First-time mothers' experiences of childbirth in Western Canada : appropriating medical events as social events

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Perrotta, Arielle E.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Women and Gender Studies
This thesis examines women’s experiences of childbirth, specifically their interactions with healthcare practitioners and technology use during labour and delivery. I refer to the evolving history of childbirth in order to understand the historical context of birth and how contemporary women respond to the current normative practices involved with childbirth. In the analysis of interviews with nine first-time mothers, who had vaginal births, within eight months of the interview in Southern Alberta, I draw attention to the actualities of the women’s experiences and perceptions of childbirth and technology use. There are three primary findings presented in this research. They include how women construct their authentic and original self through their own unique experiences; women’s medical appropriations; and lastly, how women create a social space within the hospital through their interactions with their labour support members. Women’s perspectives show various moments of negotiating their power and agency when resisting certain medical standards.
medical appropriation , motherhood , childbirth , social aspects of birth , technology use during birth