Book: Babies Are Not Pizzas: They’re Born, Not Delivered
Author: Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN
Review by: Vanessa Morales, D.C.
Had I not had experience with author Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence Based Birth®, I probably would have passed up this book in all honesty. The front cover is very cute, as is the title, but it does not lend a hand as to what is to be expected. Is this a book about the process of making babies? Perhaps about the childbirth process itself? Even reading the table of contents was unhelpful in determining what the book itself would be about. As someone who has followed Rebecca’s EBB® work, and even as someone who has taken her course to become an Evidence Based Birth® instructor, I was prepared to read about the evidence surrounding different perinatal procedures, along with tips on how to better decipher the evidence, and become a better healthcare consumer. While I was partly on track, I was pleasantly surprised with the contents.
Rebecca takes readers, as recommended by a friend who reviewed the book (thank you friend!), through the various journeys in her life that have led her to this point in time. You are taken through her birth and all of the turmoil she experienced within her own university’s hospital system, through her time as a professor trying to connect hospital personnel with the best available evidence on outdated procedures, as well as the birth experiences of others as they relate to these outdated practices and procedures.
I also quite enjoyed learning more about her personal struggles trying to manage being a mother to two, a full time professor and researcher (in a field not related to obstetrics, gynecology, or even pediatrics!), birth rights activist, and entrepreneur. I can greatly relate to her passion and mission to wanting to take her negative experiences, along with her areas of expertise, and use them to impact the health and lives of current generations and those to come.
Even though Rebecca has experienced a lot of push back and criticism from hospital staff and administration, she stands firm in doing what is best for all mothers and their children. Perhaps educating and empowering the public on the safest and most effective procedures can bring about a paradigm shift to where people can go back to being treated like human beings and not just a number in a system that is taken advantage of financially, emotionally, and even physically.
Rebecca has beautifully balanced providing the appropriate statistics and research, in an easily digestible format, along with sharing her life’s journey and mission with the reader. I found myself turning each page with eagerness to learn more about what happened, as I sat there filled with emotions that were all over the place, but mostly ranged from anger and frustration, plenty of disappointment, and to round it all off, plenty of hope and even several moments where I felt like her cheerleader, excited and proud of the moves she was making.
Throughout the book I found myself thinking back to a book I read over a decade ago by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers. In his book, Malcolm details out the stories of incredible people who have accomplished great feats, often seemingly impossible but never out of reach for these individuals. He recounts how specific times in society afford various unique opportunities to people set up in advantageous circumstances which propel them as leaders and experts in their respective fields. Rebecca Dekker is definitely one of these outliers. I’m excited to see where Rebecca takes Evidence Based Birth® next and look forward to waves of change she is creating for my daughter and her children to come.