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Birth: A History Paperback – 1 Mar 2007
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"Finally, a literate and well-informed history of childbirth... A liberating look at how assumptions have changed of what a good childbirth is supposed to be" (Naomi Wolf)
"Wonderful... Packed full of information, a brilliant mixture of ancient wisdom and modern science" (Kate Mosse)
"Cassidy is determined to wipe the Vaseline from the lens... There is a collective, willful amnesia about birth that has been begging for her clear-headed dissipation" (New York Times Book Review)
"A lively, engaging and often witty read; a quirky, eye-opening account of one of life's most elemental experiences" (Boston Globe)
"Fantastic... a darkly witty guide through the birthing hut" (New York Magazine)
This page-turning and jaw-dropping history of childbirth is 'a wonder of a book... a must read for anyone who's ever been born' (Mary Roach).See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
I love what I call 'personal history' and this book more than delivered. I raced through it in a week, then lent it to my mum who did likewise. I have never been so drawn in by a non-fiction book. A must buy for those who like to learn about the more obscure aspects of our ancestors' lives. There's even a little segment at the end discussing all the upcoming 'trends' for giving birth (and believe me, there are definitely trends in this field) such as hypno-birthing... so perhaps there is a little something for the expectant mums... though on the whole I'd avise those about to give birth to stay away from this book until after the deed is done! Otherwise - highly recommended.
This fascinating book explains the reasons behind the development of certain medical interventions, and also looks at the scientific evidence relating to the effectiveness of natural/normal birthing techniques.
I would recommend it to expectant mothers because in order to make informed descisions about the right kind of birth for your child, it is important to understand the reasoning behind each intervention, and why it may (or may not) be beneficial. Don't expect this to be fluffy heart-and-cherubs stuff, like some baby books, but do expect to finish this book in a state of empowerment and clarity.
At the end, the author seemed to say that although she admired natural childbirth, she still prefers a hospital and an epidural - something I would fear she would say and might ultimately lead me in the same direction.
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