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By Sheila Kitzinger

One new mom in twenty is clinically determined with disturbing pressure after childbirth. In start main issue Sheila Kitzinger explores the disempowerment and nervousness skilled by means of those girls. Key issues mentioned comprise: expanding intervention in being pregnant the shift in emphasis from relationships to expertise in childbirth how kin, pals caregivers can achieve out to traumatized moms how ladies can paintings via pressure to appreciate themselves extra deeply and develop in emotional adulthood how care and the clinical method has to be replaced. start obstacle attracts on moms' voices and real-life studies to discover the soreness after childbirth which has, in the past, been brushed lower than the carpet. it's a attention-grabbing and resource for scholar and training midwives, all healthiness execs, and girls and their households who are looking to conquer a anxious delivery.

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They are required to surrender their own clothing, a symbol of individuality, are depersonalised by having to wear a skimpy cotton gown, and may be covered in the delivery room with sterile drapes. They are expected to follow instructions, avoid drawing attention to themselves and be polite and controlled. They are addressed by their first names in a superficially friendly way, but rarely call the obstetrician by his or her first name. In fact, they may not even know the doctor’s name at all. Women may lose their names altogether; they may become anonymous and be referred to as ‘room 5’, ‘the Caesarean’, ‘the multiple birth’ or ‘the induction’.

There is general anxiety, an obstetrician is called in, and preparations are made for an instrumental delivery, or the patient is rushed to theatre for a Caesarean section. Or the woman is told that she is 5 centimetres dilated, and then someone else, perhaps with larger fingers, does an internal examination and announces that she is 4 centimetres and that labour must be speeded up because it is taking too long. THE LANGUAGE OF OBSTETRICS Today in most countries, with the exception of Russia where most obstetricians are women and have low status in the medical system, INSTITUTIONAL POWER IN A HIGH-TECH BIRTH CULTURE 1111 2 3 4 5 6222 7 8 9 1011 1 2 3111 4 5 6 7 8 9 20222 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 1 2 3222 4 5 6 7 8 9 40 1 2222 21 INSTITUTIONAL POWER IN A HIGH-TECH BIRTH CULTURE 22 birth is men’s business.

One reason for this was that the men were away in the armed services, so responsibility for childbirth was reclaimed by midwives, and birth became again, for a brief interval, woman-centred. When men took over again after the war, obstetricians were often eager to try out new technology to show what they could do. As students, they still learned basic skills from midwives, but when they progressed in their careers they concentrated on abnormal and interesting cases, and often never saw another normal labour and birth.

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