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Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America, Expanded Edition / Edition 1
     

Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America, Expanded Edition / Edition 1

by Richard W. Wertz, Dorothy C. Wertz
 

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ISBN-10: 0300040873

ISBN-13: 9780300040876

Pub. Date: 09/10/1989

Publisher: Yale University Press

This lively history of childbirth begins with colonial days, when childbirth was a social event, and moves on to the gradual medicalization of childbirth in America as doctors forced midwives out of business and to the home-birth movement of the 1980’s. Widely praised when it was first published in 1977, the book has now been expanded to bring the story up to

Overview

This lively history of childbirth begins with colonial days, when childbirth was a social event, and moves on to the gradual medicalization of childbirth in America as doctors forced midwives out of business and to the home-birth movement of the 1980’s. Widely praised when it was first published in 1977, the book has now been expanded to bring the story up to date. In a new chapter and epilogue, Richard and Dorothy Wertz discuss the recent focus on delivering perfect babies, with its emphasis on technology, prenatal testing, and Caesarean sections. They argue that there are many viable alternatives—including out-of-hospital births—in the search for the best birthing system.
Review of the first edition:
“Highly readable, extensively documented, and well illustrated…A welcome addition to American social history and women’s studies. It can also be read with profit by health planners, hospital administrators, ‘consumers’ of health care, and all those who are concerned with improving the circumstances associated with childbirth.”—Claire Elizabeth Fox, bulletin of the History of Medicine
“A fascinating, brilliantly documented history not merely of childbirth, but of men’s attitudes towards women, the effect of a burgeoning medical profession on our very conception of maternity and motherhood, and the influence of religion on medical technology and science.”—Thomas J. Cottle, Boston Globe
“This superb book…is both an impeccably documented recitation of the chronological history of medical intervention in American childbirth and a sociological analysis of the various meanings given to childbirth by individuals, interested groups, and American society as a whole.”—Barbara Howe, American Journal of Sociology
Richard W. Wertz, a builder in Westport, Massachusetts, is formerly an associate professor of American history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dorothy C. Wertz, is a research professor at the School of Public Health, Boston University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300040876
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/10/1989
Edition description:
Expanded Edition
Pages:
302
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Expanded Edition
Introduction to the First Edition
Midwives and Social Childbirth in Colonial America
The New Midwifery
Modesty and Morality
The Wounds of Birth: Birthpain and Puerperal Fever
Birth in the Hospital
"Natural Childbirth"
Government Involvement
Creating the Perfect Child: The 1980s and Beyond
Epilogue: Everybody's Search for the Best
Bibliographical Essay
Index

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