The medicalisation of motherhood

I finish writing this days (+/-) from giving birth to my first child. While I am blessed to have had an easy pregnancy and a healthy growing baby, I’ve been astounded at the focus of my child’s early development in the womb – uncategorically medical. 

I understand the fundamental reasons behind this – the aim of the system is to ensure that expectant mothers carry their babies to full term and birth healthy, live children with as little complication as possible. I for one am grateful for this, but I can’t help have felt – and still do to some extent – how limited this focus is and how it leaves us as first time expectant parents, so very unprepared for the journey ahead.

Every appointment filled with weight checks and urine samples, brief listens to the baby’s heartbeat, checklists to examine my risk factor for domestic violence and mental health issues, pamphlets and consent for vaccinations and so on. The protein in my urine is just one minute symptom of mine and my child’s well being.

What about all the others?

The bits about approaching this massive life event with calm, how to block out the noise of shared experience, to understand the gamut of possibilities with parenting and retain hope for a happy family, how to comprehend the enormity of what’s about to happen and still believe in myself, in us. How to foster the kind of birthing and post-birth environment that is conducive to a relaxed mother, father and child. How all of these factors contribute to the health and well being of mother and child and how can we address them.




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