The Medicalization Of Pregnancy And Childbirth Essay

1003 Words May 5th, 2016 null Page
The Medicalization of Pregnancy and Childbirth
In our society there is not a healthy individual who has faced as much medicalization as the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and childbirth have all faced varying degrees of medicalization. The medicalization of childbirth is a very recent phenomenon that began in the early 1900s, when doctors and the medical field became a more ingrained part of society (Epstein & Lake, 2008). Prior to this most births were handled in the home via midwife, yet social discourse mostly ignores the long history of midwifery. The medicalization of birth can be analyzed through a Foucauldian view point. Using the idea of discourse, we can look at the way pregnancy is discussed (Allan, 2014). The discourse surrounding pregnancy is dominated by two groups, the medical establishment, which we consider to be the “correct” opinion, and the “parenting experts”, which comprise a variety of alternative doctors, parents and the like, which are often considered to be quacks. We automatically value the opinion of the medical establishment because we have been socialized to take their word as “expert knowledge” (Allan, 2014). The film The Business if Being Born looks at the way in which we look at childbirth in the United States. The film follows the story of a few pregnant women who are trying to deliver via midwife, and highlights the issues faced by women who choose to do so. A clear issue throughout the film is the portrayal of midwives in the United States as…

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