The Biomedical Model

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The reproductive system is the revolving focus in women 's health discourse. The events of pregnancy and motherhood are generally important milestones that may occur in the lives of women. According to the World Health Organization (2014), each day there are approximately 800 maternal deaths across the globe due to childbirth complications, and 99% of which are preventable deaths that occur in developing countries. The reason for this is that mothers face more difficulty in accessing health resources in developing countries, thus typically delivering naturally at home without the supervision of a health care provider. Up until the 18th century midwives delivered infants, and the female family members and relatives assisted during the process. …show more content…
This is also known as the restorative approach (Cahill, 2001). In the perspective of the biomedical model, health is seen as the absence disease with the exclusion of psychosocial aspects. Furthermore, the responsibility to accomplish such a level of health is placed on the individual. Zola, a sociologist created the term medicalization in 1972 (Arunima, 2012). Conrad (1992) describes medicalization as defining a problem or behaviour using medical terminology, and providing treatment and/or interventions through medical protocols. The evolvement of social problems or deviance from moral, then legal, to now what is known as medicalized issues (e.g. mental illness). In relation to medicalization and the biomedical model, women die from childbirth and pregnancy complications such as infections, pre-eclampsia, hemorrhage, eclampsia which are preventable with surveillance and monitoring (WHO, 2014). Pre-eclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and proteinuria during pregnancy, which then if not treated can lead to eclampsia. Eclampsia can result in nausea, vomiting, seizures, and coma for the mother. Hemorrhage is the excessive bleeding that can occur after childbirth, and infections such as sepsis due to unhygienic practices. The rates of deaths from such complications are termed as maternal mortality rate, which is a …show more content…
The medicalization of pregnancy prevents intrauterine fetal death, and still birth during the process through surveillance of umbilical cord compression, fetal heart monitor, and palpation. A comprehensive health history and physical assessment can determine whether a woman 's pregnancy is high risk, and then can begin planning to prevent negative fetal outcomes such as miscarriages, gestational diabetes, and preterm birth. Infant mortality rates in Canada were 4.9 deaths per 1000 live births, as compared to 132 deaths per 1000 live births in Somalia (PHAC, 2013; WHO, 2015). As previously mentioned, it was the midwives who delivered women 's babies before the 18th century regardless of the type of risk that was associated with the pregnancy. Robinson (1990) explains that midwives are trained to care for low risk mothers (as cited in Cahill, 2000). Midwives are currently unable to prescribe medication and deliver a woman who is high risk, however historically midwives had no option in assisting a woman who is at a high risk as they were the most experienced in deliveries. The medicalization of childbirth has been associated with new procedures and treatments that are necessary during deliveries, such as cesarean sections. An intervention such as this has allowed women to safely have their babies delivered, as problems may arise during the course of birth. Women may

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