Review by Kerry Neville

All too often, childbirth is depicted through the rosy lens of the birth’s afterglow: the mother gazing down at her swaddled infant at her breast, woozy and love drunk. Adrienne Rich argues, in Of Woman Born, that “As soon as a woman knows that a child is growing in her body, she falls under the power of theories, ideals, archetypes, descriptions of her new existence, almost none of which have come from other women.” Or, as Thais Nye Derich describes in her memoir, Second Chance: A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth After a Cesarean, she falls under the power of clinician-directed medical birth rather than one guided by the body’s own intuitive knowledge.

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