Domesticating birth in the hospital: "Family-centered" birth and the emergence of "homelike" birthing rooms

Maria Fannin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

72 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-535
Number of pages24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Domesticating birth in the hospital: "Family-centered" birth and the emergence of "homelike" birthing rooms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this