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Breastfeeding in Hospital: Mothers, Midwives and the by Fiona Dykes

By Fiona Dykes

'Breast is healthier' is today’s triumphing mantra. notwithstanding, ladies – relatively first-time moms – often consider unsupported once they come to feed their child. This new event usually happens within the impersonal and medicalized atmosphere of a health center maternity ward the place ladies are 'seen to' via overworked midwives. utilizing a UK-based ethnographic examine and interview fabric, this ebook offers a brand new, radical and important viewpoint at the ways that ladies adventure breastfeeding in hospitals. It highlights that, despite heavy merchandising of breastfeeding, there's usually a scarcity of help for girls who start to breastfeed in hospitals, therefore difficult the present approach of postnatal care inside of a tradition within which neither service-user nor supplier think chuffed. Incorporating strategies for coverage and perform on baby feeding, Breastfeeding in health center is extremely appropriate to wellbeing and fitness pros and breastfeeding supporters in addition to to scholars in health and wellbeing and social care, clinical anthropology and clinical sociology, because it explores perform concerns whereas contextualising them inside a vast social, political and fiscal context.

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Additional info for Breastfeeding in Hospital: Mothers, Midwives and the Production Line

Example text

The hospital was the place in which the principles of linear time, production, control and surveillance predominated. Scheduling and placing of rigid time controls upon every aspect of the breastfeeding relationship became central as the twentieth century progressed. This scheduling of breastfeeding provides a classic example of the imposition of time constraints upon an inherently cyclical, rhythmical and relational process. As Simonds (2002) states, the ‘idiosyncratic rhythms of breastfeeding (determined by mothers and newborns) were obfuscated and mechanically regulated by an obsessively precise schedule’ (566).

Timing (re)production The mechanical clock played an increasingly profound role in women’s (re)productive experiences. As Forman and Sowton (1989) state, ‘the insatiable urge of scientists and their technologies to quantify and impose linearity on the life cycle is nowhere more vividly seen than in male-dominated obstetrics’ (xiii). Over the course of the twentieth century, in parallel with increasing hospitalisation, every aspect of women’s (re)productive experience became increasingly viewed through the tyrannical lens of linear time (Fox 1989; Kahn 1989; Pizzini 1992; Thomas 1992; Davis-Floyd 1992, 1994; Edwards 2001, 2005; Simonds 2002).

This, she argues, necessitates dependency upon visual data that demystifies pregnancy and overrides sensations experienced by the woman. The mechanistic interpretations of such material place doctors in control of the information and establish abstract information as the defining element of pregnancy. Surveillance extended beyond the mother and her baby to those providing the service, as noted above with reference to Foucault’s (1977, 1980) discussion of Panopticism. As Arney (1982) states, ‘monitoring is the new order of obstetrical control to which not only women and their pregnancies are subject but to which The birthing of the production line 21 obstetrical personnel themselves are subject’ (102).

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