

Susan L. Diamond holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her nursing career was spent in both military and civilian hospitals. In additions to her B.S.N., Diamond holds a B.A. in English. She lives in the southern United States.


An obstetrical nurse who spent nearly a decade working on labor and delivery wards, a childbirth instructor, a mother of two, and now a registered doula (a type of birth attendant), Susan L. Diamond has an unmatched perspective on the impact of modern medicine on the process of birth. She is the author of Hard Labor: Reflections of an Obstetrical Nurse.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >