Contents
I.  Woman-Centered Pregnancy And Birth
II. Enter the Doctor: The Attack On
Woman-Centered Pregnancy And Birth

III. Self-Defense To Maintain Woman-Centered Pregnancy and Birth
1.  Self-Help: Key to Understanding the Changes Our Bodies Go Through Pregnancy

2.  First, You Have To Get Pregnant
Determination of Pregnancy • Signs of Pregnancy • Difficulty Getting Pregnant: A Medical Problem? • Donor Insemination

3.  Healthy Pregnancy
Woman-Centered Answers to Women's Common Questions • How To Stay Out of the Obstetrician's Office • Taking the Mystery Out of the Prenatal Visit

4.  The Biggest Job Your Body Has Ever Done . . . Or Will Do
When Labor Begins • Active Labor • Transition
5.  Birth: Life Process Or Medical Event?
(How We Lost Power: The Medical Takeover of Childbirth)The Medical Takeover of Childbirth • Obstetricians and Hospitals Oppose Home Birth and Midwives

6.  Medical Intervention
Toxemia: A Physician-Induced Nutritional Disease • Ultrasound: Still Experimental • Amniocentesis: Not Always Worth the Ham • Oxytocin Challenge Test • Keeping the Family Out of Birth • Artificial Induction of Labor: Hazardous and Overused • Withholding Food from Laboring Mothers • Electronic Monitors: Humans are Still Better than Machines • Drugs During Labor: Dangerous and Ineffective • Giving Birth on a Delivery Table • Episiotomy: Senseless Mutilation of the Clitoris • Forceps and Vacuum Extractor: Seldom Necessary • Cesarean Deliveries: Alarming Increase • Infant Intervention



7.  High Risk Factors: Scare Tactics or Realistic Worries?
Absurd and Unproven Risk Factors o regnancy-Related Health Problems • Diabetes: Complications Usually Preventable • inadequate Nutrition and Health Habits:  endangering the Baby • Rubella and Other Viral Infections: Sometimes Affect Fetal Development • Previous Cervical Trauma: Rare and Treatable • Blood Incompatibility Between the Woman and the Fetus: Preventable, treatable, and Seldom Serious • Anemia Overtreated o Urinary Tract Infection: Home Remedies are Helpful • A Small Pelvis: Impossible to Predict • Bleeding After 12 Weeks: Possible Placental Separation • Low Weight Gain: High Quality Diet Prevents Complications • Excessive Amniotic Fluid (Polyhydramnios): Practically Nonexistent • Rise in Blood Pressure: In Itself, Not Sign of Toxemia • Herpes • Severe Nausea (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) • Having Had A Cesarean: Not "Once a Cesarean Always a Cesarean" • Twins: experienced Birth Attendant Important • Dry Labor (Early Rupture of the Amniotic Sac): Overrated Threat • Unusual Position of the Baby During Labor: Requires Skilled Birth Attendant • Dilation of the Cervix Slows Down or Stops (Cervical Dystocia): Midwifery Skills Crucial • Meconium in the Amniotic Fluid: Amount Determines Risk Complications • Prolonged Labor: Progress, Not Arbitrary Time Limits • Premature Labor: A Threat to the Baby's Health • Severe Rise or Fall in the Baby's Heartbeat: Signs of Distress • Prolapsed Cord: Serious and Unanticipated • Uterine Rupture: Physician-Caused Tragedy • Cord Around the Baby's Neck: Almost Always Not a Complication • Excessive Bleeding After the Birth: Much Feared But Treatable • Summary of Risk Factors and Complications

8.  Making the Best of Available Options
Choosing a Setting and a Birth Attendant • Home Birth • Birth in the Hospital • Birth Centers

9.  Fight Back
Prenatal Self-Help Clinic • National Home Birth Organizations • National Umbrella Organizations • Feminist Groups • MOTHER • WATCH Inspection • The Future


WOMAN-CENTERED PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
By Ginny Cassidy-Brinn, R.N., Francie Hornstein, and Carol Downer
Federation of Feminist Women's Health Center
Illustrations by Suzann Gage

A key to understanding pregnancy from an empowered feminist perspective. Gives women questions they can ask and ways to evaluate their options in childbirth.

Although the book’s information was correct at the time it was written, over the intervening years, research has provided new knowledge and interventions. Just as when the book was written, the benefits of these newer interventions are often overstated by physicians and they are not right for everyone.

We Recommend: Molly Remer's "What to Expect When You Go to the Hospital for a Natural Childbirth" - which picks up where "Woman-Centered Pregnancy and Birth" leaves off.  Download and share THIS reformatted leaflet: PDF

PDF's
WHWH | SELF-HELP | OUR ANATOMY/OUR SEXUALITY | STAYING WELL | OUR BIRTH CONTROL

ABORTION | OUR PERIODS | OUR HISTORY | CALL TO ACTION | LIBRARY | ARCHIVE

CONTACT US | BIRTHING OUR BABIES | ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS | RELATED LINKS


WOMEN'S HEALTH IN WOMEN'S HANDS
2250 Fair Park Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90041 (323) 960-5026 Fax (323) 960-5026
whwh@womenshealthinwomenshands.org



Womens Health in
W
omens Hands
FEMINIST CLASSIC