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Ordered by Date of Review

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child
Reviewer: Nancy Elisabeth George
Date of Review: 10/1994

Nancy Newton Verrier is the mother of two daughters, one adopted, the other biological. She admits thinking "What can a tiny baby know?" was a naive, fallacious assumption on her part at the time she decided to adopt. Twenty-three years later, she has learned tiny babies know much more than she once supposed. Her awareness that her adopted daughter found it dangerous to love and to be loved since she could not trust that she would not be abandoned again led her to ten years of research. Verrier learned during her research that her daughter's testing-out behavior was one of the two polar-...

The American Way of Birth
Reviewer: Robbie Davis-Floyd
Date of Review: 03/1994

Jessica Mitford has gifted us with a witty and incisive exposé of the politics and economics of American birthways. The writing of this carefully researched book-three years in the making-took her on a quest across the American cultural landscape in search of the ironic, the mechanistic, the exploitative, and the hopeful dimensions of American birth.

Her own four birth experiences, with which she begins her book, provide a microcosmic mirror of birth's 20th-century technological transformations, as they "progress" from her tranquil home birth in Britain in 1937 to increasingly...

Positive Parenting Fitness: A Total Approach to Caring for the Physical and Emotional Needs of Your New Family
Reviewer: Jeannine Parvati Baker
Date of Review: 12/1993

The post-partum period has been somewhat neglected in our post-modern culture-with childbirth education and obstetrics more focused on the big event, birth, there exists a real need for after birth education for new parents. More often than not, young parents are away from extended family and on their own. Without grandparents living in the home, where can new parents tap into a wisdom tradition that serves the psychological needs of the changing family?

Sylvia Klein Olkin gives us A Total Approach to Caring for the Physical and Emotional Needs of Your New Family in her latest book...

Visualizations for an Easier Childbirth
Reviewer: Sylvia Klein Olkin
Date of Review: 05/1991

In Visualizations for an Easier Childbirth, Carl Jones has collected a wonderful assortment of meditations and visualizations for childbirth. The joyous themes of the poetry exemplify a healthy, holistic and healing approach for enjoying the pregnancy and birth experience.

The book is written for consumers-couples who are preparing for childbirth. In its brief 84 pages, it offers many suggestions about how to use visualizations, how fathers can be involved with helping mom's concentration and the potential for enhancing prenatal bonds between mother and baby in utero through mental...

Early Parenthood: Heaven or Hell
Reviewer: Marilyn McKnight
Date of Review: 03/1991

In Early Parenthood: Heaven or Hell Dr. Beverley Chalmers describes some of the ways that women react to the experiences of conception, pregnancy, birth, and the period of early infant care. The author strives to present a balanced non-idealized view of early parenthood. A central theme in the book is that choices associated with early parenthood are best made on an individual basis. For example, in the 'Preface' the author makes the following statement:

"There is no one way, or 'right' way, to have a baby. Each person's experience of birth is different. What is 'right' for one...

The Tentative Pregnancy: Prenatal Diagnosis and the Future of Motherhood/Reflections: On Hard Work
Reviewer: Marilyn McKnight
Date of Review: 03/1991

Reflections: On Hard Work B.K. Rothman (1986b). Qualitative Sociology 9(1), 48-53

Amniocentesis is a prenatal diagnostic technique used to detect genetic disorders in fetuses. Barbara Katz Rothman has written an evocative book, The Tentative Pregnancy: Prenatal Diagnosis and the Future of Motherhood, in which she discusses some of the ramifications of the procedure for women and society. She writes sensitively about women who have used the test. Rothman's fieldwork, which forms the back-bone of the project, includes extensive interviews with women and medical professionals. The...

Mourning Unlived Lives
Reviewer: Kelduyn R Garland
Date of Review: 12/1990

This book is an excellent applied theoretical treatise for mental health professionals on the factors influencing bereavement as relates to the impact and dynamics their clients/patients experience with reproductive perinatal loss (miscarriage, still births, neonatal death). As a person who has also sustained many losses in her life, including a perinatal loss, Ms. Savage sensitively presents the intrapsychic conflicts couples (especially mothers) experience, as well as the difficulty they encounter, in resolving such a loss because of the lack of history Qength of time) and a concretized...

School-Age Pregnancy and Parenthood: Biosocial Dimensions
Reviewer: Robbie Davis-Floyd
Date of Review: 12/1990

In this important book, the biosocial perspective employed by the authors attempts to integrate what is known about teenage pregnancy in this and other cultures with evolutionary data on mammalian and human physiological development. The 32 essays, drawn from the biological, behavioral, and social sciences, are organized into four major sections: 'The Life Cycle and Biological Development"; "Development: Emotional, Cognitive, and Sexual"; "Comparative Dimensions: Species, History, and Culture"; and "The Modern World." Each section challenges a number of common Western assumptions about the...

The Tentative Pregnancy: Prenatal Diagnosis and the Future of Motherhood
Reviewer: Marilyn McKnight
Date of Review: 12/1990

Amniocentesis is a prenatal diagnostic technique used to detect genetic disorders in fetuses. The procedure involves an amniotic tap, usually performed during the sixteenth week of pregnancy. The test results are available about four weeks later. If the test results indicate a genetic defect in the fetus, then the parents may decide to have an abortion.

Barbara Katz Rothman has written a provocative book, The Tentative Pregnancy: Prenatal Diagnosis and the Future of Motherhood, in which she discusses some of the implications of amniocentesis for women and society. According to...

The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction
Reviewer: Robbie Davis-Floyd
Date of Review: 12/1990

As anthropology at its best can do, this book exposes hidden cultural assumptions about the nature of reality. Martin has produced a powerful study of the dialectic between medical metaphors for women's reproductive processes and women's own views of those processes. She and her associates interviewed 165 white and black women, seeking a balance between the three life stages of puberty, childbearing, and menopause. 43% of her interviewees were working-class; 57% middleclass. Early on Martin came up against one of the greatest dangers of studying one's own society. Hearing women discuss...

Making Sense of Adoption, A Parent's Guide
Reviewer: Betty Jean Lifton
Date of Review: 05/1990

Making Sense of Adoption is an apt title. We live at a time when few things make sense, so why should adoption? Like many things in society, it, too, is unravelling.

Lois Melina, an adoptive mother of two, has taken on the formidable task of guiding us through the malfunctioning closed adoption system. She takes up issues that just weren't discussed when the system was securely sealed-that is before the pill and legal abortion dried up the baby market, and babies like myself grew up to expose the psychological damage caused to parent and child alike by the closed system.


Maternity, Medicine and Power: Reproductive Decisions in Urban Benin. Carolyn Fishel Sargent. Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care, Vol. 22
Reviewer: Robbie Davis-Floyd
Date of Review: 05/1990

This book constitutes a major step forward in the understanding of a process that is affecting every Third World nation: the wholesale adoption of an imported Western model of birth. The deplorable lack in the ethnographic literature of good cross-cultural studies of women and reproduction will soon be eliminated if more studies like this one are forthcoming.

Sargent's study primarily concerns the factors that influence birth decisions made by the women of one particular ethnic group in northern Benin, the Bariba. Much of the value of this research lies in her skillful comparison of...

Der ühe Abschied: Eine Deutung des Plözlichen Kindstodes (The early Farewell: An interpretation of the Sudden Infant Death)
Reviewer: Veronica Gradl
Date of Review: 12/1989

In this small volume the author examines the Sudden Infant Death, this uncanny, inexplicable and increasing silent dying of apparently healthy infants. He integrates the findings of over a hundred studies with his own understanding of the observations emerging out of 20 interviews with parents whose children succumbed or narrowly escaped this affliction.

What moved me most about this book is the sober passion with which Arno Gruen advances the integrity and actuality of the child's aliveness: irrespective of what he is dealing with, whether brainphysiological processes, anatomical...

Holding Time
Reviewer: Arno Gruen
Date of Review: 12/1989

A profound theme weaves through Martha Welch's short but incisive book: The need for love can call forth the terrors associated with its denial in one's past. As a consequence, the very possibilities of love and of physical intimacy being fulfilled arouse anger and even violence.

Welch writes simply, poignantly, and beautifully about this basic human dilemma. She makes us understand an underlying fundamental misconception, by describing a child's angry rejection of its mother after a separation. "Where have you been when I wanted you" is the child's outcry when the mother returns....

The Betrayal of the Self
Reviewer: Martha G Welch
Date of Review: 12/1989

In his psychoanalytical study of human behavior, Arno Gruen demonstrates how a child is forced into destruction of the true self in a quest for power by being deprived of basic love and security in the mother-child relationship. He rejects the accepted idea of autonomy as "the freedom of constantly having to prove to ourselves and others how strong and superior we are" but defines it as "having access to lifeaffirming emotions, to feelings of joy, sorrow, pain-in short, to a sense of being truly alive."

Gruen sees parents projecting their own learned hostility and aggression onto...

Babies Remember Birth
Reviewer: Thomas R Verny
Date of Review: 03/1989

This is David Chamberlain's long awaited book about the mind and personality of newborns. It is the result of a decade of painstaking work, collecting hundreds of pieces of research on the newborn and unborn child and his own pioneering studies on hypnotic regression of mother and child dyads. Babies Remember Birth is a wonderfully caring and humane book with a strong spiritual bent. Reading this book one begins not only to appreciate but admire the mind of the newborn.

Two excerpts will illustrate this point.

I felt I knew a lot-I really did. I thought I was pretty...

Having a baby in Europe
Reviewer: Anonymous
Date of Review: 03/1989

Why should Europe concern itself with women having babies? Has modern medicine not solved all the problems? After all, maternal mortality in Europe is very low and perinatal mortality is reasonably low. But a live baby is not enough. It is often forgotten that most pregnant women in Europe could have a completely uncomplicated pregnancy and birth, and a healthy newborn baby without any medical intervention. The growth of alternative birth services testifies to the sense of dissatisfaction felt in many European countries to the medicalization of birth by the official health system.


Knowing The Unborn (Video)
Reviewer: Thomas R Verny
Date of Review: 03/1989

This 29 min. video is based on interviews the two authors/producers conducted at the III International PPPANA Congress in San Francisco last year. It is an excellent introduction to the subject of the amazing unborn and the communication that exists between him/her and pregnant mother. It is surely a reflection on the quality of this video that it is already being used in:

* Lamaze classes

* LAC/USC childbirth classes (the largest OB service in the country)

* A crisis pregnancy agency

* A state health department in its training of RNs who teach childbirth...

A Gift for the Unborn Children
Reviewer: Thomas R Verny
Date of Review: 12/1988

In my opinion this is one of the best, possibly the best video ever made on Prenatal Education. The producers started with a simple formula: interview some of the leading experts attending the 2nd International PPPANA Congress in San Diego in 1985. However, not only did they edit these interviews superbly so that every word really says something but more importantly they succeeded in capturing on celluloid these experts' deep caring for the humanity of the unborn child and the pregnant mother.

Yet this is not a bunch of interviews strung together with a few clever phrases by a...

Pre- and Perinatal Psychology
Reviewer: Carl Jones
Date of Review: 12/1988

A collection of 18 fascinating articles, this book is an ideal introduction to a subject which should interest all childbirth professionals. These articles were originally presented as papers at a landmark conference sponsored by the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PP/PANA) in Toronto, Ontario in 1983.

Among subjects covered are: evidence of consciousness at birth; bonding; underwater birth; the phenomenon of memory; infantile amnesia; the embryological development of the auditory system and its influence on the unborn's mind; new psychotherapeutic...