The experiences of birthing women are essential to optimal birth outcomes. Here we examine how obstetric practices and behaviors in the birth arena result in subjugation of birthing women and their treatment as birthing (mechanical) bodies. We demonstrate that cultural practices that relegate women's consciousness and agency increase the likelihood of harmful effects caused unintentionally by medical activity. We suggest a corrective. The concept ‘birthing consciousness’ can bridge the relevant scientific fields because it describes a naturally occurring state of consciousness triggered by biochemical processes during birth that also represents the subjectivity and agency of birthing women and their importance.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience