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SUNY New Paltz professor releases book on the "untold story" of cesarean sections

Rachel Somerstein is an associate professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz.
Joe Lingerman
Rachel Somerstein is an associate professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz.

Nearly a third of all babies born in the U.S. are born via cesarean section, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the procedure is generally safe, it can come with significant challenges for some mothers, especially women of color. Rachel Somerstein, an associate professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz, sheds light on the broader history of the procedure in her new book Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section. Somerstein suffered her own traumatic, unplanned C-section in 2016, when her anesthesia failed to work. Invisible Labor takes a look at why the procedure is becoming more common in the U.S., what it means for moms, and how it ties into the broader movement for reproductive justice.

Somerstein spoke with WAMC Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Jesse King.

Jesse King is the host of WAMC's national program on women's issues, "51%," and the station's bureau chief in the Hudson Valley. She has also produced episodes of the WAMC podcast "A New York Minute In History."