Every woman (and every partner of a woman who is) contemplating pregnancy should READ THIS BOOK! I cannot say enough about how important it is to understanding what birth in the US today is *really* about. It is an academic book with a lot of big words and heady concepts, so if you like that stuff read it cover to cover. If not, start with the section about medical interventions, then go to the "how the messages are received" part and on from there, back track to the dense anthropology later. What ever your interest in birth (or women's health care in general) is, this book is a "must read!" LOVE this book! It is on the required reading list for ALACE (Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators) both for doulas and for CBE's.