High Risk: Stories of Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected

High Risk: Stories of Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected

by Chavi Eve Karkowsky MD


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A doctor’s revelatory account of pregnancy and the complexity of reproductive life—and everything we lose when we don’t speak honestly about women’s health.

“My work offers a window into the darkest and lightest corners of people’s lives, into the extremes of human experience,” writes Dr. Chavi Eve Karkowsky in High Risk, her timely and unflinching account of working in maternal-fetal medicine—that branch of medicine that concerns high-risk pregnancies. Whether offering insight into the rise in home births, the alarming rise in America’s maternal mortality rate, or the history of involuntary sterilization, Karkowsky offers a window into all that pregnancy, labor, and birth can entail—birth and joy, but also challenge and loss—illustrating the complexity of reproductive life and the systems that surround it. With historical insight and journalistic verve, Karkowsky unpacks what is involved for women, for a family, and for us as a society; and explores what’s at risk when these aspects of medicine remain clouded in mystery and misinformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631495014
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 272,635
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Chavi Eve Karkowsky, MD, is a maternal-fetal medicine physician working in New York City. Her writing has been published in Slate, the Daily Beast, the Atlantic, and the Washington Post.

Table of Contents

Introduction: No Little Thing

First Trimester

1 Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy Did We Save Enough of Your Life?

2 Choosing a Provider Scut Is Love 24

3 Genetic Testing Everything Is Probably Okay 35

Second Trimester

4 Anatomy Ultrasound Incidentalomas 65

Third Trimester

5 Periviable Birth A Necessary Story 95

Term Pregnancy

6 Trial of Labor after Cesarean Accept and Reject Intervention 107

7 Stillbirth When We Talk about Birth, We Need to Talk about Death 129

Going into the Hospital (Or Staying Out)

8 Informed Consent Sign Here and Don't Ask Too Many Questions 155

9 Medical Systems and Home Birth How Institutions Save You or Fail You or Both 185

Postpartum and Beyond

10 Maternal Mortality and Racial Disparities in Health Care Implicit, Complicit 223

Conclusion: Let's Go Home 243

Acknowledgments 259

Notes 263

Index 277

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