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A woman's childbirth care choices have a profound effect on her pregnancy and childbirth experience. Today, some pregnant women have three different options to choose from: obstetrical care and a hospital birth, a midwife-assisted birth in a hospital, and a midwife-assisted birth at an out-of-hospital birthing center. By using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this volume examines how and why 200 women made their choices, how satisfied they were with the care they received, and the impact of their choices on the availability of options in the future. Although most women in the U.S. still choose an obstetrician and a hospital setting, the number of women who choose to be assisted by a Certified Nurse Midwife is growing, with the result that this profession is acquiring new strength and jurisdiction over childbirth care.