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Reading Requirements - Birth, Culture &

Society

Birth & Postpartum Doulas must read 3 books,
Childbirth Educators and Breastfeeding Counselors must read 5 books

You can choose any books from the full reading list - categories are on the left

Books on birth, culture and society


Ethnography of Fertility and Birth

Author: Carol P. MacCormack

CBI Review: An interesting insight into the cultural aspects of childbirth in several different cultures. Well researched although a little heavy to read in places.

CBI Ratings:
Supportive of choice:
Easy to read:
Evidence based:


Mother and Child: Visions of Parenting from Indigenous Cultures

Author: Jan Reynolds

Editorial Reviews: "The photographs are remarkable for their intimacy and beauty, but what is important about her books is Jan Reynolds's sincere sense of the majesty of the world's people. By sharing an empathetic and unsentimental glimpse of them, she gives us all a great gift." --The New York Times
"Reynolds' respect for both the indigenous peoples and the land itself is evident as she shares her discovery of how a deep connection with the natural world strengthens the primal nature of the mother-child bond. . . . This little book is a treasure. A delight to look at, a pleasure to read--and to share with your children." --The Wellspring Guide


Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

Author: Meredith Small

Amazon Review: Small asserts that our ideas about how to raise our kids are as much a result of our culture as our biology, and that, in fact, many of the values we place on child-rearing practices are based in culture rather than biology. Small writes, "Every act by parents, every goal that molds that act, has a foundation in what is appropriate for that particular culture. In this sense, no parenting style is 'right' and no style is 'wrong.' It is appropriate or inappropriate only according to the culture." Our Babies, Ourselves is a wonderful read for anyone interested in the social sciences, and will be especially meaningful to those swept up in the wild adventure of parenting.


Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species

Author: Sarah Hrdy

Other Languages: German

Amazon Review: Hrdy's passion for this material is evident, and she is deeply aware of the personal stake she has here as a woman, a mother, and a professional. This highly accomplished author relies on her own extensive research background as well as the works of others in multiple disciplines (anthropology, primatology, sociobiology, psychology, and even literature). Despite the exhaustive documentation given to her conclusions (as witness the 140-plus-page notes and bibliography sections), the book unfolds in an exceptionally lucid, readable, and often humorous manner. It is a truly compelling read, highly recommended.


Kids: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Raise Our Children

Author: Meredith Small

Editorial Review: "Where her previous book explored the way culture shapes parenting during an infant's first year, this sequel examines the impact of culture on children's development of language, knowledge, moral reasoning, social roles and gender identity. She observes some disparities between "expert" and parental knowledge: apparently child development researchers assume "that kids all over the world are essentially the same," yet even among parents in the West, "[t]here is no consensus on the nature of the child."  Although Small's book is admirably ambitious, it is science lite and may frustrate any reader who has given serious thought to its subject." --Publishers Weekly


A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies

Editor: Judy S. DeLoache & Alma Gottlieb

Editorial Review: "This unusual compilation makes for much more fascinating reading than would a strict narrative about international child-rearing practices. The editors (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) present seven societies by way of fictional childcare manuals in the manner of Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care. Some of the imaginary advisers cited are based on real people (e.g., grandmothers) whom new parents might consult. In some cases, the authors present their own field studies while cautioning that these are "in no way intended to advise members of these societies on how to raise their children." The point is not to prescribe from the conceit of Western society but to report how different cultures view child rearing." --Library Journal


Negotiating Reproductive Rights

Editor: Rosalind Petchesky, Karen Judd & IRRRAG

Editorial Review: "This is an extraordinary book--the result of a carefully nurtured process of cross-cultural collaboration and consultation. As such, it is a unique resource on one of the most challenging and contentious social issues of our time. The voices and experiences of women, their strengths and diversity, are captured here." --Adrienne Germaine, International Women's Health Coalition


The Social Context Of Birth

Author: Caroline Squire

Amazon Description: This comprehensive guide provides an understanding of the impact of social circumstances on women giving birth, their babies, and families in the 21st century. Written by a team of experienced midwives and health professionals, it also covers contentious areas of maternity care, such as new reproductive technologies and the concept of fetal surveillance. Overall, it provides an essential understanding of how social issues can affect the birth process, and will be invaluable reading for pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, public health specialists.


Childbirth in the Global Village

Author: Dawn Hillier

Amazon Description: In this new book, Dawn Hillier compares the experiences of mothers and midwives in America and England with those in Africa and Malaysia. Through vivid descriptions of actual births and careful examination of the local, national and international contexts in which they take place, she explores the roles of culture, policy and the academy in the promotion of political ideals about how human beings should come into this world. Childbirth in the Global Village will resonate with the experiences of midwives everywhere and makes a strong case for redesigning the midwifery curriculum to reflect the interconnectedness of childbirth, midwifery education and practice around the globe.


Birth in Four Cultures: A Crosscultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden, and the United States

Author: Brigitte Jordan

CBI Review: An interesting comparison of childbirth in four different cultures - Yucatan, The Netherlands, Sweden and the USA.

CBI Ratings:
Supportive of choice:
Easy to read:
Evidence based:


Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Author: Robbie E. Davis-Floyd

CBI Review: A series of essays on childbirth across cultures. Interesting, although sometimes heavy reading.

CBI Ratings:
Supportive of choice:
Easy to read:
Evidence based:

Books in Other Categories

Pregnancy
Prenatal Testing
Childbirth Education
Labor & Birth
Doula Support
Pain in Labor
Alternatives to Hospital Birth
Parenting
Fatherhood
Sleep Issues
Depression
Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Politics
Communication & Counseling
Midwives Tales
Grief & Loss
Disability & Abnormality
Evidence-Based Care
Birth Politics
Birth, Culture & Society
Cesarean & VBAC
Fertility & Infertility
Anatomy & Physiology
Other Languages
Printable list of all books
Summary list to print

"I really thought it was very in-depth and educating. I was surprised how in-depth some of the information was, especially concerning the physiology manual. Who knew there were so many parts to a pelvis?!" - Kacy, Tennessee

 
 
     
 
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