Dominant notions of reproduction perceive childbearing as physical processes that take place within women’s bodies. This perception undermines non-physical components and removes men from the process. This project uses social constructionism to explore the locations women describe pregnancy and childbirth taking place in their childbearing narratives. Based on in-depth interviews with 15 mothers, findings reveal that women conceptualize childbearing as taking place in multiple locations: (1) within the female body, (2) within both the female body and a non-physical realm (e.g., emotional) of one or both partners, (3) detached from any particular location, and (4) within both partners’ bodies. Conceptualizing childbearing as something other than a purely physical event acknowledges non-physical elements of childbearing and allows greater participation among men.


Pregnancy, Childbirth, Body, Gender, and Father

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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