Article

Childbirth embodiment: problematic aspects of current understandings

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham.
Sociology of Health & Illness (Impact Factor: 1.88). 12/2009; 32(3):486-501. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2009.01207.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The experience of childbirth is one of the most corporeal of the human condition. Against a backdrop of profound change in the milieu of birthing over the past 30 years, especially in the developed world, a number of discourses now compete for the status of the safest, most fulfilling birth experience. Supporters of biomedical and 'natural' approaches make their respective claims to those, with obstetricians broadly aligning their professional interests with the former and midwives with the latter. There is mounting evidence that childbearing women's experiences of birth are often shaped in the uneasy space between the two. Within sociological discourse in health, embodiment is a dominant theme but, to date, research has concentrated mainly on new reproductive technologies, and there is a dearth of recent research and theorising around the act of parturition itself. This paper argues that because of this, there has been a polarising tendency in current discourses which is having a largely negative impact on women, professionals and the maternity services. A call is made for an integration of traditional childbirth embodiment theories, mediated through compassionate, relationally focused maternity care, especially when labour complications develop.

2 Followers
 · 
83 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The medicalisation of the behaviour of children is a phenomenon that is attracting growing attention, with particular concern about the increased likelihood of children living in disadvantaged contexts receiving a medical diagnosis, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and treatment. This paper reports on a study of professionals involved with children experiencing behavioural problems. The professionals interviewed in this study articulated their own reservations about the medicalisation of children’s behaviour and revealed a number of strategies for interrupting the process towards diagnosis. These interruptions, analysed using Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of deterriorialisation, took place along linguistic, visual and affective planes and were successful in encouraging teachers and head teachers to see alternatives to the medical route. The findings have implications for existing practice in the response to, and support for, behavioural problems and for teacher education.
    British Journal of Sociology of Education 05/2014; 35(3). DOI:10.1080/01425692.2013.776933 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Optimality Index-US (OI-US) is a research instrument that was developed for the purpose of measuring aggregate perinatal care processes and outcomes against an optimal or best possible standard. The index is based on the premise that obstetric intervention reflects a deviation from optimal physiologic childbirth. The instrument is continually reevaluated to ensure that it is grounded in contemporary evidence of "best practice." The value of the OI-US in distinguishing and comparing processes and outcomes of care across and within various clinical situations has been demonstrated in published literature. This article recaps the 10-year experience of instrument development and presents essential information derived from several studies of its psychometric and clinimetric properties. Findings from researchers who have used the original or adapted instrument in various geographic settings and populations are recounted. The article reviews the strengths and limitations of the instrument, and proposes next steps for researchers and clinicians to consider in the evolution and adaptation of the index for use on a global scale.
    09/2011; 1(3):171-178. DOI:10.1891/2156-5287.1.3.171
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background A number of studies have found increased use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) during pregnancy and birth. However, little is known about women's motivation in seeking CAM during pregnancy or their experiences of use in relation to their pregnancy and childbirth journey. Methods A narrative study sought to explore the meaning and significance of CAM use in pregnancy from the perspective of CAM users. Narrative style interviews were conducted with 14 women who had used a range of CAMs during pregnancy and birth. Data analysis focussed on the meaning and significance of CAM use in pregnancy and a number of core themes emerged. Findings This paper focusses on the theme which illustrates the meaning behind women's use of CAM in pregnancy and childbirth as one of seeking holistic wellbeing. Conclusion Participants engaged with CAM as a way of fulfilling their physical, emotional and spiritual needs during pregnancy. Use of CAM signified women's desire to be proactive in health seeking behaviours.
    Women and Birth 07/2014; 27(4). DOI:10.1016/j.wombi.2014.06.011 · 1.70 Impact Factor

Full-text

Download
88 Downloads
Available from
May 31, 2014