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From The CriticsReviewer: Robin Webb Corbett, PhD, RN C(East Carolina University)
Description: This midwifery text is written for student midwives and practicing midwives with an emphasis on the physiology of childbearing.
Purpose: These authors build on the admirable work of Blackburn's Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Physiology: A Clinical Perspective (W.B. Saunders, 1992). As the authors note, they do not address the physiology of childbirth. Their aims include an understanding of physiology and other sciences applied to childbearing, fostering an integrated knowledge of applied biosciences, providing a biology textbook for basic and post basic midwifery practitioners, and ensuring safety of mothers and babies. Although these are worthy aims, in this book the authors do not meet them satisfactorily.
Audience: Practicing nurse midwives and nurse midwifery students are the intended audience. The authors are credible authorities by virtue of their experience and academic credentials.
Features: The text has four sections. In Section 1 preconception is covered; in Section 2 embryological/fetal development, physiological and pathophysiological changes; in Section 3 normal labor and its physiology; and in Section 4 the maternal puerperium, neonatal physiology and care, and breastfeeding. Emphasized throughout is the physiology of the area of focus. Illustrations are well done and appropriate to the content. Color illustrations and photographs would have added to the readability of the book. The summary of the main points at the end of each chapter is particularly beneficial. References and recommended reading lists are also extremely helpful.
Assessment: Although I was very excited to receive this text as I agree that we need to build on the work of Blackburn's text, I was sorely disappointed in the scope of this book. The intent was to focus on physiology of childbearing, but I found the book consistently lacked the detail that I expect nurse midwives to have and demonstrate.