EBB 276: Challenging the Myths of the "Perfect Mother" and "Perfect Birth" with Avital Norman Nathman, Author, Editor, and Activist
On this episode of the EBB podcast, we are talking with Avital Norman Nathman, author and freelance writer about trends in birth and parenthood in the US.
Avital is a freelance writer and editor who focuses her work on motherhood, maternal health, gender and reproductive rights and justice. Her writing, which places a feminist lens on a variety of topics, including motherhood, maternal health, gender, reproductive rights, and cannabis, can be found in a variety of print and online articles for outlets like The New York Times, Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, VICE, and more.
Her first book, The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality, provides a platform for diverse voices that often get left out of the conversations surrounding parenting. Avital is currently working on two new books. She is a co-editor for an anthology on abortion, and her upcoming book, The Perfect Birth Myth, combines research, expert analysis, and narrative experiences to look at the intersection of the birth industry and the health care system to understand how this ideal of the perfect birth came about, why it’s a red herring, and how we can do better to ensure that all folks who are pregnant can have access to quality care and the chance at a birth that is safe and that they are comfortable with.
Avital discusses the evolution of “motherhood” from the early aughts and “Mommy blogging” to internet activism, connection, and the ongoing “mommy wars” of the internet. Additionally, Avital discusses her upcoming and ongoing projects related to writing about the current state of having a baby in the US healthcare system and political climate, while calling out the experiences of marginalized populations and bringing forth the less obvious but very important consequences of the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Trigger Warning: abortion, miscarriage, hemorrhage, Dobbs decision, Roe v. Wade, maternal healthcare deserts, birth trauma
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