Other Recommended Resources
London, Nancy. Hot Flashes, Warm Bottles. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 2001.
Mansfield, Phyllis Kernoff. “Re-evaluating the Medical Risks of Late Childbearing.” Women and Health 11. Summer 1986; 2: 37-60.
A critical review of the scientific literature relating to pregnancy and advanced maternal age suggests that delayed pregnancies do not pose a high risk for otherwise healthy women, and that it is the medical mismanagement of older women that creates problems, not maternal age.
Martin, Emily. The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.
Argues that medical texts depict birth through industrial production metaphors, with the uterus as the machine and the woman as laborer, under the efficient and coercive management of physicians.
McCutcheon, Susan et al. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. New York: Plume, 1996.
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Birth. New York: Plume, 1993.
Noble, Elizabeth. Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year: A Guide to Health and Comfort Before and After Your Baby Is Born. New Life Images, 2003.
Oakley, Ann. The Captured Womb: A History of the Medical Care of Pregnant Women. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1986.
Oakley, Ann. Social Support and Motherhood: The Natural History of a Research Project. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1992.
Raises questions about research on women, the meaning of ``health,'' and the complex relations between social science research, academic "knowledge,'' and maternity care policy.
Oakley, Ann. Women Confined: Towards a Sociology of Childbirth. New York: Schocken Books, 1980.
Describes childbirth as a complex event in a woman's life; critiques the socialization of women and the medicalization of birth.
Odent, Michel. Birth Reborn. Medford, NJ: Birth Works Inc., 1994.
Dr. Odent describes the evolution, practices, and philosophy of his maternity clinic in Pithiviers, France, a gentle, calm birth environment. Useful guide for practitioners trying to "demedicalize'' their point of view.
Perkins, Barbara Bridgman. The Medical Delivery Business: Health Reform, Childbirth, and the Economic Order. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2003.
Pfeufer-Kahn, Robbie. Bearing Meaning: The Language of Birth. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1996.
Complex weave of sociological perspective and the author's own experience as a mother.
Pincus, Jane. “Critique of Childbearing Advice Books.” 1999.
Rich, Adrienne. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
Motherhood from a feminist viewpoint.
Rogers, Judith and Molleen Matsumura. Mother-to-Be: A Guide to Pregnancy and Birth for Women with Disabilities. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 1992.
Rothenberg, Karen H. and Elizabeth J. Thomson, eds. Women and Prenatal Testing: Facing the Challenges of Genetic Technology. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1994.
Rothman, Barbara Katz. Encyclopedia of Childbearing: Critical Perspectives. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1992.
Rothman, Barbara Katz. In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace, 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 1991.
Compares the medical and midwifery models of birth.
Rothman, Barbara Katz. Re-creating Motherhood: Ideology and Technology in a Patriarchal Society. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990.
A discussion of the impingements on women's procreative lives.
Rothman, Barbara Katz. The Tentative Pregnancy: How Amniocentesis Changes the Experience of Motherhood. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
Sagov, Stanley E. Home Birth: A Practitioner's Guide to Birth Outside the Hospital. Rockville, MD: Aspen Systems Corporation, 1984.
Sakala, Carol. “Midwifery Care and Out-of-Hospital Birth Settings: How Do They Reduce Unnecessary Cesarean Section Births?” Social Science and Medicine 37. 1993;10: 1233-250.
Simkin, Penny. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn Revised and Updated: The Complete Guide. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press, 2001.
Simkin, Penny. The Birth Partner: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Woman Through Childbirth. Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1989.
Smith, Margaret Charles and Linda Janet Holmes. Listen to Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1996.
Strong, Thomas H. Jr. Expecting Trouble: The Myth of Prenatal Care in America. NY: New York University Press, 2002.
Tew, Marjorie and Sheila Kitzinger. Safer Childbirth? A Critical History of Maternity Care. London: Free Association Books, 1998.
Contains statistical, biological, and observational evidence that obstetrical care has made a negative contribution to safer childbirth. It concludes that safety in childbirth depends primarily upon women's good health.
van der Ziel, Cornelia and Jacqueline Tourville. Big, Beautiful, and Pregnant : Expert Advice and Comforting Wisdom for the Expecting Plus-Size Woman. New York: Marlowe & Company, 2006.
Van Groenou, Aneema. The Active Woman's Guide to Pregnancy. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2004.
Wertz, Richard W. and Dorothy C. Wertz. Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989.
The most complete social, legal and cultural history of childbirth in the U.S. up to and through the 1980s.
Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health
JMWH publishes peer-reviewed, clinically oriented, original articles pertinent to women's health in a variety of practice settings. The journal's focus is on current research and new knowledge in maternal-child health, well-woman gynecology, primary health care, family planning, and health care policy. JMWH provides a forum for interdisciplinary exchange across a broad range of women's health issues.
Toll-free from the U. S. and Canada (orders only): 1-800-743-0974 or
Contains birth stories and articles about many facets of childbirth and mothering.
Contains helpful ideas and products, as well as articles about mother and childhood.
Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care
A multi-disciplinary, refereed journal devoted to issues and practices in the care of childbearing women, infants and families. It is written for and by people involved in maternal and neonatal health: nurses, midwives, physicians, public health workers, doulas, psychologists, social scientists, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, epidemiologists, and policymakers.
Quarterly magazine of the Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
Women and Health
The Haworth Press
(800) HAWORTH (429-6784) US/Canada
(607) 722-5857 Outside US/Canada
“Relaxation, Rhythm, Ritual--The 3Rs of Childbirth” (2003) by Penny Simkin, Inc. Running time: 15 minutes. Shared moments from the labors and births of 10 women.
“Woman to Woman: Doula Assisted Childbirth” (2003) by Aminata Maraesa. Running time: 26 minutes. Portrayal of the mainstream medicalized American birthing model and the rise of the doula profession that seeks to counter what doulas believe to be the ill effects of the overuse of medical technology. Available here.
“Journeying Through Pregnancy and Birth” by Jennifer Houston CNM. Audiotape or CD for visualization and relaxation. Available here.
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