By Wendy Simonds

Facing the polar forces of a scourge of Cesarean sections and epidurals and home-like exertions rooms, American start is in transition. stuck among the main severe medicalization — top obvious in a Cesarean part fee of approximately 30 percentage — and a rhetoric of women’s ''choices'' and ''the natural,'' ladies and their midwives, doulas, obstetricians, and nurses hard work on. Laboring On bargains the voices of all of those practitioners, all girls attempting to aid ladies, as they try with this more and more break up imaginative and prescient of delivery.

Updating Barbara Katz Rothman's now-classic In Labor, the 1st feminist sociological research of delivery within the usa, Laboring On provides a accomplished photograph of the ever-changing American start practices and infrequently conflicting visions of start practitioners. The authors deftly weave compelling bills of beginning paintings, via midwives, doulas, obstetricians, and nurses, into the bigger sociohistorical context of health and wellbeing care practices and activism and provide provocative arguments concerning the present scenario and the way forward for delivery in America.

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Sample text

My attempts to shift their focus to thinking about power and control (as Barbara does in In Labor) were relatively fruitless. There would be occasional converts, but these tended to be atypical pro-“nature” artsy students, somewhat hippyish themselves. During a class discussion, one such student talked about how she had worked to transform her disgust and annoyance about menstruating into a positive spiritual pleasure in her own body and its moonlike rhythms. I could feel the other students roll their eyes in one collective motion.

Change is slow, I would argue with myself, trying to get myself to just sit down and write this book that we had a contract for and whose deadline loomed and then passed. Books have changed my thinking — yet not always quite firmly enough that I put what I believed into action. I would go back and forth with myself. I would let the pile of interviews sit, and leave half-baked chapters half-baked. Then I would come back and reread the interviews and be reminded of what amazing philosophers midwives could be, and recapture my awe at activists truly and idealistically focused on one thing.

What could it accomplish? Change is slow, I would argue with myself, trying to get myself to just sit down and write this book that we had a contract for and whose deadline loomed and then passed. Books have changed my thinking — yet not always quite firmly enough that I put what I believed into action. I would go back and forth with myself. I would let the pile of interviews sit, and leave half-baked chapters half-baked. Then I would come back and reread the interviews and be reminded of what amazing philosophers midwives could be, and recapture my awe at activists truly and idealistically focused on one thing.

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