9780385497459 / 0385497458

Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood





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About the book:

With Misconceptions, Naomi Wolf again demonstrates her considerable gift for taking familiar themes and working them into contemporary, accessible forms. Having debunked the beauty industry in her highly successful debut, The Beauty Myth, her latest offering deals with the childbirth "industry"--for industry indeed it is. The horrific experiences of her own pregnancies brought home the shocking reality that childbirth is treated as a production line, with mothers being shunted along as quickly as possible. Worse, as in any other industry, expediency equals good productivity. In terms of insurance and litigation concerns, though not necessarily the interests of mothers and babies, surgical intervention is "good business sense"--the thinking behind the progressive rise in Caesareans and episiotomies in both US and British hospitals. Wolf also makes the link between the rise of Obstetrics and the parallel undermining of midwifery: the new practice having to justify itself through a disproportionate emphasis on the risks of childbirth and then offering hi-tech solutions to counter them. Charting her own personal journey, she explores society's attitudes to birth and motherhood, and how these are reflected by social and medical policy. Higher-brow peers may accuse her of pandering to populism but her combination of intimate confessional and feminist agenda makes for compelling and easily digestible reading, and as Wolf points out, Misconceptions contains a significant amount of new, in-depth research. Read it and wake up to some uncomfortable truths. --Rebecca Johnson

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