Reading birth and death: a history of obstetric thinking
The issue of who should control childbirth remains one of the outstanding conflicts for the women's movement, despite almost four decades of campaigning for change. Its continuing relevance suggests that the problem of exercising choice and personal agency remains a political snuggle for each woman who faces an institutional system of maternity care which demands compliance with its norms.Since the eighteenth century, obstetric discourse has had a decisive impact on the experiences of birth in countless women's lives. Using the historical records and writings of Irish doctors and maternity hospitals, this book analyses the core beliefs and practices of obstetric science. These beliefs reveal a central theme of women's incompetence in birth and traces how such a radically gendered account has been so detrimental to women. The author argues that the problem of personal agency which women face stems directly from the way the science has worked.In exploring the currently important thesis of discourse and power in relation to scientific thinking, Reading Birth & Death makes an important contribution to the fields of obstetrics, midwifery, childbirth education, sociology of the body, cultural studies and women's studies.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Women Power and Obstetric Rationality
Obstetric Pairings and Knowledge Formation
The Problem of Puerperal Fever
6 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
active management argues argument baby become Caesarean section cent cervix childbirth Churchill claims Clarke clinical Collins contagion danger delivered delivery Deventer dilatation discourse disease dissection doctors Dublin Dublin Quarterly Journal Dunne effects epidemic epidural episiotomy example female body foetal foetus forceps Foucault gendered Gordon Health home birth Ibid infant infection intervention Ireland Irish issue Johnston Journal of Medical knowledge labour London lying-in hospitals male maternal deaths maternal mortality Meagher Medical Science midwifery mother Murphy-Lawless National Maternity Hospital Nihell Nihell's normal notion O'Driscoll Oakley obstetric medicine obstetric science obstetrician operation organisation Ould Ould's outcomes oxytocic oxytocin pain patient perinatal mortality perinatal mortality rates placenta position possible post-partum haemorrhage practitioners pregnancy pregnancy and birth presented problem puerperal fever regime relation reproductive result risk Rotunda Hospital scientific sense social stage of labour statistics technologies theory Treatise uterine uterus woman women giving birth women midwives writing