The home birth movement in the united states

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (2):147-174 (1993)
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The home birth movement in the United States is an alternative health belief system that promotes a model of pregnancy and childbirth contradictory to the conventional biomedical model. The alternative model stresses normalcy and non-intervention and is informed by an ideology that promotes individual authority and responsibility for health and health care. It is founded in an epistemological system that assigns primacy and goodness to the Natural, fuses moral and practical injunctions in the arena of health behavior, and valorizes subjective as well as objective sources of knowledge. ( Natural = as found in nature without technical intervention). Differences of opinion with the conventional medical model of childbirth do not spring from misunderstanding of this model, but from disagreement with it. Members of this movement are typically educated, middle class, and white. Keywords: alternative childbirth, home birth, midwifery, out-of-hospital birth



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