Shame, gender, birth

Hypatia 21 (1):101-118 (2006)
Abstract
: In recent years, critics of modern obstetrics have cited technology as responsible for women's discontent regarding childbirth. In this essay, I investigate and pry apart the connection between the quality of childbirth experience and technology. After identifying three factors considered constitutive of a 'good birth,' I demonstrate how technology can either facilitate or hinder each, but how dominant strains of birthing practice that reinforce female shame (hospital-based obstetrics and midwifery) consistently undermine them all. It is not technology per se, but its sensitive application, which may most effectively promote an optimal and affirming birth experience
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