Document Detail

Splitting bodies/selves: women's concepts of embodiment at the moment of birth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23094983     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Little sociological research has focused specifically on the moment of birth. In this article we draw upon interview data with women who had very recently given birth for the first time to explore the ways in which they described both their own embodiment and that of their infants at this time. We use the term 'the body-being-born' to describe the liminality and fragmentation of the foetal/infant body as women experience it when giving birth. The study found that mode of birth was integral to the process of coming to terms with this body during and following birth. The women who gave birth vaginally without anaesthesia experienced an intense physicality as they felt their bodies painfully opening as the 'body-being-born' forced its way out. In contrast the women who had had a Caesarean section tended to experience both their own bodies and those of their infants as absent and alienated. Most of the women took some time to come to terms with the infant once it was born, conceptualising it as strange and unknown, but those who delivered by Caesarean section had to work even harder in coming to terms with the experience.
Deborah Lupton; Virginia Schmied
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sociology of health & illness     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1467-9566     ISO Abbreviation:  Sociol Health Illn     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8205036     Medline TA:  Sociol Health Illn     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 The Authors. Sociology of Health & Illness © 2012 Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness/Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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