Why do so many American women allow themselves to become enmeshed in the standardized routines of technocratic childbirth—routines that can be insensitive, unnecessary, and even unhealthy? And why, in spite of the natural childbirth movement, has hospital birth become even more intensely technologized? Robbie Davis-Floyd argues that these obstetrical procedures are rituals that reflect a cultural belief in the superiority of science over nature. Her interviews with 100 mothers and many health care professionals reveal in detail both the trauma and the satisfaction women derive from childbirth. She also calls for greater cultural and medical tolerance of the alternative beliefs of women who choose to birth at home.
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"A magnificent contribution to our understanding of birthing in this country."—Emily Martin, author of The Woman in the BodyAbout the Author:
Robbie E. Davis-Floyd is a cultural anthropologist specializing in medical and symbolic anthropology and gender studies. She teaches at the University of Texas.
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