Current maternity policy advocates choice and control for women in maternity care, and promotes women as active childbirth consumers and decision-makers. However, evidence that women receive true choice within contemporary maternity services is lacking, and continued and pervasive barriers to choice continue to have profound consequences for many.
Choice, Control and Contemporary Childbirth explores the narrative childbirth experiences of a group of women, outlining current policy and providing an overview of the relevant discourses to which women are exposed when making choices for maternity care. This book is unique in presenting narratives that reveal varying identities for women across their maternity exerience, illustrating how maternity choices are simulataneously promised and constrained.
It provides practitioners, service providers and policymakers in maternity care, and all those with an interest in birth provision, with profound insights into both women's experiences of childbirth and how choices can be better facilitated in future.
‘Maternal choice and control are a challenge in contemporary society,
with the changing demography of the population, the rising birth rate and financial
constraints. Collecting this diverse information in one publication is timely
and an invaluable resource for the practising and academically active midwives,
obstetricians and health service managers.’
From the Foreword by Tina Lavender
Part 1: Policy, Theories and Perspectives
The Context of Choice in Pregnancy and Childbirth
Competing Discourses in Maternity Care
Discourses of Motherhood
Part 2: The Women’s Stories
Making Sense of the Stories Told
Now I’m Pregnant: Early Pregnancy and Choices for Care
The Labour of Pregnancy: Late Pregnancy and Impending Labour
So how was it? Giving birth and the early postnatal days
No Going Back: The Reality of Mothering
Choice, Control and Contemporary Childbirth