Race and Childbirth
'Race' and Childbirth explores the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth from the perspectives of two groups of South Asian women in Britain. The women's personal accounts are examined within the context of the immense diversity which exists within the South Asian communities in terms of socio-economic, cultural, religious and immigration history. The book highlights the relationship between these factors and women's childbirth experiences. It traces the progress of a group of Gujarati Hindu and Bangladeshi Muslim women from the third trimester of pregnancy to six weeks after birth. The women's moving personal accounts provide an insight into the tension between the medical and traditional approaches to care during pregnancy and childbirth, and the strategies they use in negotiating diametrically opposed childbirth practices. The central role of older female relatives in the maintenance of traditional practices and their influence over pregnant women within extended families is explored in depth.
'Race' and Childbirth provides an up-to-date account of this much neglected subject. It explores issues which are beyond the experience of many health professionals and highlights many areas where there is a need for greater sensitivity. The book is recommended reading for general practitioners, obstetricians, midwives, health visitors and medical social workers. It is also directly relevant to researchers, trainers and students in these fields.