“Born Free,” a doctoral thesis

When you see “doctoral thesis” or “doctoral dissertation,” does it almost make your eyes glaze over, expecting long words like dieythylhydroxychlorothiazide? This one shouldn’t! Written by Rixa of “The True Face of Birth” (now “Stand and Deliver”) to complete her doctoral degree, it doesn’t contain 15-syllable words like one might fear, but is written in her clear and concise style. Although it is long (368 pdf pages), a lot of it is introductory material (you know those stupid title pages that take 3 sheets of paper with 5 words apiece) and the bibliography; and it is typed, double-spaced with 1&1/2″ margins, so it’s really not as long as it seems. And it is chock-full of information.

Rixa (or I suppose I should call her Dr. Freeze, since that is her name), 🙂 had her first child unassisted, and has been a midwife assistant for both a CNM and a CPM. This paper delves into primarily unassisted birth — that is, a woman who intentionally gives birth without a midwife present — but also presents it in the background of the history of obstetrics and midwifery, discussing “Twilight Sleep”, Lamaze, the Bradley Method, etc.

Whether you’re deeply interested in unassisted birth, slightly interested, or even not interested at all (but are still a birth junkie), I think you’ll enjoy reading this paper. Even if you think UCers are crazy, at the least you’ll get a bit of understanding about who they are and why they choose to give birth without a midwife.

I’ll be blogging more about this as I read through it, so stay tuned!


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