Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950

Paperback | September 1, 1993

byJudith Walzer Leavitt

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Based on personal accounts by birthing women and their medical attendants, Brought to Bed reveals how childbirth has changed from colonial times to the present. Judith Walzer Leavitt's study focuses on the traditional woman-centered home-birthing practices, their replacement by male doctors, and the movement from the home to the hospital. She explains that childbearing women and their physicians gradually changed birth places because they believedthe increased medicalization would make giving birth safer and more comfortable. Ironically, because of infection, infant and maternal mortality did not immediately decline. She concludes that birthing women held considerable power in determining labor and delivery events as long as childbirthremained in the home. The move to the hospital in the twentieth century gave the medical profession the upper hand. Leavitt also discusses recent events in American obstetrics that illustrate how women have attempted to retrieve some of the traditional women--and family--centered aspects ofchildbirth.

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Based on personal accounts by birthing women and their medical attendants, Brought to Bed reveals how childbirth has changed from colonial times to the present. Judith Walzer Leavitt's study focuses on the traditional woman-centered home-birthing practices, their replacement by male doctors, and the movement from the home to ...

Judith Walzer Leavitt is Professor of History of Medicine and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin. She is the author of The Healthiest City and editor of Women and Health in America and Sickness and Health in America.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.99 × 5.31 × 0.63 inPublished:September 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195056906

ISBN - 13:9780195056907

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"A masterful examination of the competing medical, social, and intellectual forces that shaped modern obstetric practice....A wonderful book that gives new direction to the history of women and health."--Reviews in American History