Sharing Space 5,4

Publication Date: 
05/1991

Janet Isaacs Ashford is prolific in a way that our readership should become aware. Janet took her B.A. in psychology from UCLA and has published Childbirth Alternatives Quarterly for nine years (1979-1988). She is the editor of The Whole Birth Catalog (1983) and Birth Stories (1984). At the moment she works as a computer designer and writes about computer graphics. Her three children are 13, 10 and 2. More to the point, Janet has written several pamphlets of interest to our readers. In one, entitled \"Mothers and Midwives: A History of Traditional Childbirth\" (20 pages, 45 illustrations, $7.95), she presents a profusely illustrated history of childbirth through the ages, including some ethnographic materials about birth in other cultures, and a helpful bibliography of resources on the history of childbirth. In the pamphlet entitled \"Midwives\" (4 pages, $2.00), she gives a brief history of midwifery and covers the modern revival of birth attendants. This is also accompanied by a bibliography. In \"George Engelmann and 'Primitive' Birth\" (16 pages, 29 illustrations, $6.00), Janet discusses the harmful \"lithotomy\" position of giving birth, and surveys the findings of 19th century physician, George Engelmann, pertaining to other, more empowering positions. The work is full of excellent line drawings of various birthing postures, and incorporates yet another useful bibliography. Finally, Janet has written a parody entitled \"Natural Love\" (25 pages, $4.00) about a couple, Kate and Sam, who experience making love in a hospital. They take a class in \"prepared love,\" and are admitted to the hospital's \"natural love room.\" But somehow things go awry and their love must be mechanically resolved. The story is a funny, provocative and ultimately tragic parody on the interface between nature and technology. All of these pamphlets may be purchased directly from the author at 327 Glenmont Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075, USA.

Charles Laughlin