Forms of birth and care: experiences of women and midwives within a private birth clinic

Jordaan, Cheyenne Rose
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This research report is the product of an ethnographic investigation into the experiences of women and midwives from within a private birth centre in a major South African city. Its methods involve participating observation and interviews to collect narratives of birth at Wellspring clinic from women and midwives. This research report argues that private birth clinics are spaces that exist within a web of tensions. They are spaces designed to encompass a hybridisation of care practices and technologies. They are accessible to those who are able to afford private health care. They are used by women who are insistent in their resistance of an unnecessarily medicalised birth experience. Wellspring encompasses midwife-led care, where women feel in charge of their bodies and birthing experiences, in juxtaposition to private hospitals and their subsequent care under the gaze of the obstetrician. In essence, despite the glaring socio-economic disparities in which they are embedded, private birth clinics in South Africa present an amalgamation of home and hospital. The satisfaction and empowerment of this care presented below, is a provocation to start thinking about providing spaces for all women to benefit within maternal healthcare, and not the privileged few
A research report in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Masters of Arts in Anthropology June 2018
Jordaan, Cheyenne Rose (2018) Forms of birth and care :|bexperiences of women and midwives within a private birth clinics,University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>