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The Trouble with C-Sections: Rachel Somerstein on "Invisible Labor"

Imagine a C-section without proper anesthesia.

Rachel Somerstein found herself so traumatized by that experience that she couldn’t bear to hold her newborn baby. Her new book “Invisible Labor” explores the history and legacy of the world’s most common surgery: one that critics say is performed far too often with far too little care for the mother.

If reproductive rights and abortion access are key issues for you, then this should also be on that list. When I read this book I was furious by Page 3. By the end I was shocked, saddened… but still hopeful. My conversation with Somerstein is something everyone considering pregnancy should hear, because there’s still a lot we don’t know to expect when we’re expecting.

WHY SOMERSTEIN WROTE THE BOOK

“We know that women's pain in particular is overlooked, so that's really what drove me to want to write about this… to take out of the shadows this experience I had that was really traumatizing, totally shocking, that I was completely unprepared for.”

HOW CULTURAL ICONS SHAPED OUR VIEW OF CHILDBIRTH

The Cosby Show centered on the experiences of Claire Huxtable - Phylicia Rashad - who had these five kids and was this Supermom, but we never saw her give birth. We saw birth through the eyes of her husband, of the doctor.”

How did your expectations of childbirth compare to what you experienced? Add your thoughts and reactions to the comments. And if you know an expectant mother or a family preparing for a baby, share this interview with them.

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