“Discourse and Health Research Group” 9th April 2018, School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh
Sue Chowdhry (Ph.D Nursing Student) presents her research on ‘Do you know why you’re here?’: Obstetric framings of large pregnant bodies
‘Do you know why you’re here?’: Obstetric framings of large pregnant bodies In this presentation I discuss some of the findings from my PhD study investigating maternal healthcare in the context of maternal obesity discourse. In Western societies, medical and cultural representations of people labelled as ‘obese’ have been implicated in the Othering of larger people (Puhl & Heuer, 2009). Larger women’s pregnancies are labelled as ‘high-risk’ pregnancies, and consequently, involve higher levels of medicalisation than ‘low-risk’ pregnancies. Obstetricians therefore, play a significant role in the medical governance of larger women’s pregnancies; and yet, there is a gap in knowledge about how they construct this aspect of their work. The research findings I present are based on interviews with five Scottish obstetricians about their management of larger women’s pregnancies. The research data was analysed using a narrative structural approach to examine the ways obstetricians, obstetric practices, and larger women were framed in the stories obstetricians told about this aspect of their work. The findings provide a context for further discussion with which to examine the Othering of larger women in the context of maternal obesity policy: providing a focus on which to improve maternal healthcare experience, and a context for further examination of the medical management of larger women’s pregnancies in the context of neoliberal public health policy and anti-obesity discourse.