One way of looking at birth is to see it entirely in terms of biology - how the reproductive process works in the human body. Another is to assess risk - examine what might go wrong in physiological mechanisms, and describe methods of preventing and treating malfunction. But to understand how women experience birth it has to be seen in its social context: the way in which people interact, the meanings that events have for them, and the relationships between all those involved - the social construction of reality. "The Politics of Birth" explores ways in which we learn about birth, how we talk and feel about it, assumptions that professional caregivers may make, and the roles and skills of midwives. Topics include home birth and water birth; the use of drugs in childbirth; obstetric and nursing interventions which are often used routinely; Caesarean sections; pressures that care-givers are under, and the choices presented to women that are more apparent than real. Throughout, the author draws on research-based evidence to present both an holistic yet grounded examination of topical issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. This is not a 'how to' book. The aim of "The Politics of Birth" is to help the reader develop deeper insight and understanding of how a technocratic birth culture shapes our ideas about birth and obstetric practice. This book is for everybody who wants to understand and improve the technocratic culture.
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