"Lying-In" by Richard W.              Wertz

Lying-In A History of Childbirth in America Expanded Edition Richard W. Wertz, Dorothy C. Wertz

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
10 Sep 1989
ISBN:
9780300040876
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
302 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
25 b-w illus.

This lively history of childbirth begins with colonial days, when childbirth was a social event, and moves on to the gradual medicalization of childbirth in America as doctors forced midwives out of business and to the home-birth movement of the 1980’s. Widely praised when it was first published in 1977, the book has now been expanded to bring the story up to date. In a new chapter and epilogue, Richard and Dorothy Wertz discuss the recent focus on delivering perfect babies, with its emphasis on technology, prenatal testing, and Caesarean sections. They argue that there are many viable alternatives—including out-of-hospital births—in the search for the best birthing system.
Review of the first edition:
“Highly readable, extensively documented, and well illustrated…A welcome addition to American social history and women’s studies. It can also be read with profit by health planners, hospital administrators, ‘consumers’ of health care, and all those who are concerned with improving the circumstances associated with childbirth.”—Claire Elizabeth Fox, bulletin of the History of Medicine
“A fascinating, brilliantly documented history not merely of childbirth, but of men’s attitudes towards women, the effect of a burgeoning medical profession on our very conception of maternity and motherhood, and the influence of religion on medical technology and science.”—Thomas J. Cottle, Boston Globe
“This superb book…is both an impeccably documented recitation of the chronological history of medical intervention in American childbirth and a sociological analysis of the various meanings given to childbirth by individuals, interested groups, and American society as a whole.”—Barbara Howe, American Journal of Sociology
Richard W. Wertz, a builder in Westport, Massachusetts, is formerly an associate professor of American history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dorothy C. Wertz, is a research professor at the School of Public Health, Boston University

"A fascinating, brilliantly documented history not merely of childbirth, but of men's attitudes towards women, the effect of a burgeoning medical profession on our very conception of maternity and motherhood, and the influence of religion on medical technology and science."—Thomas J. Cottle, Boston Globe


"A rich and balanced look at childbirth today and in the past. Its gentle critique, of the childbirth movement is well made and applies also to the trap of planning a perfect child."—Margot Edwards, R.N., M.A., Birth Journal


"The history is written in a very entertaining manner with fascinating illustrations. . . . The book is fun reading and stimulates thought about many of the controversial issues we face with so many choices today. I highly recommend the book to anyone involved with childbirth preparation on a professional or personal basis."—Gail Bursch, Journal of Obstetric and Gynecologic Physical Therapy