Trial by media

The vilification of homebirth

Ella Kurz, Jenny Browne, Deborah Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

Abstract

Introduction: The anti-homebirth debate continues to rage fiercely although research increasingly suggests planned homebirth is a safe option in which women and babies experience less intervention and fewer complications.
Aim: To apply discourse analysis to media representation of homebirth to illuminate the social construction of appropriate place of birth.
Methods: A critical discourse analysis was undertaken. Data were published media articles pertaining to homebirth and hospital birth mortality in Australia in the year 2012. No ethical approval was necessary.
Results: Five themes surfaced relating to the social construction of appropriate place of birth which were: 1. Birth outside the hospital system–criminal behaviour; 2. Character assassination of the midwife; 3. Ignorant and selfish childbearing women; 4. The assumption that death can be prevented in hospital; 5. Undermining birth at home. Conclusion and implications: As a vehicle of cultural discourse, the media construct and maintain cultural norms of birth, including appropriateness of place of birth. Media cultural norm construction around homebirth is not in keeping with the evidence base; homebirth is vilified. Given the benefits of home as place of birth, we should be vigilant in supporting homebirth as a real option for childbearing women in the face of a cultural mindset which undermines its legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-16
Number of pages2
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Cite this

Kurz, Ella ; Browne, Jenny ; Davis, Deborah. / Trial by media : The vilification of homebirth. In: Women and Birth. 2017 ; Vol. 30. pp. 15-16.
@article{bde296b72ccf48bab464f70357c61c13,
title = "Trial by media: The vilification of homebirth",
abstract = "Introduction: The anti-homebirth debate continues to rage fiercely although research increasingly suggests planned homebirth is a safe option in which women and babies experience less intervention and fewer complications.Aim: To apply discourse analysis to media representation of homebirth to illuminate the social construction of appropriate place of birth.Methods: A critical discourse analysis was undertaken. Data were published media articles pertaining to homebirth and hospital birth mortality in Australia in the year 2012. No ethical approval was necessary.Results: Five themes surfaced relating to the social construction of appropriate place of birth which were: 1. Birth outside the hospital system–criminal behaviour; 2. Character assassination of the midwife; 3. Ignorant and selfish childbearing women; 4. The assumption that death can be prevented in hospital; 5. Undermining birth at home. Conclusion and implications: As a vehicle of cultural discourse, the media construct and maintain cultural norms of birth, including appropriateness of place of birth. Media cultural norm construction around homebirth is not in keeping with the evidence base; homebirth is vilified. Given the benefits of home as place of birth, we should be vigilant in supporting homebirth as a real option for childbearing women in the face of a cultural mindset which undermines its legitimacy.",
author = "Ella Kurz and Jenny Browne and Deborah Davis",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.wombi.2017.08.040",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "15--16",
journal = "Australian journal of midwifery : professional journal of the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated",
issn = "1871-5192",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Trial by media : The vilification of homebirth. / Kurz, Ella; Browne, Jenny; Davis, Deborah.

In: Women and Birth, Vol. 30, 10.2017, p. 15-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

TY - JOUR

T1 - Trial by media

T2 - The vilification of homebirth

AU - Kurz, Ella

AU - Browne, Jenny

AU - Davis, Deborah

PY - 2017/10

Y1 - 2017/10

N2 - Introduction: The anti-homebirth debate continues to rage fiercely although research increasingly suggests planned homebirth is a safe option in which women and babies experience less intervention and fewer complications.Aim: To apply discourse analysis to media representation of homebirth to illuminate the social construction of appropriate place of birth.Methods: A critical discourse analysis was undertaken. Data were published media articles pertaining to homebirth and hospital birth mortality in Australia in the year 2012. No ethical approval was necessary.Results: Five themes surfaced relating to the social construction of appropriate place of birth which were: 1. Birth outside the hospital system–criminal behaviour; 2. Character assassination of the midwife; 3. Ignorant and selfish childbearing women; 4. The assumption that death can be prevented in hospital; 5. Undermining birth at home. Conclusion and implications: As a vehicle of cultural discourse, the media construct and maintain cultural norms of birth, including appropriateness of place of birth. Media cultural norm construction around homebirth is not in keeping with the evidence base; homebirth is vilified. Given the benefits of home as place of birth, we should be vigilant in supporting homebirth as a real option for childbearing women in the face of a cultural mindset which undermines its legitimacy.

AB - Introduction: The anti-homebirth debate continues to rage fiercely although research increasingly suggests planned homebirth is a safe option in which women and babies experience less intervention and fewer complications.Aim: To apply discourse analysis to media representation of homebirth to illuminate the social construction of appropriate place of birth.Methods: A critical discourse analysis was undertaken. Data were published media articles pertaining to homebirth and hospital birth mortality in Australia in the year 2012. No ethical approval was necessary.Results: Five themes surfaced relating to the social construction of appropriate place of birth which were: 1. Birth outside the hospital system–criminal behaviour; 2. Character assassination of the midwife; 3. Ignorant and selfish childbearing women; 4. The assumption that death can be prevented in hospital; 5. Undermining birth at home. Conclusion and implications: As a vehicle of cultural discourse, the media construct and maintain cultural norms of birth, including appropriateness of place of birth. Media cultural norm construction around homebirth is not in keeping with the evidence base; homebirth is vilified. Given the benefits of home as place of birth, we should be vigilant in supporting homebirth as a real option for childbearing women in the face of a cultural mindset which undermines its legitimacy.

UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/trial-media-vilification-homebirth

U2 - 10.1016/j.wombi.2017.08.040

DO - 10.1016/j.wombi.2017.08.040

M3 - Meeting Abstract

VL - 30

SP - 15

EP - 16

JO - Australian journal of midwifery : professional journal of the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated

JF - Australian journal of midwifery : professional journal of the Australian College of Midwives Incorporated

SN - 1871-5192

ER -