Childbearing seems eternal, primordial and universal. Yet human reproduction in the 21st century is in a state of flux. This accessible book highlights dramatic changes that have occurred over the last decades, focusing on both individual and cross-cultural diversity across the now elongated childbearing cycle and the uniqueness of desire and emotional experience. It does so by locating the transition to parenthood in its psycho-sexual and socio-economic context, emphasising interweaving internal/external realities and our inherent interconnectedness with others. Included are conscious and unconscious factors determining beliefs, expectations and parenting practices, and ways in which these are affected by rapid urbanisation, shrinking families, societal instability, HIV, governmental maternity and child care policies, and attitudes of professionals. Drawing widely on empirical and clinical research from disparate disciplines  psychoanalytic, neuro-scientific, neonatal, sociological, obstetric, anthropological and midwifery this resource book synthesises these to illustrate a spectrum of processes affecting each person's mental health.

part Three|30 pages

The Expectant Partner

chapter 10|14 pages

The father-to-be

chapter 12|5 pages

Lesbian partners

part Four|52 pages

Pregnancy as Transition to Parenthood

part Five|74 pages

Experiences of Labour and Birth

chapter 17|17 pages

Anticipating Childbirth

chapter 18|20 pages

The birthplace and birth process

chapter 19|21 pages

Uncomplicated spontaneous labour

chapter 20|14 pages

Managed childbirth

part Six|113 pages

Coping with the Outcome

chapter 23|17 pages

Postpartum professional care

chapter 26|15 pages


chapter 27|7 pages

Adolescent parents

chapter 28|11 pages