Pregnancy and childbirth: antenatal care, birth and postnatal care

Angela Davis

in Modern Motherhood

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780719084553
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702109 | DOI:
Pregnancy and childbirth: antenatal care, birth and postnatal care

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Childbirth is an essential aspect of motherhood. This chapter therefore continues the examination of women’s relationship with medical professionals by looking into maternity provision and the changing relationship between mothers and the health services between the 1940s and 1990s within the spheres of antenatal care, childbirth and postnatal care. The second half of the twentieth century saw a transformation of maternity care in England with the introduction of the NHS in 1948 offering a free and universal maternity service for the first time. However the period has also been characterised as one of increasing medical intervention with medical professionals seeking to control women’s reproductive capacity. This chapter questions this picture through focusing on women’s own attitudes towards the care they received and how actively they felt they could determine it.

Keywords: Motherhood; Pregnancy; Childbirth; Postnatal care; Maternity services

Chapter.  13079 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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