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Archived from the original on Retrieved Critical Care Nurse. Huffington Post. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Beyond control: body and self in women’s childbearing narratives

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, NYT Magazine. The Tender Gift: Breastfeeding. Supportive care and midwifery. Da Capo Press. DONA International. The Journal of Perinatal Education. Become a Doula with ProDoula. National Partnership for Women and Families.

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January Birth Arts International. Obstetrics and Gynecology. American Journal of Public Health. New Beginnings Doula Training. The Royal College of Midwives. October Archived from the original PDF on 27 August BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. International Journal of Childbirth Education. Health Expectations. Yea or Nay? The Human Lactation Center. Pregnancy and childbirth. Discussion Much of the literature in this scoping review fell into a category of media-effects research that suggests that audiences do not critically engage [ 16 ].

Strengths and limitations of this research This review searched and assessed the literature on the effects of the media on childbirth perceptions. Conclusion This review offers insight into current research on the portrayal of childbirth in the media and identifies where gaps exist. Footnotes Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Contributor Information Ann Luce, Email: ku.

References 1. Bick D. Media portrayal of birth and the consequences of misinformation. Top-selling childbirth advice books: A discourse analysis. Barker K. Is midwifery still a labour of love? Br J Midwifery. Kline KN. Midwife attended births in prime-time television: Craziness, controlling bitches, and ultimate capitulation. Women Lang. Sears CA, Godderis R. Roar like a Tiger on TV? Feminist Media Stud.

Emotional LIVE Birth Vlog WATER BROKE : Labor & Delivery Birth Video

Morris T, McInerney K. Media representations of pregnancy and childbirth: An analysis of reality television programs in the United States. Gender Soc. VandeVusse A. A baby story as a source of information about childbirth: The messages and their implications. Zwelling E. J Perinat Educ. European Perinatal Health Report: The health and care of pregnant women and their babies in Paris: Inserm; London: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Accessed Feb Do midwives need to be more media savvy? Should I come in now? Kutulas J. Do I look like a chick?

Am Stud. Lacey N. New York: Palgrave; Halloran JD. The Effects of Television. London: Panther Books; The social effects of television; pp. Valkenburg PM. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum; Arksey H, O'Malley L. Scoping studies: towards a methodological framework. Int J Soc Res Meth. Jones K. Qual Rep. West J Nurs Res. The Ecologist ; www. MacLean E. Representations of birth in British newspapers.

Poking fun at midwifery on prime-time television: The rhetorical implications of burlesque frames in humorous shows. Apple RD.

Laboring on: Birth in Transition in the United States by Wendy Simonds

Constructing mothers: Scientific motherhood in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Mothers and Motherhood: Readings in American History. New York: Childbirth Connection; Shallow H. Midwifery Matters. Bak C. Cultural lack of birth experience empowers media representations, not women. Midwifery Today. Rink LE. Murray S, Ouellette L. Clement S. Childbirth on television. Kitzinger S, Kitzinger J. Labour interventions associated with normal birth. Haken C. J Midwifery Womens Health. Stoll K, Hall W.

Vicarious birth experiences and childbirth fear: Does it matter how young Canadian women learn about birth. Why are young Canadians afraid of birth?

A survey of childbirth fear and birth preferences among Canadian University Students. Wlodarczyk J. Genders On-Line J. Holdsworth-Taylor T. Portrayals of childbirth: An examination of Internet Media. Interdiscipl J Health Sci. Talbot R. Bor SE. Lucy's two babies: framing the first televised depiction of pregnancy.

Media Hist. Robotham M. We must stop the distorted vision of birth in the media. Williams G, Fahy K. Whose interests are served by the portrayal of childbearing women in popular magazines for women? Aus Midwifery J. Shaping public opinion on the issue of childbirth; a critical analysis of articles published in an Australian newspaper. Hine G. What do obstetricians think about media influences on their patients? Longhurst R. YouTube: a new space for birth? Feminist Rev. Theroux R. Media as a source of information on pregnancy and childbirth. Nurs Womens Health.

Young D. Childbirth education, the internet, and reality television: Challenges ahead. Schmid V. The need to re-conceptualize birth and harmonise the technological and biological. In: Donna S, editor. Promoting Normal Birth, Reflections and Guidelines. Moffat JF. McQuail D. Audience Analysis. Some participants discussed control as a key issue when describing their childbearing bodies.

Women in the study constructed themselves as both in and out of control of their bodies during childbearing depending on the context of the narrative. Some participants constructed childbearing as a time when control over the body is lost. This finding is consistent with previous research Longhurst , Upton and Han , Warren and Brewis :. I guess that was one of the hardest things, … about four months, five months, just the whole sense of losing control over your body and nothing you can do is really going to stop this process from happening. Other participants described themselves losing control over their bodies during labour.

I think I could have handled it.


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Kristy, 29, first birth, vaginal delivery in hospital, CNM. Teresa echoes this in her description of a long pushing stage in which she could not push her baby out:. Hence, the conceptualisation of the childbearing body as out of control, while prevalent in the current data, seems to be incomplete. The data here suggest that loss of control during labour may be experienced as a loss of control over the total self, rather than simply isolated in the realm of the body. Some participants describe attempts to exert control over the body as futile. I guess it being my first time I wanted to feel the pain.

So I was ready. I was trying to control and felt like I could push along my contractions, which I knew I had no control over it. This section provides a few examples in which participants construct their bodies as out of control during pregnancy and childbirth. Data suggest that participants may feel out of control over more than just their bodies, particularly during labour, and may also feel a loss of control over their thoughts and emotions. In addition, participants report difficulty reinstating control after it has been lost.

These narratives highlight the cultural presumption that the body is in fact controllable and that the woman is responsible for controlling her body. It is important to note that many of the same participants described their bodies as out of control in some contexts and controllable in others:. I was really freaked out the whole time I was pregnant. I guess everybody is.

Laboring on: Birth in Transition in the United States

And what if that? This excerpt highlights the assumption that each individual woman is fully responsible for the outcome of her pregnancy. Kristy constructs these fears as universal rather than unique to her own experience, highlighting the ubiquity of cultural expectations of bodily control and individual responsibility for pregnancy outcomes.

Some participants construct their bodies as potentially controllable based on comments made or instructions given by their healthcare providers:. I went [to see the doctor] and you know when you start going every few weeks, like at the end? My blood pressure was going up.

And I had to lay in bed. I could get up to pee, I think they said I could be up for one hour total for the day. This interaction suggests that pregnant women are responsible for maintaining control over their bodies during pregnancy and are personally accountable for bodily activities that deviate from normative standards of health.

Tracy provides another example in which a healthcare provider suggests the body is potentially controllable in her description of the perineal suturing that took place shortly after the birth of her first child:. Did I do something wrong to cause the tearing? Importantly, the concept of a potentially controllable body seemed to arise mostly in the context of some sort of deviation or something going wrong. In these data, this idea was sometimes conveyed by a healthcare provider.

Some participants also construct themselves as being in control of their bodies during pregnancy and childbirth. This conceptualisation arose infrequently and occurred only in certain narrative contexts. When asked if she would be willing to trade places with her partner during pregnancy and birth if such a scenario were possible, Annie responds:. Not in a million years. I mean, I could control what went in my mouth and what I ate.

And I liked having the control to make those choices. Annie, 26, first birth, vaginal delivery in hospital, CNM. This conceptualisation also arose when comparing their relationship with their baby during pregnancy with their relationship postpartum. In this narrative context, the woman is constructed as having control over her body during pregnancy:. These excerpts demonstrate that some women do construct themselves as having control over their body during childbearing in certain narrative contexts.

Hence, some women may conceive themselves as both in and out of control of their body during pregnancy and childbirth, and these perceptions depend on the context. Many participants describe various relationships between their body and self that took place throughout pregnancy and childbirth in which one component body or self was not necessarily exerting control over the other. Instead, the body in these excerpts is described as autonomously performing its own functions without a need to control or be controlled; accommodating the individual; and collaborating with the self to accomplish a desired task.

The autonomous body is constructed as an active subject that independently performs its own functions. The individual does not necessarily maintain control over these bodily functions and feels no need or desire to do so. In the current study, participants also marvelled at the idea that their body could create a child without instruction or intervention. When describing what she enjoyed about being pregnant, Elizabeth stated:. Just the idea of, just the way your body changes. Especially during our class we took and seeing how your hips realign and things shift and all your organs shift up and everything.

I thought it was a really neat experience to have another person growing inside of me. You create another person. I thought it was amazing. And all of your DNA know exactly how to line up and how to talk to each other and how to make the perfect little baby.

The body is described here as maintaining its own agency to perform functions vital to the creation and development of a child. Rather than attempting to exert control over the body, participants report feeling amazed and in awe that their body was capable of performing such functions. The body then works to accommodate the self by temporarily suspending uterine contractions:. That was it. It was in that transition where [the contractions] just come, one on top of another one.

And my body gave me a break. I think that, I remember Dana saying that her husband was with her when she was labouring and he had to go to the bathroom or something, so he left for like 15 minutes and she just stopped having contractions. And the second she saw him and spotted him and he came to support her, she started having contractions again. And then I got a break. Jasmine, 25, first birth, vaginal delivery at home, LM.

It is not a matter of one component exerting control over the other, but the two work together to accomplish the desired task of birthing a baby.