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

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Helaine Selin
Springer, Dec 1, 2009 - Social Science - 314 pages

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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A fascinating look at how different countries and cultures approach, and attempt to control, childbirth, and an exploration of how some traditions persist while the American medical model of childbirth is exported around the world.

Contents

An Evolutionary Perspective
1
Breastfeeding and Child Spacing
23
Their Stories
33
A History of Western Medicine Labor and Birth
40
Childbirth in China
55
Childbirth Among Hong Kong Chinese
70
Childbirth in Korea
77
Childbirth in Japan
85
Pregnancy Childbirth and Traditional Beliefs and Practices in Chiang Mai Northern Thailand
175
Childbirth Experience in the Negev The Southern Region of Israel
185
The Role of Midwives
194
Childbirth in Zimbabwe
205
Childbirth in Nigeria
214
Individual Family Community
221
Surviving the Womens Battle
229
Childbirth Experiences in Malawi
235

A Sacramental Theory of Childbirth in India
95
The Politics of Bodily Knowledge
107
Constructions of Birth in Bangladesh
123
Womens Role and DecisionMaking Power
136
Knowledge Perspectives and Practices
145
Thirty Days Confinement in Hmong Culture
161
A Bridge Between the Past and the Future
245
Childbirth in the Mayan Communities
255
Converting Birth on Simbo Western Solomon Islands
265
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women
275
Biographies of the Authors
287
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