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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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Disempowered Women?

Disempowered Women?

The Midwifery Model and Medical Intervention

(p.215) 10 Disempowered Women?
Coming to Life

Sonya Charles

Fordham University Press

Along with many other feminist philosophers, I believe the midwifery model of pregnancy and birth is a better approach than the medical model. However, I argue that some aspects of the midwifery model—the uniformity of birth stories, the explanation of the mind/body connection, and the attitude toward medical interventions—disempower women by encouraging feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation when medical technology is necessary. In addition to explaining what is problematic about each aspect, I include some thoughts on how we can reform these parts of the midwifery model to make them more in keeping with the broader goal of female empowerment endorsed by proponents of the midwifery model.

Keywords:   midwifery, childbirth, technology, shame, medicalization

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