Why midwives leave – revisited.(editor). London2016

Book review

02 December 2019
Volume 27 · Issue 12

The book ‘Squaring The Circle’ is informative and a thought-provoking read. The opening line of the foreword that ‘families want more from childbirth than simply emerging from the process unscathed’ highlights how pregnancy and childbirth are being anticipated for. Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in technological advances when it comes to childbirth and this book seeks to open the conversation and challenges current practice in many different ways.

Perhaps the most pivotal chapter that resonated with me the most, having just given birth myself, was ‘nature and consequences of oxytocin, and other neuro-hormones during the perinatal period’. Synthetic oxytocin is used so widely in childbirth for a variety of reasons, but the differences between that and natural oxytocin are vast. Whilst they are chemically the same, the effects on our bodies and minds could not be more different. Synthetic oxytocin does not cross the blood-brain barrier and so the women receiving it for induction of labour do not benefit from the positives, such as reducing fear and stress, pain relief, and feelings of calm and relaxation.

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