Lamaze: An International History

Hardcover | February 28, 2014

byPaula A. Michaels

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Advocated as the oldest, most natural method of childbirth, Lamaze is a practice involving breathing techniques that help a woman work through contractions (psychoprophylaxis). It has been omnipresent in American culture since the 1970s, advocated by the medical community and mothers alike.While it would seem that it emerged from the back-to-the-earth culture of the 1960s and 1970s, Paula Michaels in this book reveals a shocking history: the Lamaze method was actually invented in the Cold War Soviet Union. Michaels discovers that a French obstetrician, Fernand Lamaze, saw thetechnique being used in Russia in the 1950s and brought it back to his maternity ward in Paris. In order to make the method more appealing to Americans, early U.S. advocates hid its Soviet origins and were able to spread it as a grassroots movement. This work involving multiple languages and archives in a range of nations promises to be eye-opening for scholars, the medical community, and general readers alike. In setting the practice of Lamaze into its context, it will shed light on the history of medicine, the history of feminism, and ColdWar history.

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Advocated as the oldest, most natural method of childbirth, Lamaze is a practice involving breathing techniques that help a woman work through contractions (psychoprophylaxis). It has been omnipresent in American culture since the 1970s, advocated by the medical community and mothers alike.While it would seem that it emerged from the b...

Paula A. Michaels teaches history in School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and is the author of Curative Powers: Medicine and Empire in Stalin's Central Asia.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199738645

ISBN - 13:9780199738649

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: Takeoff1. The Medicalization of Childbirth in the United States and Great Britain2. The Soviet Method, 1936-513. "Science Knows No Borders": Psychoprophylaxis in France, 1951-564. "Passionate Controversies": Conflict and Change in Psychprophylaxis across Europe in the 1950s5. Lamaze Goes Global, 1957-676. "Terror of Technology vs the Joy of the Natural Earth Mother Way," 1968-80Epilogue: Revolution of Cooptation?ConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex