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Lamaze : an international history

Author: Paula A Michaels
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, USA, [2014]
Series: Oxford studies in international history.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Lamaze method is virtually synonymous with natural childbirth in America. In the 1970s, taking Lamaze classes was a common rite of passage to parenthood. The conscious relaxation and patterned breathing techniques touted as a natural and empowering path to the alleviation of pain in childbirth resonated with the feminist and countercultural values of the era. In Lamaze, historian Paula Michaels tells the
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Genre/Form: Cross-cultural studies
Named Person: Fernand Lamaze; Fernand / 1890-1957 Lamaze; Fernand Lamaze; Fernand Lamaze
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Paula A Michaels
ISBN: 9780199738649 0199738645
OCLC Number: 840803655
Description: xv, 240 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Medicalized childbirth and natural childbirth --
The Soviet method, 1936-51 --
"Science knows no borders" : psychoprophylaxis in France, 1951-56 --
"Passionate controversies" : conflict and change across Europe in the 1950s --
Lamaze goes global, 1957-67 --
American gains and global decline, 1968-80 --
Revolution or cooptation?
Series Title: Oxford studies in international history.
Responsibility: Paula A. Michaels.

Abstract:

Reveals the surprising history of the Lamaze method of childbirth, also known as psychoprophylaxis, by tracing this psychological, non-pharmacological approach to obstetric pain relief from its  Read more...

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an enjoyable and absorbing read. Michaels writes well, and because the arguments are so clearly made and provocatively posed, this would be an excellent book for gender and medicine courses at the Read more...

 
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    schema:description ""The Lamaze method is virtually synonymous with natural childbirth in America. In the 1970s, taking Lamaze classes was a common rite of passage to parenthood. The conscious relaxation and patterned breathing techniques touted as a natural and empowering path to the alleviation of pain in childbirth resonated with the feminist and countercultural values of the era. In Lamaze, historian Paula Michaels tells the surprising story of the Lamaze method from its origins in the Soviet Union in the 1940s, to its popularization in France in the 1950s, and then to its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s in the US. Michaels shows how, for different reasons, in disparate national contexts, this technique for managing the pain of childbirth without resort to drugs found a following. The Soviet government embraced this method as a panacea to childbirth pain in the face of the material and fiscal shortages that followed World War II. Heated and sometimes ideologically inflected debates surrounded the Lamaze method as it moved from East to West amid the Cold War. Physicians in France sympathetic to the communist cause helped to export it across the Iron Curtain, but politics alone fails to explain why French women embraced this approach. Arriving on American shores around 1960, the Lamaze method took on new meanings. Initially it offered a path to a safer and more satisfying birth experience, but overtly political considerations came to the fore once again as feminists appropriated it as a way to resist the patriarchal authority of male obstetricians. Drawing on a wealth of archival evidence, Michaels pieces together this complex and fascinating story at the crossroads of the history of politics, medicine, and women. The story of Lamaze illuminates the many contentious issues that swirl around birthing practices in America and Europe. Brimming with insight, Michaels' engaging history offers an instructive intervention in the debate about how to achieve humane, empowering, and safe maternity care for all women"--"@en ;
    schema:description ""Advocated as the oldest, most natural method of childbirth, Lamaze is a practice involving breathing techniques that help a woman work through contractions (psychoprophylaxis). It has been omnipresent in American culture since the 1970s, advocated by the medical community and mothers alike. While it would seem that it emerged from the back-to-the-earth culture of the 1960s and 1970s, Paula Michaels in this book reveals a shocking history: the Lamaze method was actually invented in the Cold War Soviet Union. Michaels discovers that a French obstetrician, Fernand Lamaze, saw the technique being used in Russia in the 1950s and brought it back to his maternity ward in Paris. In order to make the method more appealing to Americans, early U.S. advocates hid its Soviet origins and were able to spread it as a grassroots movement. This work involving multiple languages and archives in a range of nations promises to be eye-opening for scholars, the medical community, and general readers alike. In setting the practice of Lamaze into its context, it will shed light on the history of medicine, the history of feminism, and Cold War history"--"@en ;
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