"We wanted a birth experience, not a medical experience": exploring Canadian women's use of midwifery

Health Care Women Int. 2008 Sep;29(8):784-806. doi: 10.1080/07399330802269451.


In this study I explore Canadian women's use of midwifery to examine whether their choice represents a resistance to the medicalization of pregnancy/childbirth. Through my analysis of the data I identified eight ways the women's deliberate decision to pursue midwifery care represented resistance to medicalization. In so doing, I demonstrate how women actively assert their agency over reproduction thus shaping their own reproductive health experiences. The outcome of their resistance and resultant use of midwifery was empowerment. Theoretically the research contributes to understanding the intentionality of resistance and a continuum of resistant behavior.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Canada
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Maternal Welfare
  • Midwifery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Midwifery / trends
  • Natural Childbirth / statistics & numerical data*
  • Natural Childbirth / trends
  • Patient Rights*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy