Childbirth is a central experience in many womens lives. Whether the experience is positive or negative is largely dependent on the support available, social and medical. But maternity policies in Ireland are in crisis. There are not enough resources to cope with the 50,000 women who give birth in Ireland each year. While the debate has concentrated on the crisis in the hospitals, there has been little research on how social policies affect the maternity experience itself, for better or worse.
This book fills this gap, presenting statistical data on childbirth and maternity policies in Ireland from 1970 to 2000. It shows that childbirth has become increasingly medicalised with the active management of labour becoming the dominant practice. Looking at womens roles as lifegiver, carer and earner, the book assesses the adequacy of health, welfare and labour market policies for women as they experience pregnancy and the first year of motherhood.
Recognising that women are not a homogenous group, it also focuses on the rights of disabled mothers, Travellers, asylum-seeking mothers and mothers with a history of drug abuse. Maternity in Ireland will play a major role in the debate by laying the groundwork for a transformation towards women-centred maternity policies in Ireland.
About the Author
Patricia Kennedy lectures in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at University College Dublin.
- Additional Information
Author Kennedy, Patricia Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 1-904148-16-6 ISBN-13 n/a Illustrations No Date of Publication 2002 Number of Pages 300