Make Room for Daddy: The Journey from Waiting Room to Birthing Room / Edition 1

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Using fathers' first-hand accounts from letters, journals, and personal interviews along with hospital records and medical literature, Judith Walzer Leavitt offers a new perspective on the changing role of expectant fathers from the 1940s to the 1980s. She shows how, as men moved first from the hospital waiting room to the labor room in the 1960s, and then on to the delivery and birthing rooms in the 1970s and 1980s, they became progressively more involved in the birth experience and their influence over events expanded. With careful attention to power and privilege, Leavitt charts not only the increasing involvement of fathers, but also medical inequalities the impact of race and class, and the evolution of hospital policies. Illustrated with more than seventy images from TV, films, and magazines, this book provides important new insights into childbirth in modern America, even as it reminds readers of their own experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Timely, erudite, and accessible. . . . Leavitt's narrative is both eloquent and analytical. . . . We now understand more about the role of men in the birthing process, greatly expanding our understanding of the history of the family, medicine, and gender.—American Historical Review

An extraordinary history of men and childbirth. . . . No brief review can do justice either to the sophistication and analytical depth of Make Room for Daddy, or to the sheer pleasure it is to read. . . . One of the most important books on gender and the family to be published in the past two decades. Sensitive to differences in experience by class and race, with a subtle and nuanced argument supported by broad and deep research, Make Room for Daddy is an exceptional work of history that deserves a wide scholarly and general audience.—Journal of Social History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807871683
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/30/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Walzer Leavitt is Rupple Bascom and Ruth Bleier Professor of Medical History and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Men Matter 1

1 Alone Among Strangers 21

The Medicalization of Childbirth

2 Keeping Vigil 48

Fathers in Waiting Rooms

3 The Best Backrubber 86

Fathers Move into Labor Rooms

4 He Wants to Know 120

Prenatal Education for Fathers

5 Peaceful and Confident 156

Mothers and Fathers in Labor Rooms

6 Side By Side 195

Men Move into Delivery Rooms

7 We Did It 236

Together in Delivery and Birthing Rooms

Epilogue: Expectant Fathers' Expectations 284

A Note on Sources 297

Notes 299

Acknowledgments 367

Index 371

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