“Orchestrating Normal”: The Conduct of Midwifery in the United States

Holly Powell Kennedy

in Birth Models That Work

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780520248632
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943339 | DOI:
“Orchestrating Normal”: The Conduct of Midwifery in the United States

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This chapter provides a lens to examine the midwifery model of care in the United States through a synthesis of research programs about the work of midwives. The model described is meant to stimulate reflection, research, and policy changes on the most effective and satisfying ways that one can work “with women” during childbirth. It involves two major processes of care, the first of which is developing a relationship between the midwife and the woman. The second is “orchestration”: the conduct of the midwife's work with the woman to meet her needs within the existing health care system. A qualitative analysis of textual data from a large survey of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) about managed care provides a description of real-world difficulties in practice today.

Keywords: orchestration; midwifery model; childbirth; care system; ACNM

Chapter.  11370 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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