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Women, Infants and Children
'After Birth's' First-World antagonist: low-risk childbirth
'After Birth's' First-World antagonist: low-risk childbirth

Guess what's the most horrible thing a woman can be forced to endure: Giving birth by cesarean section. That's the message of "After Birth," the new novel about new motherhood by Elisa Albert that has the critics raving like King Lear on the moor. In Albert's semiautobiographical world of "After Birth," everything about childbirth these 21st century days is gruesome (starting with the gruesome pun that is the book’s title), but nothing is more gruesome than this: "They cut me in half, pulled the baby from my numb, gaping cauterized center. Merciless hospital lights, curtain in front of my face. Effective disembodiment....

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