'Get Me Out': Making Babies Through The Ages Mare's-urine cocktails? Do-it-yourself forceps? Randi Hutter Epstein's new book Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth From the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank is full of delightful — and sometimes disturbing — anecdotes about the history of pregnancy and childbirth.

'Get Me Out': Making Babies Through The Ages

'Get Me Out': Making Babies Through The Ages

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Randi Hutter Epstein received her M.D. from Yale University; she teaches journalism at Columbia University's graduate school. Nina Berman hide caption

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Nina Berman

Randi Hutter Epstein received her M.D. from Yale University; she teaches journalism at Columbia University's graduate school.

Nina Berman

Five hundred years ago a folk healer advised Catherine de Medici, then the queen of France, to drink mare's urine and bathe in cow manure to increase her chances of getting pregnant. And she did it.

Randi Hutter Epstein's book Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth From the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank is full of delightful — and sometimes disturbing — anecdotes like this one. The author explores the medical and cultural history of pregnancy and childbirth, from folk remedies and old wives' tales to ultrasound images and fertility drugs.

Hutter Epstein is a doctor and medical journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph. She joins Fresh Air host Terry Gross for a conversation about making and having babies — and why despite all the advances in medical science, we're still largely in the dark about it.