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Lara Freidenfelds, PhD

Lara is the author of The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America (Oxford University Press) and The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press). She is a regular contributor to Nursing Clio, and has written for the Washington Post. She holds a Ph.D. in history of science and an A.B. in social anthropology from Harvard University.

Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy Book Trailer

When a couple plans for a child today, every moment seems precious and unique. Home pregnancy tests promise good news just days after conception, and prospective parents can track the progress of their pregnancy day by day with apps that deliver a stream of embryonic portraits. On-line due date calculators trigger a direct-marketing barrage of baby-name lists and diaper coupons. Ultrasounds as early as eight weeks offer a first photo for the baby book.

Yet, all too often...

The award-winning The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009) is the story of how Americans in search of middle-class status radically altered their most intimate bodily practices in order to become “modern” in their own and others’ eyes.

Drawing on a rich combination of in-depth archival research and 75 oral history interviews...

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