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Review: “Baby City,” Exploring Labor & Delivery

After loving Dr. Frieda McFadden’s novel, “Suicide Med,” I knew that I was likely to enjoy sitting down to read her and Kelly Stoddard’s most recent work titled, “Baby City.” After finishing the book in less than two days, my initial suspicions were proven right.

Dr. Stoddard writes that the stories in Baby City are representative of common scenarios that may be encountered on any given Labor and Delivery floor in any hospital at any time of the day. Upon arriving in Baby City, the reader is immediately introduced to a bright, young medical student, Caroline. She has arrived for the start of her OB/GYN rotation and she is thrilled! Soon after, she meets the blunt and intimidating chief resident, Dr. Jill Brandt. The reader is also introduced to the narrator and main character of the novel, junior resident, Dr. Emily McCoy.

Without a moment delay, the reader is immersed into a world of baby deliveries and given a brief description of the layout of the land. Part one consists of a bunch of rooms where women are pushing and cervixes are dilating. Part two contains operating rooms for C-sections or procedures and part three is Triage, where women go when they think they’re in labor or have any other concerns regarding pregnancy. The reader meets a new patient, “The Princess,” coming in for an elective C-section entirely too early in her pregnancy and also demanding an impossibly small incision to ensure a barely there scar. Dr. McCoy infuses her sense of humor regarding the ridiculousness of the situation while also educating the reader about the steps surrounding preparation for the procedure. She antagonizes the overly enthusiastic medical student, telling her that she needs to read more and arrive prepared on her first day.

As a recent graduate of medical school, I feel as though I could definitely relate to the medical student-resident interaction portrayed throughout the series by Drs. McFadden and Stoddard. They do a wonderful job detailing the cluelessness of the medical student and the frustrations of the resident when followed into the bathroom. The likelihood of doing this unknowingly on an early rotation as a medical student is very high.

Furthermore, the story captures the dynamic between residents both in the same specialty and in other specialties. A stunning emergency room resident, Dr. Eric Kessler arrives on the scene to shake things up. The OB/GYN residents expect incompetency and treat him as an outsider, while he points out their unpleasantness. To a point, there is definitely a sense of loyalty felt within specialties and personalities often clash within the hospital. Dr. Kessler also shakes things up on the romantic front, which is yet another common occurrence in this environment.

Throughout the entire story, Dr. McCoy remains relatable and likeable, even despite judgment calls that some readers might interpret as total blunders. She describes her love life, or lack thereof, in an amusing sense and writes about her daily dinners at the hot dog truck after she returns from the hospital utterly exhausted. She struggles with adjusting to the fact that her co-resident, Holly, is pregnant and can no longer partake in their margarita rituals. Dr. McCoy elegantly fields endless jokes about the similarity between her name and the doctor’s name on Star Wars. She makes tough calls that put her career at risk and her friendships at risk. All while she delivers babies, handles emergencies, navigates life and teaches a medical student.

Overall, Baby City is an entertaining, fast-paced read that captures the interactions of the Labor and Delivery floor flawlessly. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun-filled read.

Be sure to check out the review on Amazon here and order a copy today!


Cherilyn Cecchini

Cherilyn is proud to serve as the National AMWA Blog Coordinator this year. She is currently a fourth year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Cherilyn recently served as co-president of her local Jefferson AMWA branch. In addition, she was chosen as National Secretary of the AMWA Student Division the year before last. She feels strongly about advancing women's health and is extremely thankful for both the networking and scholastic opportunities that AMWA continues to offer.

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