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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 hospitalisation 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 affordsa rare look at childbirth experiences in the hospitals and birthing centres 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 THOMASteachesat Bentley College, Waltham.
2 black and white illustrations
University of Rochester Press
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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