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Nuancing the medicalization debate: Gaps in postpartum care in neoliberal times

Nuancing the medicalization debate: Gaps in postpartum care in neoliberal times

Benoit, Cecilia, Stengel, Camille ORCID: 0000-0002-8812-7932, Phillips, Rachel, Zadoroznyi, Maria and Berry, Sarah (2014) Nuancing the medicalization debate: Gaps in postpartum care in neoliberal times. In: Nash, Meredith, (ed.) Reframing Reproduction: Conceiving Gendered Experiences. Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences (GSSS) . Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp. 84-97. ISBN 978-1-349-44329-1 (doi:

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Research in a number of countries shows an increasing trend for maternal services to focus on infant health, and on the surveillance of parents and their parenting skills, rather than on the provision of broad ranging support for mothers (Dennis et al., 2007; Zadoroznyj, 2006). A wide range of reports produced in the United Kingdom (UK) over the past several years, for example, have centred on the notion of ‘early years’ or ‘foundation years’ interventions, with the aim to reduce child poverty and inequality in life chances, and to ultimately forestall persistent social problems linked to early parental neglect (Allen, 2011; Field, 2010). Within these reports, the importance of mothers’ mental and physical health is cited in relation to childhood health and well-being, but the proposed solutions are most often short-lived, rather superficial interventions such as brief visits by ‘health visitors’, often aimed at screening for risks. Additionally, such visits are framed almost exclusively in terms of expected improvements in mother-child bonding (‘attachment’) and/or breastfeeding rates, and their alleged consequences for early brain development and immunity, rather than any substantive improvements in the health and overall well-being of mothers themselves (Marmot et al., 2010).

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welfare states; neoliberalisation; marketisation; familialisation; commodification; post-birth care; Canada
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Law & Criminology (LAC)
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Last Modified: 16 May 2019 11:01
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
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