The medicalization of birth in a socio-historical perspective  

May 2017

Since the nineteenth century, birth has entered the medical field, becoming a medical event. This process has expanded during the twentieth century, reaching many countries around the world and bringing significant improvements mainly related to the reduction of mother and child mortality rates.

However, the medicalization of birth also points to some problems. Its overuse of technology has raised criticism and dissatisfaction, especially related to the clinical, physical and emotional consequences of the excess of interventions. The process of medicalization of birth and its consequences is a challenge for our society and has been mobilizing different fields of the political, technical and academic worlds.

Most studies carried out so far are important to show the current panorama of birth. However, there are only few works focusing on the transformations in the process of pregnancy and birth.

This special issue seeks collaborations that reflect on the process of medicalization of childbirth in different countries, from a range of disciplinary perspectives, especially analysis focused on the technologies, practices and the increase of medical interventions in pregnancy and birth.

The deadline for submissions to the special issue “The medicalization of birth in a socio-historical perspective” is September 30th, 2017. The originals can be submitted in Portuguese, Spanish and English. We accept papers to sections “Analysis”, “Images”, “Research Notes” and “Sources”.

Details of the manuscript submission guidelines can be found here. Only papers sent through the online submission system will be considered.

Read in Manguinhos:

Felitti, Karina. Parirás sin dolor: poder médico, género y política en las nuevas formas de atención del parto en la Argentina (1960-1980). Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Dic 2011, vol.18, suppl.1, p.113-129. ISSN 0104-5970

Chazan, Lilian Krakowski and Faro, Livi F.T. “Holy scan” or “picture of the baby?” Biomedicalization and stratification in the use of obstetric ultrasound in Rio de Janeiro. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos, Mar 2016, vol.23, no.1, p.57-78. ISSN 0104-5970

Read the full issue of HCSMS’ latest issue: The Biomedicalization of Brazilian Bodies: Anthropological Perspectives (vol.23 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./Mar. 2016).

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