Lara Freidenfelds, Ph.D., is a historian of health, reproduction, and parenting in America. She holds a doctorate in history of science and a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard University. Her second book, The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America, was published by Oxford University Press in January of 2020. Her first book, The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America, was awarded the Emily Toth Prize for Best Book in Women’s Studies from the Popular Culture/American Culture Association.
Her research has been supported by numerous fellowships, including a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities at Harvard University. She has received the Shryock Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Robinson Prize from the Society for the History of Technology.
Lara has taught courses in the history of reproduction, sexuality and gender at Wellesley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and as a graduate student instructor at Harvard University. She serves on the advisory board of ZanaAfrica, a non-profit which helps adolescent Kenyan girls stay in school by developing and distributing environmentally friendly, locally-made sanitary pads, conducting empowerment groups for girls and boys, and training women in business and sales opportunities. In addition to writing books, she blogs with the historian’s perspective on childbearing, parenting, sex, and health as a regular contributor to the peer-reviewed blog Nursing Clio.