The Insidious Power of Men Over Motherhood
A shocking, revelatory account of the dangerous misogyny that permeates pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood in America
Modern medicine should make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all. But in Birth Control, award-winning journalist Allison Yarrow reveals how women are controlled, traumatized, injured, and even killed because of the traditionalist practices of medical professionals and hospitals.
Ever since doctors stole control of birth from midwives in the 19th century, women have been steamrolled by a male-dominated medical establishment that has everyone convinced that birthing bodies are inherently flawed and that every pregnancy is a crisis that it alone can “solve.” Common medical practices and procedures violate human rights and the law, yet take place daily. Misogyny and racism, not scientific evidence and support, shape the overwhelming majority of America’s four million annual births.
Drawing on extensive reporting, expert interviews, an original survey of 1,300 mothers, and her own personal experiences, Yarrow documents how modern maternal health care is insidiously, purposefully designed to take power from women to the detriment of their physical and mental health—not just during labor, but for years after. She then shows a better way, exploring solutions both cutting-edge and ancient to—finally—return power and control to birthing people.
Full of urgent insights and heartfelt emotion, Birth Control is an explosive call to action.
"If you really want to know what to expect when you are expecting, Birth Control is a must-read. Allison Yarrow takes a deep, research-based dive into the modern industrial complex of birth, while also normalizing and validating what so many of us have experienced. Birth Control is a path forward to getting it right. Our humanity literally depends on it."—Eve Rodsky, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Play