EP 200: “Birth Control” – Maternal Agency, Education, and Systems of Perinatal Care with Allison Yarrow

In this conversation, journalist Allison Yarrow and Kimberly discuss Allison’s new book “Birth Control: The Insidious Power of Men Over Motherhood.” They go in depth about the culture and systems of perinatal birth care. They explore Allison’s extensive research around the differences between home birth care and hospital birth care, and go into depth about their personal experiences with each scenario. They wonder how future generations will approach their birth, as well as the deep impact of race on varying birth experience. With all of the information out there, they ask how do you prepare for birth?



Allison Yarrow is a journalist for nearly two decades (in newsrooms like NBC News, Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and Vice), a national magazine finalist, the author of 90s Bitch (finalist for the Los Angeles Press Club Book Award), and she has written about the shortcomings of the perinatal experience in America for the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Vox, Harper’s Bazaar, and Insider. Her new book Birth Control: The Insidious Power of Men Over Motherhood, which is out July 18 and arose out of my TED Talk. With the recent news that maternal mortality has risen 40 percent to the highest level in our lifetime, this subject couldn’t be more important. The book draws on extensive reporting, interviews, an original survey of 1300 birthing people and mothers, and my own personal experiences, to document how women are controlled, traumatized, injured, and even killed, because of traditionalist practices of medical professionals and hospitals during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and after.


What You’ll Hear

  • How birth procedures and techniques were not developed by science but by traditions?
  • The overriding of midwives’ knowledge by doctors.
  • How has birth become such a profitable medical field?
  • Why C-sections are so prominent despite their limited need?
  • How does home birth care differ from hospital care?
  • What kind of mother culture do we need around birth trauma?
  • The pressure to educate oneself in the perinatal experience.
  • What role does agency play in the birth experience?
  • What needs to change about the system of birth?
  • How will future generations experience birth care?
  • Our bodies perceive surgery as an interruption.
  • The importance of sex education to the birth experience.
  • The racial dimensions of birth culture.



Website: www.allisonyarrow.com

Instagram: @aliyarrow

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