Post-War Mothers

Post-War Mothers

Childbirth Letters to Grantly Dick-Read, 1946-1956

Mary Alvey Thomas


University of Rochester Press



Women's experience of childbirth in the mid-twentieth century, revealed in their own words.
For pregnant women in the 1930s and 1940s Dr. Grantly Dick-Read (1890-1959) proposed natural childbirth as the "normal" way to have babies, making drugs, instruments and hospitalization unnecessary. His book Childbirth without Fear, first published in 1933, spoke of the joys of natural childbirth; women from around the world wrote long, detailed, and poignant letters in response, describing their own experiences in giving birth.
This edited collection of the correspondence affords a rare look at childbirth experiences in the hospitals and birthing centers in post-war America and Britain from the perspective of the patient, as women discuss the way they were viewed by society, by hospitals, and by physicians and nurses, and their own feelings on childbirth; overall, the book provides an important opportunity to evaluate the treatment of women in the 1940s and 1950s, the generation who gave birth to the so-called "baby boomers." Professor MARY ALVEY THOMAS teaches at Bentley College, Waltham.

An e-book version of this title is available (9780585278643), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


March 1998
2 black and white illustrations
264 pages
22.8x15.2 in
ISBN: 9781878822871
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email


A wealth of insight and resource material for anyone interested in the evolution of childbirth practices in the twentieth century. MEDICAL HISTORY, AP. 2000 A much-needed study of a complex and famous personality whose character and methods aroused the strongest emotions during his lifetime and can still do so today. SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE, JAN. 2000