"Midwife To Myself": Birth Narratives Among Women Choosing Unassisted Homebirth
Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development
Most pregnant women in the United States today choose a normative physician-guided pregnancy followed by a medically managed hospital birth. Some, however, choose the care of a midwife during pregnancy and birth, whether in the hospital or, more rarely, at home. Despite growing research on both these paths, a third option chosen by some women has rarely been studied: a planned birth at home with neither a doctor nor a midwife assisting. In this article, I examine the stories told by women in this under-researched population to consider how they make and explain this highly unusual choice. Analysis of online birth stories and in-depth interviews with women who planned and had an unassisted homebirth reveal ways in which these women rely on competing discourses of midwifery and medicine to craft a unique sense of agency in birth.
Chasteen Miller, A.
(2009). "Midwife To Myself": Birth Narratives Among Women Choosing Unassisted Homebirth. Sociological Inquiry, 79(1), 51-74.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/21281