Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy
A candid, feminist, and personal deep dive into the science and culture of pregnancy and motherhood
Like most first-time mothers, Angela Garbes was filled with questions when she became pregnant. What exactly is a placenta and how does it function? How does a body go into labor? Why is breast best? Is wine totally off-limits?
But as she soon discovered, it’s not easy to find satisfying answers. Your obstetrician will cautiously quote statistics; online sources will scare you with conflicting and often inaccurate data; and even the most trusted books will offer information with a heavy dose of judgment. To educate herself, the food and culture writer embarked on an intensive journey of exploration, diving into the scientific mysteries and cultural attitudes that surround motherhood to find answers to questions that had only previously been given in the form of advice about what women ought to do—rather than allowing them the freedom to choose the right path for themselves.
In Like a Mother, Garbes offers a rigorously researched and compelling look at the physiology, biology, and psychology of pregnancy and motherhood, informed by in-depth reportage and personal experience. With the curiosity of a journalist, the perspective of a feminist, and the intimacy and urgency of a mother, she explores the emerging science behind the pressing questions women have about everything from miscarriage to complicated labors to postpartum changes. The result is a visceral, full-frontal look at what’s really happening during those nine life-altering months, and why women deserve access to better care, support, and information.
Infused with humor and born out of awe, appreciation, and understanding of the female body and its strength, Like a Mother debunks common myths and dated assumptions, offering guidance and camaraderie to women navigating one of the biggest and most profound changes in their lives.
"Angela Garbes maps the strange void at the heart of American parenting-the ways we simultaneously deify, infantilize, and erase mothers-and then pours herself into that void with indefatigable curiosity and resounding compassion. Like a Mother is a deeply-researched history of human reproduction; it is a jewel-bright memoir; it is hard science beautifully translated; it is funny; it is intersectional; it will crack you open and fill you with awe. Required reading for mothers, and double-required for everyone else." Lindy West, author of New York Times bestseller Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
Angela Garbes is a Seattle-based writer specializing in food, bodies, women's health, and issues of racial equity and diversity. Garbes began writing for The Stranger in 2006, and became a staff writer in 2014. Her piece "The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am” is the publication's most-read piece in its twenty-four-year history, and the inspiration for this book. Garbes is an experienced public speaker, frequent radio and podcast guest, and event moderator. She grew up in a food-obsessed, immigrant Filipino household and now lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.