-A +A

Ordered by Date of Review

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...

Birth and Relationships: How Your Birth Affects Your Relationships
Reviewer: Cheryl Irving
Date of Review: 10/1988

Our relationships can be clear and complete only when we dissolve our resistance to having that ideal condition. Unconscious birth memories bar the way as a closed portal on the path back to bliss.

-Fredric Lehrman (p.ix)

Thus begins this exploration into how pre- and peri-natal memories and our adult relationships are intertwined. Written both for a general audience and \rebirthers" in an anecdotal, personal style with an almost evangelical flavor, Sondra Ray and Bob Mandel delve headfirst into this most complex topic. Their information, gathered from rebirthing sessions and...

The Aware Baby. A New Approach to Parenting
Reviewer: Cheryl Irving
Date of Review: 10/1988

Here is a genuinally unorthodox approach to parenting. It's not liberal or conservative; it's not angry or euphoric; it's a feeling, open discussion of real issues that occur in the relationship of parent and baby. The big difference with this book is the emphasis on feelings both the baby's and the parent's.

Solter claims hers is an "entirely new approach to parenting" (p.2). Her inspirations were Re-Evaluation Therapy, Parent Effectiveness Training, Primal Therapy and her own experience as a mother of two. Her book is a contribution to:

a definite trend towards more aware...

Mind Over Labor
Reviewer: Sylvia Klein Olkin
Date of Review: 05/1988

Mind Over Labor is a step by step guide which uses mental imagery to help the expectant mother tap into her inner resources and strengths in order to surrender and work with labor. Jones recognizes that the body and the mind have to work in harmony in pregnancy and during labor-a truly holistic approach.

This well researched book discusses issues new on the childbirth scene such as the altered state of mind of the laboring woman. Jones concludes, "As her heart (right) brain comes to dominate the scene, the laboring woman becomes more intuitive, more 'primitive.' She also becomes...

The Awakening and Growth of the Human: Studies in Infant Mental Health
Reviewer: Thomas R Verny
Date of Review: 05/1988

The series of five tapes is aimed at an audience of clinicians, educators and researchers. I reviewed Unit 2 and Unit 4.

Unit 2. "The Psychological Dimensions of Pregnancy and Delivery"-a description of the intense but quite normal psychological work engaged in by a pregnant woman, how it changes her relationship with her mate, what difference this work makes for her future relationship with the baby, how it all comes together at labor and delivery to the benefit or detriment of the mother-infant bond, and how the father finds a place in this process and prepares for the newborn's...

Prenatal Yoga & Natural Birth Jeannine Pavati Baker
Reviewer: Beverly Stokes
Date of Review: 10/1987

This new edition of "Prenatal Yoga and Natural Birth" illustrates an intimate personalized journey into the childbirth experience. Jeannine Pavati Baker, a world renowned midwife has ritualized this experience through the use of gentle movements, sound and meditations. She has provided a variety of postures and their transitions so that each woman can choose the most effortless and efficient way of executing these movement sequences for her own particular body structure. It is important to read the physiological description of the exercises as well as looking at the photographs for the...