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Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank Kindle Edition

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EUR 11,66

Länge: 352 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
Sprache: Englisch



"[A] sharp, sassy history of childbirth... The author's engaging sarcasm, evident even in a caption of an illustration of an absurd obstetric contraption-'Nineteenth-century Italian do-it-yourself forceps. The fad never took off'-lends this chronicle a welcome punch and vitality often absent from medical histories. Roll over, Dr. Lamaze, and make room for Epstein's eyebrow-raising history."


"[An] engrossing survey of the history of childbirth."—Stephen Lowman, Washington Post

Making and having babies—what it takes to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and deliver—have mystified women and men throughout human history. The insatiably curious Randi Hutter Epstein journeys through history, fads, and fables, and to the fringe of science. Here is an entertaining must-read—an enlightening celebration of human life.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1749 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: W. W. Norton & Company; Auflage: Reprint (11. April 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Nicht aktiviert
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  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
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  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #548.568 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x9bcac870) von 5 Sternen 27 Rezensionen
16 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bef981c) von 5 Sternen Dr. Epstein delivers! 2. März 2010
Von Jean E. Pouliot - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This history of the last few hundred years of childbirth trends had all the makings of an irreverent romp through the messy business of baby-making. There are moments of hilarity and charm, but author Randi Epstein is smart enough to realize that much of the history of interventions in the childbearing business is built on untimely death and horrifying suffering. The curse of Eve -- by which theologians blithely assigned the pain of childbirth to the disobedience of our prodigal mother -- is a ready reality in this age of antiseptics and ultrasounds. Women still die bearing children, perhaps not as much in the industrialized world as elsewhere. But all must deal with the evolutionary tradeoff between big-headed babies and narrow birth canals that allow upright walking.

While gently mocking old trends (male doctors were once banned from actually watching childbirth and had to grope around blindly under sheets) Epstein is almost too fair when it comes to the ironies of modern childbirth trends. Those who choose elective C-sections vie with the hardy souls who insist on birthing without meds at all. The western cultural bias toward individuality in all things vies with the proven track record of medical practitioners whose experience with thousands of mothers gives them a leg up on the less experienced. Epstein is also fair about the midwife v. obstetrician controversy, acknowledging the disdain with which men looked down on women practitioners, but realizing that the midwives were hardly the font of natural knowledge that simpler histories might suggest. Epstein also bends over backward when telling of Dr. Marion Sims, the doctor who perfected techniques for repairing vaginal fistulas by injuring slave women, then sewing them up -- all without anesthetics. Was Sims a monster or a messiah? Epstein's answer avoids an easy solution.

"Get me out" depicts the myriad ways in which western women choose to become pregnant and to give birth. It's a book that (without saying so in so many words) conveys the suffering and pain inherent in the process of bringing new human life into the world. Captivating.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bd4bf6c) von 5 Sternen Witty and encyclopedic 31. März 2011
Von Dora Calott Wang - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
What if we view history not by the rise and fall of empires, but through the everyday experience of childbirth through time? This is the story told in "Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank,"(W.W. Norton, $15.95 paperback) by Randi Hutter-Epstein, M.D. Witty and entertaining, the book is also encyclopedic in scope. It passes muster as a work of medical history, and at the same time, provides practical information that new mothers will find valuable.

"Get Me Out" is full of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tales. To get pregnant, Catherine de Medici, France's sixteenth-century queen, was advised to drink mare's urine, and to soak her privates in cow manure and ground stag's antlers. In nineteenth century New York, post-partum women aired out their genitals on the hospital rooftop, high above Manhattan.

The book abounds with fascinating characters. We meet England's Chamberlen family, who for 200 years beginning in the 1500's, were renowned for their ability to safely deliver babies thanks to a secret family tool--forceps. In pre-Civil War United States, surgeon Marion Sims took ten postpartum slave women into his backyard, and by gruesome experimentation on their genitals, cured one of childbirth's most horrible side effects--vaginal rips that caused women to leak urine and feces, and to thus be outcast for the rest of their lives. This disabling postpartum condition is still common in developing countries, but no longer exists in the west, thanks to the anonymous slave women, and to Dr. Sims. We meet Berkeley mom and activist Pat Cody, who took on the powerful drug companies that manufactured DES (diethylstilbestrol), a synthetic hormone given to millions of women as a pregnancy enhancer, but which instead caused cancer and birth defects for children exposed in utero. We get a personal glimpse of sperm bank proprietor Dr. Cappy Rothman, who lives in a home decorated with penis sculptures, and whose California Cryobank has a masturbatorium wallpapered with porn.

The quest for healthier, pain free childbirth is one of the book's many storylines. In the Garden of Eden, Eve cheated on her diet with an apple, as the author's version of the tale goes. In this manner, the first woman incurred the sentence of painful childbirth for all women. Virtue and painful childbirth were so synonymous that in 1591 Scotland, Eufame Maclayne was burned at the stake for requesting pain relief while birthing twins. Only in the early 1900's did pain relief in childbirth become socially acceptable, reflecting a time when women discarded their corsets and danced without chaperones. Lithuanian immigrant Lane Bryant (nee Lina Himmelstein) started the first line of maternity wear. "Twilight Sleep," became a fad in which upper class American women traveled to Germany to undergo birthing while knocked out by morphine and sedatives. Backlash begat the freebirthers movement, and later, Lamaze.

"Get Me Out" also offers cautionary tales about technology and pregnancy. In the 1930's, X-rays were a routine part of prenatal exams. Even after fetal X-ray exposure was linked to leukemia in 1956, prenatal X-rays continued for another 20 years. Dr. Hutter-Epstein uses the example of X-rays to provide a context for the widespread use of prenatal ultrasounds today. "We must not forget that it took nearly half a century for the damaging effects of X-rays upon the fetus in utero to come to light," cautions Ian Donald, the very obstetrician who pioneered fetal ultrasound.

"Get Me Out" indeed covers a lot of ground. Several storylines could have been better developed. But altogether, this is a commendable book, readable yet rigorous, written by a woman with the unusual qualifications of medical journalist, an editor of the Yale Journal of Humanities and Medicine, and also, a mother of four.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9bf02060) von 5 Sternen A very good overview on many topics 8. Februar 2011
Von Jennifer Manista - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
If you are looking for a book that covers a little bit of history, some medical, some present day topics about pregnancy, labor, and conception, this book is for you. Epstein did a good job covering so many topics. That being said, if you are looking for in-depth coverage on one of the many topics she covers, her bibliography is wonderful. Each chapter (and even sub-chapters) could themselves fill a full length book. This book will keep your interest and hopefully get you to read more about the topics that interest you most.

Epstein's writing is very easy to understand and the book itself was very easy to read. The only thing I didn't like was the overuse of footnotes. Now, I understand the function of the footnotes, but in my opinion, when the footnote spans half a page, it warrants it's own paragraph in the main text. I find it distracting when footnotes are used like this.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9c14d780) von 5 Sternen Everything I'm Glad No One Told Me Before I Got Pregnant! 24. September 2012
Von 7DogNight - Veröffentlicht auf
As a 64-year-old mother and grandmother, childbirth is a subject I rarely give any amount of thought to exploring. However, I have a daughter whose education and career includes child development and this book came to her attention. She passed it to me with full assurance that I would enjoy the read. It took me several months to even open it, but I'm glad I did.

The author touches on the history of child birthing practices, beliefs, etc from ancient times to the present. She keeps the ancient history brief and easy to read. I enjoyed reading the history - found it fascinating. I'm so glad I didn't live back then and have to give birth! Even though this book's handling of the history is very brief, she gives enough details and references that it would be easy to delve into any additional areas I might want to explore. She does a good job of setting the stage for what will follow.

I found the author to be even handed and she does a good job of refraining from judgment for practices that border on the criminal in my mind. Her perspective was not to be judge and jury, but to inform and give perspective on how our culture has arrived at where we are today in this field. As she approaches modern times, the information is more detailed and consequently more troubling. However, she continues to inform rather than indict.

For women who are at this time of life and having to work their way through making decisions for themselves and their unborn babies, I think this is an especially good book. It should help to give some sense of context and perspective to the many decisions that they will need to make. The bulk of the book deals with more modern issues and situations that will be more relevant to today's prospective mothers.

For those of us who have already traveled this road, it makes for a quick and interesting journey through womankind's common history.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9beffeac) von 5 Sternen Detailed medical stories of details on modern birth 22. März 2013
Von Michael B. Sprague - Veröffentlicht auf
A charming intro book a Md author describing details, rather scary & only 2 chaps on 'Its Only Natural' & 'Freebirthers' very honest, clear & often deep reporting. But its mostly on medial delivery birth stories, lacks the modern US homebirthing frontier having multi conflicts between Mds drugs & surgery. Even attacking homebirth as dangerous. She exposes 'The 'Sperm bank' & embryo fertilizing is very 'Brave New World' of artificial sex for sterile &or toxic parents needing conception.

She ignores how US midwifery at home is very organized & hidden behind wall of secrets from mass media, public schools, most colleges & patients of obstetrics doing 'normal' not natural birth most Mds don't know. They're busy rescuing mothers laboring in fears of pain & opening up, letting go in hi stress from unhealthy unnatural toxic living in cities unaware of organic health & Maternal Instincts. We lost healthy & birthing instincts in medical delivery, bottle feeding & not bonding together in family bed, massage. Plus the secret Md 'gag orders' against natural birthing instincts in most medical & nursing schools, & media. Except on YouTube many vids of courageous mothers delivering babies at home with midwives, fathers & even children present at home water birthing, amazing, inspiring & loving there.
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