This book critically analyzes the place of caesarean in childbearing at the beginning of the twenty first century. It questions the changes that are taking place in childbirth and, in particular, the effects and implications of an increase in caesarean births. This controversial work by a practising midwife and researcher, includes discussion of: the context of the operation and description of it health systems around the world and their caesarean incidence rates decision-making and cultural/medical constraints the short and long term implications of caesarean for baby and mother. Using up-to-date research, Rosemary Mander bases her argument on a firm evidence-base and argues that the rapidly rising caesarean section rate may not be for the benefit of either the woman giving birth or her baby. Rather, the beneficiaries may actually be those professionals whose investment is in extending the range of their influence and thus increasing the medicalization of normal life.