Lara Freidenfelds, Ph.D., is an historian of health, reproduction, and parenting in America. She holds a doctorate in history of science and a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology from Harvard University.  Her book, The Modern Period: Menstruation in Twentieth-Century America, was awarded the Emily Toth Prize for Best Book in Women’s Studies from the Popular Culture/American Culture Association.

Her research has been supported by numerous fellowships, including a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities at Harvard University. She has received the Shryock Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Robinson Prize from the Society for the History of Technology.

Freidenfelds has taught courses in the history of reproduction, sexuality and gender at Wellesley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and as a graduate student instructor at Harvard University.  She serves on the advisory board of ZanaAfrica, a non-profit which helps adolescent Kenyan girls stay in school by developing and distributing environmentally friendly, locally-made sanitary pads, conducting empowerment groups for girls and boys, and training women in business and sales opportunities. Her second book, The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2020.  She blogs with the historian’s perspective on childbearing, parenting, sex, and health as a regular contributor to the peer-reviewed blog Nursing Clio (www.nursingclio.org).

Sign up for my quarterly newsletter for the historian’s take on sex, society, and women’s health in America:

Watch a TV interview about The Modern Period and miscarriage, pregnancy, and parenting here.

Listen to a radio interview about The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy here.

Listen to a related podcast recorded in 2014: “Babies on Demand: Reproduction in a Technological Age,” with Distillations, from the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Listen to a 2017 podcast about The Modern Period with Dr. Katy Clancy, anthropologist and host of the Period. podcast.

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