Childbirth Across Cultures: Ideas and Practices of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Postpartum

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Helaine Selin
Springer Netherlands, Dec 1, 2009 - Social Science - 314 pages
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This book will explore the childbirth process through globally diverse perspectives in order to offer a broader context with which to think about birth. We will address multiple rituals and management models surrounding the labor and birth process from communities across the globe.

Labor and birth are biocultural events that are managed in countless ways. We are particularly interested in the notion of power. Who controls the pregnancy and the birth? Is it the hospital, the doctor, or the in-laws, and in which cultures does the mother have the control? These decisions, regarding place of birth, position, who receives the baby and even how the mother may or may not behave during the actual delivery, are all part of the different ways that birth is conducted.

One chapter of the book will be devoted to midwives and other birth attendants. There will also be chapters on the Evolution of Birth, on Women’s Birth Narratives, and on Child Spacing and Breastfeeding.

This book will bring together global research conducted by professional anthropologists, midwives and doctors who work closely with the individuals from the cultures they are writing about, offering a unique perspective direct from the cultural group.

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