Giving birth as a struggle between bodily needs and medical practice

Lenka Formánková - Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Eva Hejzlarová - Faculty of Social Scicence, Charles University

Posted: August 11, 2020

This Making and Doing project confronts the audience with the Czech debate on birth-giving combining the materials of the medical experts with the audio version of narratives we have collected through biographical-narrative interviews with women giving birth at home and in the hospital.

Globally, the birth giving practice became highly medicalised. Also Czech legislation reinforces this trend on birth giving by restricting the choice of place of birth. As a result, vast majority of women give birth in the hospital with only estimated 0.5% of births given outside of the hospital. Nevertheless a heated discussion about the freedom of choice on the birth giving practice takes place between the Czech midwifes and obstetricians.

We have created an audiovisual object which provides possibility to experience two versions of the truth: the lived experiences of women giving birth and the expertise of obstetricians articulated while discussing the choice of place and form of giving birth.