Pregnant with the Stars
by Renée Cramer
Stanford University Press, 2015
"Check out that baby bump!" Online and print magazines, television shows, and personal blogs are awash with gossip and speculation about pregnant celebrities. What drives our cultural obsession with celebrity baby bumps? Pregnant with the Stars examines the American fascination with, and judgment of, celebrity pregnancy, and exposes how our seemingly innocent interest in "baby bumps" actually reinforces troubling standards about femininity, race, and class, while increasing the surveillance and regulation of all women in our society.

This book charts how the American understanding of pregnancy has evolved by examining pop culture coverage of the pregnant celebrity body. Investigating and comparing the media coverage of pregnant celebrities, including Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé Knowles, Kristen Bell, M.I.A., Jodie Foster, and Mila Kunis, Renée Cramer shows us how women are categorized and defined by their pregnancies. Their stories provide a paparazzi-sized lens through which we can interpret a complex set of social and legal regulations of pregnant women.

Cramer exposes how cultural ideas like the "rockin' post-baby body" are not only unattainable; they are a means of social control. Combining cultural and legal analysis, Pregnant with the Stars uncovers a world where pregnant celebrities are governed and controlled alongside the recent, and troubling, proliferation of restrictive laws aimed at women in the realm of reproductive justice and freedom. Cramer asks each reader and cultural consumer to recognize that the seeing, judging, and discussion of the "baby bump" isn't merely frivolous celebrity gossip—it is an act of surveillance, commodification, and control.

See More
1
The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer
by Jimmy Carter
illustrated by Amy Carter
University of Arkansas Press, 2014
“Once upon a time there was a little boy named Jeremy who lived with his mother in a small house near the sea. His mother earned a bare living for the two of them by washing clothes for some of the wealthy families in their town. Jeremy loved her very much.” So begins the enchanting fairy tale president Jimmy Carter first spun for his daughter Amy as a child. Originally published in 1995, this favorite family story has been joined with Amy Carter’s vibrant illustrations to bring to life a secret friendship that produces unexpected rewards when tragedy looms in a young boy’s life.
See More
2
Birth Quake
by Diane J. Macunovich
University of Chicago Press, 2002
Between 1965 and 1985, the Western world and the United States in particular experienced a staggering amount of social and economic change. In Birth Quake, Diane J. Macunovich argues that the common thread underlying all these changes was the post-World War II baby boom—in particular, the passage of the baby boomers into young adulthood.

Macunovich focuses on the pervasive effects of changes in "relative cohort size," the ratio of young to middle-aged adults, as masses of young people tried to achieve the standard of living to which they had become accustomed in their parents' homes despite dramatic reductions in their earning potential relative to that of their parents. Macunovich presents the results of detailed empirical analyses that illustrate how varied and important cohort effects can be on a wide range of economic indicators, social factors, and even on more tumultuous events including the stock market crash of 1929, the "oil shock" of 1973, and the "Asian flu" of the 1990s. Birth Quake demonstrates that no discussion of business or economic trends can afford to ignore the effects of population.
See More
3
addicted.pregnant.poor
by Kelly Ray Knight
Duke University Press, 2015
For the addicted, pregnant, and poor women living in daily-rent hotels in San Francisco's Mission district, life is marked by battles against drug cravings, housing debt, and potential violence. In this stunning ethnography Kelly Ray Knight presents these women in all their complex humanity and asks what kinds of futures are possible for them given their seemingly hopeless situation. During her four years of fieldwork Knight documented women’s struggles as they traveled from the street to the clinic, jail, and family court, and back to the hotels. She approaches addicted pregnancy as an everyday phenomenon in these women's lives and describes how they must navigate the tension between pregnancy's demands to stay clean and the pull of addiction and poverty toward drug use and sex work. By creating the space for addicted women's own narratives and examining addicted pregnancy from medical, policy, and social science perspectives, Knight forces us to confront and reconsider the ways we think about addiction, trauma, health, criminality, and responsibility. 
 
See More
4
The Rhetoric of Pregnancy
by Marika Seigel
foreword by Jane Pincus
University of Chicago Press, 2013
It is a truth widely acknowledged that if you’re pregnant and can afford one, you’re going to pick up a pregnancy manual. From What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Pregnancy for Dummies, these guides act as portable mentors for women who want advice on how to navigate each stage of pregnancy. Yet few women consider the effect of these manuals—how they propel their readers into a particular system of care or whether the manual they choose reflects or contradicts current medical thinking.
Using a sophisticated rhetorical analysis, Marika Seigel works to deconstruct pregnancy manuals while also identifying ways to improve communication about pregnancy and healthcare. She traces the manuals’ evolution from early twentieth-century tomes that instructed readers to unquestioningly turn their pregnancy management over to doctors, to those of the women’s health movement that encouraged readers to engage more critically with their care, to modern online sources that sometimes serve commercial interests as much as the mother’s.

The first book-length study of its kind, The Rhetoric of Pregnancy is a must-read for both users and designers of our prenatal systems—doctors and doulas, scholars and activists, and anyone interested in encouraging active, effective engagement.
See More
5
Queering Reproduction
by Laura Mamo
Duke University Press, 2007
Originally developed to help heterosexual couples, fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization and sperm donation have provided lesbians with new methods for achieving pregnancy during the past two decades. Queering Reproduction is an important sociological analysis of lesbians’ use of these medical fertility treatments. Drawing on in-depth interviews with lesbians who have been or are seeking to become pregnant, Laura Mamo describes how reproduction has become an intensely medicalized process for lesbians, who are transformed into fertility patients not (or not only) because of their physical conditions but because of their sexual identities. Mamo argues that this medicalization of reproduction has begun to shape queer subjectivities in both productive and troubling ways, destabilizing the assumed link between heterosexuality and parenthood while also reinforcing traditional, heteronormative ideals about motherhood and the imperative to reproduce.

Mamo provides an overview of a shift within some lesbian communities from low-tech methods of self-insemination to a reliance on outside medical intervention and fertility treatments. Reflecting on the issues facing lesbians who become parents through assisted reproductive technologies, Mamo explores questions about the legal rights of co-parents, concerns about the genetic risks of choosing an anonymous sperm donor, and the ways decisions to become parents affect sexual and political identities. In doing so, she investigates how lesbians navigate the medical system with its requisite range of fertility treatments, diagnostic categories, and treatment trajectories. Combining moving narratives and insightful analysis, Queering Reproduction reveals how medical technology reconfigures social formations, individual subjectivity, and notions of kinship.

See More
6
Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Choice in Twentieth-Century Arizona
by Mary S. Melcher
University of Arizona Press, 2012
Early twentieth-century Arizona was a life-threatening place for new and expectant mothers. Towns were small and very far apart, and the weather and harsh landscape often delayed midwives. It was not uncommon for a woman to give birth without medical care and with the aid of only family members. By the 1920s, Arizona was at the top of the list for the highest number of infant deaths.

Mary Melcher’s Pregnancy, Motherhood, and Choice in Twentieth-Century Arizona provides a deep and diverse history of the dramatic changes in childbirth, birth control, infant mortality, and abortion over the course of the last century. Using oral histories, memoirs, newspaper accounts, government documents, letters, photos, and biographical collections, this fine-grained study of women’s reproductive health places the voices of real women at the forefront of the narrative, providing a personal view into some of the most intense experiences of their lives.

Tackling difficult issues such as disparities in reproductive health care based on race and class, abortion, and birth control, this book seeks to change the way the world looks at women’s health. An essential read for both historians and public health officials, this book reveals that many of the choices and challenges that women once faced remain even today.

See More
7
'Planned' teenage pregnancy
by Suzanne Cater and Lester Coleman
Policy Press, The, 2006
This in-depth study explores the motivations for 'planned' teenage pregnancy in England. The findings have important implications for the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy and the increasing political agenda on young people and health.The report is based on 51 in-depth interviews, undertaken among teenagers in six relatively disadvantaged locations who reported their pregnancy as 'planned' (41 women and 10 men). Key findings include:·Young women report varied accounts of the extent to which their pregnancy was planned.Young women's childhood and background act as contributing factors to 'planning' a pregnancy.More explicit and direct influences include viewing pregnancy as a chance to gain a new identity and change direction in life. ·[vbTab]·[vbTab]·[vbTab]·[vbTab]The report includes numerous quotations from young people and documents two contrasting case studies. 'Planned' teenage pregnancy will be of interest to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the teenage pregnancy field, including youth workers, Connexions PAs, social workers, and teachers who work with young people before conception, as well as teenage pregnancy co-ordinators, teenage-parent support workers, midwives and health visitors who work closely with young parents or parents-to-be.
See More
8
Making babies
by David Bainbridge
Harvard University Press, 2001
Drawing on past speculation and present knowledge, reproductive biologist David Bainbridge conducts us through the forty weeks of a human pregnancy, from conception to breastfeeding, explaining the complex biology behind human gestation in a clear and unassuming manner.

Making Babies sets the latest findings in pregnancy biology in a challenging evolutionary, historical, and sociological context, proving that when it comes to drama, pregnancy has it all: sibling rivalry, a battle of the sexes, and a crisis of gender identity. Along the way, Bainbridge revisits some of the key puzzles about pregnancy: What's sex got to do with it? How does the fetus hijack its mother's immune system? What is the point, if any, of morning sickness? Just how does a fertilized ovum develop into eight pounds or so of baby, with ten fingers and ten toes? Does the baby or the mother control the onset of labor, and why is it such an ordeal for them both?

Entertaining and informative, Making Babies shows how the study of human pregnancy can help us understand our genesis as individuals and our evolution as a species, and provide insight into who we are and why we behave as we do.

Table of Contents:

Prologue
Introduction

Origins
Breaking the Cycle
Making Babies
The Visitor Within
The Visitor Without

Notes
Further Reading
Glossary
Index



Reviews of this book:
[Bainbridge's] insight explodes off the page...[Making Babies] reads like a whodunnit. A ripping yarn and irresistible--I read it at one sitting.
--Miriam Stoppard, Times Higher Education Supplement [UK]

Bainbridge...tackles his subject by posing five major questions about pregnancy: Why do humans reproduce the way they do--in other words: why sex? How does the maternal body "know" it's pregnant? How is a baby...develop[ed] from a fertilized egg into fully-formed fetus? Why doesn't the maternal immune system reject the intruding fetus? And how do mother and baby survive the birth process? Meanwhile, all the wonder of the natural process is captured here.
--Kirkus Reviews

What was known in Britain as A Visitor Within gets a more down-to-earth, less scientific title for American consumption but still brims with lucid science writing, clear technical and hypothetical explanation, and delightful personal touches. Anatomist Bainbridge became professionally interested in pregnancy when his wife lost their first baby. After considerable investigation, he discovered that people generally have five questions about pregnancy: Why do we reproduce as we do? How does a woman learn she is pregnant? How is a baby put together? How does a fetus save itself from being attacked as a foreign body within its mother? And how do mother and baby survive labor to become healthy partners. Bainbridge sets scientific knowledge in its historical context throughout but also points out what remains unknown, and he explodes such major myths as that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. First-time parents-to-be, parents of several offspring, and mere scientists and nonscientists simply interested in pregnancy stand to be fascinated and informed by Bainbridge.
--William Beatty, Booklist

We often speak of the miracle of birth, but Bainbridge's book proves that the cliche has substance. A reproductive biologist and veterinarian who teaches at the Royal Veterinary College in London, Bainbridge has written a fascinating account...[He] explains complex physiological processes with wit and clarity. Unlike traditional pregnancy books like What to Expect When You're Expecting, this study remains at the molecular level, concentrating on the intricate developmental process that includes pregnancy, birth, and lactation.
--Barbara M. Bibel, Library Journal

[Bainbridge] covers his subject like an academic reporting for the National Enquirer. His eye for the sensational and amusing aspects of pregnancy, combined with his understated sense of humor, results in a more digestible--but still solidly scientific--read.
--Bethany Torode, Books & Culture

This lucid and engaging text covers childbirth from conception to lactation and examines the complex biology of human gestation...Making Babies is an accessible, insightful, and mesmerizing tour of our beginnings.
--Science News

In this fascinating approach to pregnancy, Bainbridge poses questions that have perplexed scientists ever since the discovery that pregnancy is a partnership between mother and fetus...He writes as a father and as the husband of a woman who has had difficult pregnancies, which may explain his startling prediction for the future of this universal human experience: a Brave New World-style artificial gestation.
--Roni Ramos, Fit Pregnancy

British biologist Bainbridge...writes from the perspective of recent fatherhood. With grace, humor, and an enormous respect for pregnancy and mothering, Bainbridge takes us through a chapter-by-chapter account of what happens during pregnancy, and, more importantly, why it happens...To his credit, Bainbridge summarizes both theory and speculation, giving thoughtful opinions of why some beliefs lack accuracy.
--M. K. Snooks, Choice

What makes this book so good is that Bainbridge not only explains pregnancy clearly and easily, he does it in such an engaging way. Going beyond the usual anatomical fare, he gives the reader underlying theories and an evolutionary viewpoint of the biology of motherhood. Bainbridge does what too few scientists are able to do: write about science in a way that a layperson cannot only understand, but wants to read. This is an excellent example of how good science writing can be.
--Meredith Small, Cornell University, author of Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent
See More
9
Expecting
by Marika Seigel
University of Chicago Press, 2013
As long as there have been pregnancies, there have been suggestions for how best to bring a child into the world: from tips for homeopathic care and natural childbirth to the circulation of old wives’ tales, those who deliver advice to pregnant women are often influenced as much by their own agendas as what is best, or most comfortable, for a new mother. In Expecting, Marika Seigel, author of The Rhetoric of Pregnancy, provides a list of recommended reading and considers the history of pregnancy advice. Opening with her own birthing histories and careful explanation of how she first became interested in the topic, Seigel then casts a skeptical eye over the pregnancy guides that have circulated from the Enlightenment to the present day. Encouraging women to remain empowered when they are pregnant and to collaborate with their health care providers, Seigel articulates how best to have a healthy and affirming birth experience.
See More
10
Click here to go to the beginning.