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The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line
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The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Why, despite our state-of-the-art medical technology, does the United States have among the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world? Why do pregnant women who are planning to breastfeed receive “free” samples of infant formula from American obstetricians? Why are American newborns given a vaccine at birth against hepatiti ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Scribner (first published April 1st 2013)
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Amber
Jun 04, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This books seeks to expose the unsavory underbelly of the medical world and address the realities of giving birth in the US. It tries - and raises a few good points in the process. Unfortunately, those points are very quickly hidden under a mountain of sensationalist fear-mongering. Often times, the author seems to use a legitimate source to pump out a single valid sentence, and then spend the next several paragraphs twisting it into the most negative light possible or jumping to ridiculous conc ...more
Rebecca
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although I agree with some of the premises, this book was a little too close-minded for me. And too anecdotal. I don't care that "Susan, a mother of four" feels like her 4th child that she didn't vaccinate got sick less and never had ear infections. I could have done with less of the opinions and more science. I hated the tone. Trust me, I don't think doctors are infallible and I consider ob's to be poorly trained in many aspects. But I don't think doctors or out to get me or intentionally sabot ...more
James
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Investigative journalism covering several topics in pregnancy, birth and baby care, showing how the other industrialized countries achieve better results than we do in the US, because in the US profit motives have overruled the best practices. Foreskins being sold for profit after circumcisions, promoting diapers for 5-year-olds to boost sales, C-sections to save OBs time, everything that's a mess about American baby culture is in here, viewed globally as a blind wasteful system with other prior ...more
Keisha McCollum
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Business of Baby is a very eye opening book into many hot topics that parents face today. I found the book to be informative without pushing an agenda. The author gives information about various subjects like childbirth, circumcision, vaccinations, and potty training without saying this is absolutely what you should be doing as a parent. As the author states we need to educate ourselves and make the best decisions we can for our families. I highly recommend this book to parents and expecting ...more
Rebecca
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I'm honestly not sure how I feel about a bunch of stuff in this book. There's a bunch of stuff that I agree with, and made me feel rather horrified on behalf of people who were not as privileged in their birth experiences as I was. There's also a bunch of science, especially related to vaccines, that I'm deeply skeptical of. The fact that I feel that a lot of the statistics that end each chapter are deeply manipulative isn't helping.

On the side of things that made me even more pleased with my ex
...more
Kelly
Jun 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Oh boy. This book is infuriating and dangerous. It starts off well enough, with a look into how doctors' lack of nutrition education can adversely affect the way they treat their patients. But things go off the rails -- and stay off -- in chapter two when Margulis begins suggesting that fetal ultrasounds might cause autism. (A quick Google of the available literature showed me that this theory has no real basis in science.) Infuriatingly, Margulis quotes extensively from a single doctor whose pe ...more
Molly
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
There were chapters of this book that were interesting--in particular the one on circumcision and on disposable and cloth diapers. However, a lot of the stories are anecdotal and like "What to expect when you are expecting", it had an overall feeling that everyone is out to get the new mom and preying on her anxiety. Apparently, no one is in the field of pediatrics and obstetrics for the right reasons. That is just not the case and I would have liked to see less of a one-sided perspective as I m ...more
Linda
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This should be a must read for anyone considering parenthood for the first, second or whatever time. I typically do not read non-fiction from cover to cover, rather skimming and picking and choosing certain chapters/topics - I read this cover to cover word by word. The Business of Baby is a fabulous piece of investigative journalism that is highly readable - a near perfect mesh of science and story.
Courtney Murray
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely well done! Margulis does her research which shows in the endless endnotes contained in the book. It gives a great picture of where America is in relation to the rest of the world when it comes pregnancy, birth, and infancy. A great read for any mama to give some alternatives to the mainstream directions forced in society today.
Beth Woodward
May 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am for & wanted to like the content of this book, but its presentation was unbalanced & hot-headed. I felt discouraged from making my own conclusions & decisions because it leaned dangerously far in one direction--a tiring drumbeat for an entire book.
Kimmy
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't bear to finish this one sided non-scientific crap. Spare yourself and check out Expecting Better. Actual data in that book.
Edwin Battistella
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Margulis’s The Business of Baby is an interesting, complicated and ambitious critique of the US heathcare system touching on everything from vitamins to C-sections, circumcision, ultrasounds, breastfeeding, vaccine schedules, and diapers. The author is an advocate of natural birth and parenting, and the exposition blends passionate advocacy with dogged investigation (62 pages of footnotes). The research is impressive, both in terms of the work reviewed and the interviews from dozens of ...more
Harriet
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Margulis has clearly done a lot of research and has brought together important ideas that most parents are unaware of. I say "brought together" because, although she presents them as if they're new, nothing here is really new. But Margulis does a good job of synthesizing, and that's important.

But her biases get in the way, especially as the book progresses. I stopped believing her anecdotes, or at least giving them much credence, because they were so one-sided and melodramatic. I'd be more incli
...more
Erin
I wholeheartedly agree that corporations are altogether too involved in most aspects of American life. Their presence in our healthcare system is not a surprise to me, and I generally agreed with the author's stance on many of the issues that she was trying to bring to light. Our maternal/fetal healthcare system is shady, no doubt in my mind.

However, the preaching was a bit too preachy and dramatic. I'm not sure I remember a single story in this book about nursing staff that didn't somehow invol
...more
Sonja
Jul 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never write here for reviews, however, I teared up 2 times just reading intro and first 3 pages so I put the book down because it was upsetting me too much. The main point of the book is that parents need to do their own research and that basically every mainstream company, obgyn, and pediatrician is giving you unsound advice. SO, it freaked me out to the point that I used the same analogy that I use for scary movies, if I am not enjoying this and I am going to have nightmares why don't I just ...more
Michelle Young
Curious after hearing from a nurse friend that the common practice of having women deliver babies in bed is more for the doctor's convenience than best practice. I wondered what else might be amiss. There are some interesting things to consider in this book, but I don't appreciate the sensationalist approach that the author takes by focusing on extreme examples. I have the feeling that she has an agenda against what she perceives as the birth industry's agenda, which is almost equally as unsavor ...more
Debra
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Jennifer Margulis follows the money involved in the big business(es) surrounding having babies in the United States, and where the money leads isn't always pretty.

This is the book I wish I'd had years ago when I was pregnant and having my six babies. It would have save me a lot of grief and a lot of money.

Highly recommend.
Sue1001
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was very well researched. I loved the case studies, but appreciated that they were backed up with scientific studies. Every parent-to-be needs to read this in order to make thoughtful medical decisions that affect the health of their baby.
Mrs. Clare
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! If you are having a baby or thinking of having a baby or think you might have a baby sometime in your life, you have to read this book. Be informed about your choices.
Samantha Hines
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, this book made me feel bad, and I agree with a lot of the concepts put forth. There's a lot better ways to convey this information to parents to effect positive change, in my opinion.
Hannah
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was well-written and informative, and not fear-mongering. But it also wasn't unbiased. I definitely felt like I learned a lot, but there were some instances when I want to do my own supplemental research. (I can remember this about vaccines particularly, because there was clearly a "they are bad" viewpoint, without enough evidence, and ignoring the large body of evidence about their benefits, aside from a blurb at the beginning. This was also true for breastfeeding, where the stance was bas ...more
Maria Rickert
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried when I read Jennifer Margulis’s book, The Business of Baby: What Doctors Don't Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line. I wish it had been around and I had read it 9-1/2 years ago when I was pregnant with my first son.

This book made me wish that I could have a mulligan for having my sons. Perhaps my older son wouldn’t have gone into fetal distress during my labor with him after the doctor broke my water. Pe
...more
Dave
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I saw that documentary The Business of Being Born a while ago and liked a lot of what that had to say. This book is basically the same idea, just with a lot more detail. The negative reviews are kind of funny to me, how people are trying to make this lady look like a totally extreme anti-vaccine and alternative medicine hippie or something. There's no chakra alignment techniques or recommendations to send out waves of positive vibrations so you'll receive some yourself or anything. Acupuncture g ...more
Jen
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read, baby
I'd give this 3.5 stars, so I'm going to round up.

My kiddo is 22 months, and I wish I'd read this before he was born. I think there is some great information in there, though it is peppered with things designed to create and instill fear, as well as things I don't agree with. However, I'm all about reading various viewpoints, so that's not necessarily a bad thing.

This book is eye-opening to how much sheer profit there is surrounding babies, their births, and their first years. I will forever be
...more
Kate
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to finish this book, but the increasing fear-mongering and insistence on cause-effect woo woo right after a sentence mentioning that correlation doesn't equal causation forced me to stop. More buzz phrases for you: this was an example of confirmation bias all over. So, yes, statistics suggest US pregnant and birthing women are at more risk of adverse outcomes than those in other countries, and there's too much intervention going on, and corporate interests may mildly corrupt your healthc ...more
Kristin Dennison
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of many topics new parents need to consider: home vs hospital birth, interventions, circumcision, breastfeeding, diapers, vaccines, etc. Obviously there is SO much more information out there, but it is summarized in a very easy to understand way.

One thing that bothered me is the author's suggestion to fix all this would be government/socialized health care. This ignores the fact that our government is is bed with the corporations, and giving the gov MORE authority isn't going t
...more
Kate
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A vitally important book to read for:
1. Any woman who ever plans to have a baby
2. Any person who plans to be a parent (male or female)
3. Any person who plans to support a woman when she is either pregnant, laboring, or caring for a baby

I was often sick to my stomach reading this book. I had to take it in small doses and couldn't read more than a chapter or two at a time. I knew most of it already but to see the awfulness of how we care for pregnant women and babies all in one place was almost mo
...more
Little
Ok, Margulis writes from an anti-consumerist bias. Every chapter ends with a dollar run-down that ends with a variation on, "Choosing not to do xyz: $0." That said, there's a ton of good info in this book.

I already knew a lot about the birth industry, the formula industry, and the children's medical industry, and how their gains drive practice in the US despite research demonstrating that they don't have the well-being of moms and babies as the center of their focus. But every chapter had someth
...more
Robyn
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: baby-parenting
The book starts of with shocking stats and makes you feel like we are in total crisis and should move to Norway(where infant and maternity mortality rates are extremely low). It then proceeds to break apart the current health care system and show how most practices are based on profit rather than the health of your baby. She does have a clear agenda that I don't 100% agree with. She discusses a full range of topics like: where you give birth, c-section prone doctors, how you want your infant tre ...more
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