Suzanne Arms

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Suzanne Arms
Suzanne Arms smiling.jpg
BornSuzanne Arms
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
SubjectChildbirth, adoption
Notable worksImmaculate deception (1977)
Notable awardsLamaze International Lifetime Achievement Award

Suzanne Arms is an American writer. She has published seven books on childbirth and child care.


Arms was born in Summit, New Jersey,[1] and grew up on the East Coast of the United States.[2] Her parents were both teachers.[1] She received a BA in literature from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. She moved to Marin County, California to work as a teacher in nursery schools and in the Head Start Program.[1]


Her first book, A Season to be Born, was published in 1973. It was a diary of the birth of her daughter, with photographs by the baby's father, John Arms.[1]

A second book, Immaculate Deception: A New Look at Women and Childbirth in America, appeared in 1975, which became a best-seller, was a New York Times Best Book of the Year;[3] By 1979, it had sold more than 150,000 copies.[2]

Arms has described the precautions against risk in obstetric wards in the West as "just-in-case obstetrics".[4]

In 1978, with six other women, Arms started a birth center, The Birth Place, in Palo Alto, California; it was organized much as she had proposed in her 1975 book. It became a state-licensed facility in the year 1979.[5]

Arms has made documentary films on pregnancy and birth: she shot, directed, and produced Five Women, Five Births in the 1970s;[2] Giving Birth (35') was made in 1998.[6] She also directed and co-produced the film "Birth" with Christopher Carson, which is critical of the medical-pharmaceutical-hospital approach to birth, proposing a different approach.[clarification needed][citation needed]


Arms has been awarded the Lamaze International Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to the field of childbirth.[citation needed]


  • Suzanne Arms, John Arms. A Season to Be Born. New York: Harper & Row [1973]
  • Suzanne Arms. Immaculate Deception: A New Look at Women and Childbirth in America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975 (reprinted 1977, 1985)
  • To Love and Let Go (1983)
  • Adoption: A Handful of Hope (1985)
  • Seasons of Change: Growing Through Pregnancy & Birth (1993)
  • Immaculate Deception II: Myth, Magic and Birth (1994 & 1997)
  • Breastfeeding: How to Breastfeed Your Baby (2004)


  1. ^ a b c d "Daily Independent Journal from San Rafael, California · Page 17". Daily Independent Journal. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Miller, Fran. "Arms advocates home birth". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ Jennifer Block (2007). Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care. Da Capo Press, Incorporated. ISBN 9780738211824.
  4. ^ Robbie E. Davis-Floyd (14 February 2004). Birth as an American Rite of Passage: Second Edition, With a New Preface. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92721-6.
  5. ^ Autumn Stanley (1995). Mothers and Daughters of Invention: Notes for a Revised History of Technology. Rutgers University Press. pp. 194–. ISBN 978-0-8135-2197-8.
  6. ^ Arms, Suzanna. "Suzanne Arms' giving birth". Trove. Retrieved 18 December 2014.