The Effects of Different Types of Childbirth Experiences in White, Middle Class Women in Western North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Minish, Bailey
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • American women are increasingly choosing alternatives to a traditional physician-assisted hospital delivery to give birth. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), midwives assisted 8.1% of total births and 12.1% of vaginal births in 2009, the highest it’s been since the movement of childbirth from the home into hospitals in the first half of the 20th century (Rochman 2012). In the US, the percentage of out-of-hospital births grew from 1.26% in 2011 to 2.36% in 2012, continuing a trend that has become increasingly popular since 2004 (MacDorman et. al 2014). Compare that to a whopping 2.4% of homebirths that occurred in Buncombe County, the heart of the mountains of Western North Carolina, in 2011 (Ball 2013). This thesis surveys mothers in Western North Carolina from two generations to discover how women’s perceptions of options have changed over time and how they make their decisions or acquire expectations regarding birth. Women with a variety of childbirth experiences, including traditional hospital birth, birth assisted by a midwife, and an accidental homebirth, were interviewed allowing for the analysis of variation in perception of a positive experience amongst women who had different types of birth experiences.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Thompson, Amanda
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Highest Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 68

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