Chapter 14: Unhappiness after childbirth

Grabowska, Christine (2017) Chapter 14: Unhappiness after childbirth. In: The Social Context of Birth. CRC Press, London, UK, pp. 213-228. ISBN 9781785231254

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In the UK many women entering motherhood feel unhappy. 2%-6% will be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and more than twenty per cent will be diagnosed with post natal depression and treated with antidepressants. Most of these women will not need the provision of pharmacological resolutions for what, in effect, is dissonance that arises from being fed imagery and lies about the joys, and not the realities, of motherhood. Pregnant women can attend labour preparation classes and still not be prepared for what might be a traumatic birth. Coping strategies and effective support need to be prioritized by midwives and maternity management structures in order to prepare women undergoing these transitions in a realistic and truthful manner. The technological focus of western society undervalues the pragmatic needs of mothers leading to a destabilisation of their emotional health and a reduction of confidence in themselves as they negotiate these transitions.
This chapter critically appraises the circumstances of women’s transition into motherhood, based on social norms and cultural expectations. It will not recount the medical dogma and treatment for post natal depression. The chapter proposes that some women find the transition difficult because of the prestige afforded to economic advantage. The chapter concludes by asking for political solutions and ultimately a radical change in maternal and societal expectations of motherhood alongside a change to the social infrastructure in order to support the mothering role.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Medicine and health > Midwifery
Depositing User: Marc Forster
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 13:24
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:07

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