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One of the “greatest miracles” in the past century for American women is the likelihood they will give birth safely. Even as late as the 1930s, American women had a pervasive and legitimate fear of dying in childbirth.

“How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend. How soon’t may be thy lot to lose thy friend,” 17th century New England poet Anne Bradstreet wrote in the dread-filled days before the birth of one of her children. [more …]

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