Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Donald Caton, 277 pp, with illus, $30, ISBN 0-300-07597-9, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 1999.
What A Blessing She Had Chloroform recounts the contours of the medical and social response to the pain of childbirth over the last 200 years. This topic has been the subject of a number of important but less specialized studies, including works by Judith Walzer Leavitt, Martin S. Pernick, and Margarete Sandeloski. Unfortunately, Donald Caton does not build upon these earlier works in any significant way. Rather, he retells a familiar story, but mostly through the lens of the physician.
Childbirth HistoryWhat a Blessing She Had Chloroform: The Medical and Social Response to the Pain of Childbirth From 1800 to the Present. JAMA. 1999;282(14):1382. doi:10.1001/jama.282.14.1382