Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy & Birth

Last month I finished reading and reviewing the new book from Our Bodies, Ourselves. Focused exclusively on Pregnancy & Birth, this book is a fantastic new resource! I would particularly recommend it for a first time mother.

From my review:

"Many women view the original book Our Bodies, Ourselves as an essential women’s health resource and also as a radically transformative influence in their lives. New this year from The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective is a confident volume specifically about pregnancy and birth. I hope Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy & Birth will become to pregnant women what the original book has been to women’s health and empowerment."

The book opens with a discussion about the Climate of Confidence and Climate of Doubt, which I really connected with as a way to look at the messages swirling around pregnant women today.

In addition to being a basic pregnancy book, this book also goes beyond in that it acknowledges the reality of violence against women during pregnancy and offers resources for seeking help if you are living with a violent mate. This book is also willing to address some unpopular or largely ignored subjects such as depression during pregnancy, HIV, STDS, and sexual abuse. It also has two wonderful closing chapters about advocating for changes in maternity care and advocating for mothers and families.

Regarding parental leave: "The United States is one of only five countries out of the 173 surveyed in a recent study that does not guarantee some form of paid maternity leave; the other four countries are Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland, and Papua New Guinea." (emphasis mine, because these countries are not usually one that the US really considers "trend setters" or "peers"! The US often prides itself on being a leader and a model for other countries and I think we should be embarrassed not to be doing better by our country's mothers and babies!)

No comments: