The Week in Books #21

More book on pregnancy and motherhood! There is so much to read on this topic and I feel like I’ve really not cared until now, and suddenly I care a lot. My reading has really slowed down but I’m still trucking through some titles, including the following.

Pushed: the Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. This book is insanely informative, readable, and well researched. There is so much to consider when it comes to childbirth and the rights of women in labour. This book includes a wealth of information on modern medical practices and interventions from a feminist standpoint. Something I had never considered when it comes to reproductive justice is that it really should be about more than just abortion debate and include the rights of women in childbirth. Unwanted medical interventions are forced on women in hospitals all the time (episiotomies, which is where the muscle between the vagina and anus is cut during labour, are often given to women against their will according to Jennifer) and women are routinely told they cannot have the birth they want (vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC, being the major one at the time of publishing in 2007). In supporting women and their right to choose pregnancy we also need to support them in the birth they choose and protect them against unwanted Caesarian sections and other surgical procedures performed by doctors looking to expedite a process that needs to be allowed to progress naturally. Fascinating and eye opening read, highly recommended.


And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell. This is a great read for those of us who are obsessed with reading birth stories. Meaghan chronicles her pregnancy (which, as the title implies, was unplanned), 40 hour labour (!!!!), and the postpartum depression that followed the birth of her son. This book is very funny and engaging, I love Meaghan’s voice and honesty in talking about her struggle to accept motherhood.

In progress: Mexican Hooker #1: Art, Love and Forgiveness after Trauma by Carmen Aguirre.

On deck: Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes. I’m really looking forward to this one!! I preordered it while I was still pregnant and it has finally been released. Woo!


  1. I’m highly interested in the first book you mention. I’ll be giving birth soon and the fact that some doctors and medical personnel can make those decisions against your own will, scares the crap out of me. Unless its an emergency or a dire necessity, I feel like I should be the one to make those types of decisions. Definitely going to check it out

    • It is definitely a good idea to be informed going into birth and be super clear what you do and don’t want during delivery. I’m sure you’ll do great! Best of luck!

      • Of course! I will say don’t let it freak you out though, my labour was in hospital with induction and I didn’t have any unnecessary interventions. In fact it was a really great experience! 🖤

      • Thanks for the heads up. I’m certainly opened to everything. I don’t want to go in with a set plan in mind and then not have it happen. Most are advising me against having an epidural. But the way I see it, I rather have the option and not needed, then needed and not have it. I hope to have a wonderful experience as well.

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