By Judith Walzer Leavitt
In line with own bills via birthing girls and their scientific attendants, Brought to Bed finds how childbirth has replaced from colonial occasions to the current. Judith Walzer Leavitt's research specializes in the normal woman-centered home-birthing practices, their substitute via male medical professionals, and the stream from the house to the medical institution. She explains that childbearing girls and their physicians progressively replaced beginning locations simply because they believed the elevated medicalization may make giving delivery more secure and more well-off. mockingly, as a result of an infection, boy or girl and maternal mortality didn't instantly decline. She concludes that birthing ladies held huge strength in choosing exertions and supply occasions so long as childbirth remained in the house. The stream to the health center within the 20th century gave the clinical occupation the higher hand. Leavitt additionally discusses contemporary occasions in American obstetrics that illustrate how girls have tried to retrieve a few of the conventional women--and family--centered elements of childbirth.
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Additional info for Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950
A dim bewildering Hall of pain all day— growing worse & worse and then came Heaven at last. . " In another letter to her friend she admitted that motherhood was "a sort of pendulum . . " Her second confinement brought "great bodily suffering," and her third, "the nethermost hell of bodily pain and mental blankness. . " But, she concluded in her diary, "Now that it is over—I would not for anything—give up the awfulness of it. For I am wiser in the height and the depth, for this knowledge of the almost inconceivable agony .
15 Young, vigorous, healthy women who should have been anticipating a long life instead faced the very real possibility that in creating a life they would pay with their own. Death fears remained central to women's perceptions of their birth experiences throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 16 Bessie Rudd, whose tuberculosis compounded her worries just a few years later, wrote to her husband that preparatory to her confinement she was arranging her household accounts so that he could understand them.
The ideology affected all women, although the difficulty of raising large families under conditions of poverty meant that it became particularly burdensome for poor women. In the following chapters I shall examine how women coped with their lives led under the shadow of maternity. The analysis centers on the event of childbirth itself, and it looks at how birthing women participated in changing the event, particularly after the middle of the eighteenth century when physicians first began attending normal labors and deliveries.