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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This book covers all aspects of a typical low-risk pregnancy, including issues involving the antepartum, peripartum, and postpartum states.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide current evaluations of methods used to treat women experiencing low-risk pregnancies.
Audience: The target audience includes anyone who practices obstetrics. Residents, nurse practitioners, and well-established physicians all would find the book helpful.
Features: Separate sections cover antepartum care, labor and delivery, special deliveries (operative vaginal delivery, cesarean delivery), pregnancy complications, and the postpartum setting. There is also a section on gynecological issues related to obstetrics. Important summary points are highlighted in bold in each section, providing ready access to key information. The text flows nicely and the book overall is aesthetically pleasing, although I found myself wishing for more illustrations. The book likely is not intended to be read from beginning to end; rather, it is meant to answer a specific question. So, for example, readers curious about the benefit of oxytocin augmentation in labor would quickly turn to the pertinent chapter where they will find a summary of all of the relevant studies pertaining to that issue. The authors note that dystocia should be cautiously diagnosed earlier than 6 cm, which correlates with recent data and demonstrates how current this book is (and justifying the new edition). However, although chapter 8 presents good information, the discussion of the benefits of laboring down could have included data from Frasier et al. (AJOG 2000) that suggested an increase in low neonatal pH with delayed pushing. In addition to the index, the book provides a practical list of abbreviations.
Assessment: This is a welcome addition to a physician's library. Its use of current studies and easy-to-read format allow for easy fact-checking and referencing. Illustrations would have spruced up the book, but that is a small quibble with such a good book.