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Reviews

A Passion for Birth. My Life: Anthropology, Family and Feminism

This beautifully written autobiography offers the reader a window into the inspiring life of feminist birth campaigner Sheila Kitzinger, who died earlier this year.

Having a midwife for a mother was a major influence in Sheila’s decision to dedicate the best part of her life to improving birth rights for women. But the book reveals other factors influencing her bohemian lifestyle.

Sheila resisted being employed by institutions, recognising that their boundaries would be too restrictive for her. Thinking ahead of her time, she recognised from an early age that she needed the freedom to allow her soul to grow and express itself and her work to innovate.

She gave birth to all her own children at home, and questioned why birth in hospital had taken over birth at home, an issue that is still close to the hearts of many.

The first to develop a ‘birth plan’, Sheila was a great believer in women having ownership of their bodies during birth. She argued that the use of sterile drapes on a

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