Childbirth Wisdom: From the World's Oldest Societies

Childbirth Wisdom: From the World's Oldest Societies

by Judith Goldsmith
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This book restores to women the legacy of their foremothers--the childbirth wisdom developed over the ages, throughout the world, by women in cultures other than our own. Author Judith Goldsmith set out to recover what came before the high-tech practices of modern medicine. Now, for today's mothers, she conveys the customs, practices, and lore passed from woman to woman in the world's traditional societies. Here are remarkable stories of pregnancy, childbirth, and nurturing--the Japanese woman who knows she is pregnant by the increased strength of her pulse..the Tiv mother who delivers her child in a specially constructed birth chair...the Ibo woman lovingly massaging her newborn according to an ancient procedure. In her examination of nearly 500 cultures, the author found pregnancy to be a time of excellent physical and mental health, often with an emphasis on physical activity throughout pregnancy to facilitate delivery. In Uganda, for example, a pregnant woman works in the fields until contractions begin and occasionally lifts a moderately heavy burden--a waterpot or bundle of firewood--to stimulate and shorten labor. Among the Tlinget of Alaska, as in many traditional societies, labor lasts no longer than two or three hours. Many tribal peoples, including the Negritos of the Philippines, are able to diagnose and correct a breech birth through the technique of massage. And for the Siriono of Bolivia, childbirth is a joyful public event. Childbirth Wisdom will fascinate both the layperson and the professional. The author's observations--on such topics as diet and prenatal care, midwifery, massage during delivery, birth position, and breast-feeding--are certain to affect permanently the way we all view pregnancy and childbirth, and add a new dimension to the theories of Lamaze and Leboyer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781733927611
Publisher: Closing the Circle Productions
Publication date: 04/05/2019
Pages: 314
Sales rank: 613,163
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction xi

Preface xiii


CHAPTER 1 She Seizes a Belly: Pregnancy in Tribal Societies 1

CHAPTER 2 She Who Hatches: A Normal Tribal Birth 17

CHAPTER 3 Comadre of the Earth: The Work of the Midwife and Care of the Mother in Difficult Tribal Birth 43

CHAPTER 4 Out of the Darkness: Care of the Newborn 56

CHAPTER 5 The Womb Enters Its Cradle: Recovery Care of the Mother 69

CHAPTER 6 Not Yet a Child Among the Peoples: The Connection Between Mother and Child During Nursing 92

INTERLUDE A New Stranger Has Come: Ceremonies of Childbirth 128

CHAPTER 7 The Modern Way of Birth 134

CHAPTER 8 The Path Not (Yet) Taken: How to Be Healthy Though Civilized 173

CHAPTER 9 In the Native Way: The Clash of Cultures 188

Appendix 207

Glossary 211

How to Use the Notes and Bibliography 215

Notes 217

Bibliography 261

Index 283

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