A historian of health, reproduction, and parenting, Lara Freidenfelds is the author of The Myth of the Perfect Pregnancy: A History of Miscarriage in America. She holds a PhD in the history of science from Harvard University and blogs at nursingclio.org and larafreidenfelds.com. She and her family live in New Jersey.

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The Other Miraculous Pregnancy of Advent

by Lara Freidenfelds 12-12-2019

Visitation of the Virgin Mary, altarpiece in the Basilica of Saint Frediano, Lucca, Italy. Photo by Zvonimir Atletic / Shutterstock.com

As a historian who has spent a career studying pregnancy and birth, I always look forward to Advent. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the scripture passages read aloud in Christian churches feature not just one, but two stories of miraculous pregnancies that end in safe and happy births. The more famous, of course, is the story of Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus.