This essential collection on maternal and child health focuses on the rites of giving birth from a cross-cultural perspective. The distinguished list of contributors describe the many customs surrounding birth through infancy, such as attitudes and techniques in childbirth, the influence of societal factors that differentiate Western from non-Western maternal birthing positions, the art of midwifery, customs and beliefs regarding breastfeeding, weaning, swaddling. This book will be valuable for courses in medical sociology and anthropology, public health or behavioral sciences, psychology and psychiatry, and for pre-med students.