Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950 / Edition 1

Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950 / Edition 1

by Leavitt, Judith W. Leavitt, Judith W.
     
 

Based on personal accounts by birthing women and their medical attendants, Brought to Bed reveals how childbirth has changed from colonial times to the present.
Judith Walzer Leavitt's study focuses on the traditional woman-centered home-birthing practices, their replacement by male doctors, and the movement from the home to the hospital. She explains that

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Overview

Based on personal accounts by birthing women and their medical attendants, Brought to Bed reveals how childbirth has changed from colonial times to the present.
Judith Walzer Leavitt's study focuses on the traditional woman-centered home-birthing practices, their replacement by male doctors, and the movement from the home to the hospital. She explains that childbearing women and their physicians gradually changed birth places because they believed the increased medicalization would make giving birth safer and more comfortable. Ironically, because of infection, infant and maternal mortality did not immediately decline. She concludes that birthing women held considerable power in determining labor and delivery events as long as childbirth remained in the home. The move to the hospital in the twentieth century gave the medical profession the upper hand. Leavitt also discusses recent events in American obstetrics that illustrate how women have attempted to retrieve some of the traditional women—and family—centered aspects of childbirth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195056907
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/28/1988
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 5.31(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction3
1"Under the Shadow of Maternity": Childbirth and Women's Lives in America13
2"Science" Enters the Birthing Room: The Impact of Physician Obstetrics36
3"Overcivilization and Maternity": Differences in Women's Childbirth Experiences64
4"Only a Woman Can Know": The Role of Gender in the Birthing Room87
5"The Greatest Blessing of This Age": Pain Relief in Obstetrics116
6Why Women Suffer So: Meddlesome Midwifery and Scrupulous Cleanliness142
7"Alone Among Strangers": Birth Moves to the Hospital171
8Decision-Making and the Process of Change196
Epilogue213
Notes219
Chronology of Events in Childbirth History263
Glossary of Medical Terms271
Index277

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