ISBN: 984 05 1741 4

Cover Type: HB

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Disciplining Birth: Power, Knowledge and Childbirth Practices in Bangladesh

By Kaosar Afsana (Author)

Publisher(s): The University Press Limited (UPL)   

First Published: 2005 No. of Pages: 242 Weight (kg): 0.5


UPL Showroom Price: 475.00 BDT

Price: $24.00

This book is about birth practices among poor, rural women in Bangladesh. Kaosar Afsana has used a multidimensional framework for the study. She draws upon ideas and perspectives from history, anthropology, gender and socio-political economy to analyse experiences of self and other, which are truly impressive. It is a pioneering study where various choices available for birthing care in the country are addressed. Ironically, the author observes that there was a certain resistance of the poor, rural women to cosmopolitan obstetrics representing: authoritative knowledge of biomedical professionals and medicalised experience of birth, interpersonal relationship of doctors and nurses with birthing women, hospital costs and unpleasant experiences of childbirth in hospitals. On the contrary they prefer to adhere to indigenous birth practices comprising of: trust and dependence on daini's skills, understanding of birth, women's embodied knowledge and active participation of birthing women and other women in birth events. The author's analysis reveals that the poor, rural women of Bangladesh opted for a more supportive environment at home, which they considered more conducive to their understanding of birth. The study highlights the role of the State in promoting medical professions and in marginalizing indigenous knowledge of birth. In order to improve birthing care for poor, rural women in Bangladesh, it is crucial to strengthen women's roles in birth events, acknowledge indigenous knowledge of birth, organise community-based programmes, reorganise hospital obstetric services, degovernmentalise the State, democratise health policy and organise support at international levels for pro-women, pro-poor obstetric care. This significant study should be of interest to policy planners, medical professionals, scholars of anthropology, gender studies and public health, feminists, social activists and NGOs working with women.

This book features in: Academic and Reference Books Bangladesh Studies Medical Science and Public Health Gender Studies

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