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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Pregnancy and motherhood: two of the most written about, mythologized, and mystifying topics in America. In Naomi Wolf's Misconceptions, the reader gets a different perspective on them; Wolf attempts to rectify what she feels to be mistaken beliefs and endeavors to demystify a good deal of what women have had to deal with for so long.
The baby business continues to boom. The cottage industry that surrounds it, trying to entice expectant women to buy its various products, is indeed often missing the very things it claims to be selling us: caring, nurturing, honest, and straightforward information about our bodies, about the option of childbirth with or without drugs, and about those weeks and months that immediately follow childbirth.
Some of it we've heard before: the issue and arguments surrounding hospitals and doctors in relation to cesarean birth rates, the discussion about "natural" childbirth, and issues of mother/child bonding. Some have now been part of the feminist perspective for a long time. Still, the issues do not go away: They are not resolved, and women and their partners still sometimes feel as if they have been left to reinvent the wheel over and over again.
This book is a good place to start, both for those with a direct interest in the topic and for those who are more generally curious about maternity. Wolf's book is honest, and the questions it raises need to be asked again and again until they are answered. Questions such as: Why are women still left so unprepared for the likelihood of so-called "emergency" cesareans, and how "immediate" is the bonding process. Also, the ongoing discussion of midwife vs.clinical setting deserves careful discussion. All is eloquently addressed in these pages. (Elena Simon)
Elena Simon lives in New York City.