Domesticating Birth in the Hospital: "Family-Centered" Birth and the Emergence of "Homelike" Birthing Rooms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Childbirth is both an embodied and symbolic process, and the home and the hospital have been the shifting and contested sites of childbirth in contemporary discourses of birth in the United States. I argue that the economic and cultural imperatives of deregulation and downsizing of US health-care produce new spaces of domesticity and birthing bodies. Through an examination of the relatively recent transformations of hospital space into "homelike" birthing rooms, I propose a more nuanced understanding of how discursive and material shifts in the practices and sites of birth create new spatialities and subjectivities. The emergence of the "homelike" hospital room situates the production of birth spaces at the nexus of debates around domesticity, the body, the politics of reproduction, and the economics of health care in the United States.
Translated title of the contributionDomesticating Birth in the Hospital: "Family-Centered" Birth and the Emergence of "Homelike" Birthing Rooms
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513 - 535
Number of pages23
JournalAntipode
Volume35 (3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Blackwell
Other: Reprinted in 2004 in <i>Life's Work</i>. Eds Katz, C, Marston, S and Mitchell, K. London: Blackwell, pp. 96-118

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