Challenges Of Medicalization

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Medicalization is the process by which nonmedical problems become defined and treated as medical problems, usually in terms of illness, disorders and syndromes. It is a major concept within the subfield of medical sociology. Natural childbirth is a philosophy of childbirth that is based on the belief that women who are adequately prepared are innately able to give birth without routine medical interventions. In this paper, the impacts of medicalization on childbirth and the problems come with it will be analyzed. Lastly, the challenges to medicalization will also be discussed. Impact 1: Childbirth moves to the hospital Historically, most women gave birth at home without any medical intervention. In the last thirty years, experiences of childbirth have changed greatly that the chances of having a normal birth, that is the one without medical intervention, are slim. In America, the maternal mortality rate in 1920 was approximately 950 deaths per 100,000 births (Loudon, 2000). A change in maternal care was a must to address the high rate of death and this change involved the medicalization of birth. Thirty years later, the maternal mortality rate had already improved to only 100 deaths per 100,000 births (Loudon, 2000). As the majority in society agrees that the ideal environment to monitor, manage and potentially intervene in childbirth was the hospital, in the 20th century, childbirth in the developed world moved from the home to the hospital. In such cases, the

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