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August 08, 2009

Birth Day by Mark Sloan, M.D.: Join us for Silicon Valley Moms Group's next Book Club on Wednesday, August 12th

Birth Day by Mark Sloan, M.D. As moms, we all tend to get talking about our birth stories from time to time. What do our collective birth days (either those of our kids, whether we birthed them or adopted them, or...our stories of our own births) reveal about us? Join us next Wednesday, August 12th as we discuss the book Birth Day by Mark Sloan, M.D. and talk about our birth days for our next book club.

About the book - Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth
(from the publisher, Random House's, website:

"I delivered twenty babies in the summer of 1977. I was hardly more than a baby myself, just turned twenty-four and starting my third year of medical school.”—from Birth Day

So began Mark Sloan’s three-decades-long exploration of the wonders and oddities of human childbirth. Pediatrician, husband, and father, the author has attended nearly three thousand births since that long-ago summer, encountering everything from routine deliveries to tense labor-room dramas. In Birth Day, Sloan draws on his personal and professional experience to weave the strands of memoir, history, science, and culture into a fascinating—and often funny—tapestry of this fundamental human passage.

Birth Day takes the reader on a remarkable journey, from the dawn of human history to the quiet efficiency of a modern operating room; from Aristotle and Julius Caesar to a trailblazing, cross-dressing British army surgeon; from a recent past filled with the horrors of childbirth gone wrong to a present day, in which every pregnancy is expected to end happily. Some of Birth Day’s many topics include

• The evolution of human childbirth—or, why do gorillas have it so easy?
• The first five minutes of life—scuba divers, astronauts, and the amazing adaptations that transform a fetus into an air-breathing, out-in-the-world baby
• Cesarean section—a look at its origins, its future, and how it came to be the most frequently performed operation in American hospitals
• Pain and politics—the age-old quest for painless childbirth, starring Adam and Eve, Queen Victoria, a nineteenth-century medical brawl, and the rise of today’s “epidural monoculture”
• Daddies—raging paternal hormones, hidden anxieties, and the emotional evolution of men (including the author, his father, and grandfather) as they approach fatherhood
• The five senses at birth—does light enter the womb? how loud is it in there? what is a newborn baby searching for with those first anxious glances?
• A tour of the newborn body—springy skulls, hairy ears, innies and outies, the advantages (and disadvantages) of looking like your father, and why the United States is one of the world’s most circumcised nations

Delightfully instructive and entertaining, Birth Dayoffers a fresh, sometimes irreverent take on a universally familiar topic. Warm, reassuring, and packed with stories from the author’s work and life, this unique book is one pediatrician’s meditation on the hiding-in-plain-sight marvels of human birth.

Read along with us: Buy your copyof the book today and get ready to discuss with us on Wednesday, August 12th. See you at book club!

Past Silicon Valley Moms Group Book Clubs have included:

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