Can birth ever be completely natural?

This is the question that researchers want to address in their inter-disciplinary Research Topic ‘Birth.’

“Discussing issues around birth is crucial because of the dramatic scientific advances that are taking place …” – Dr. Kath Woodward.

In many societies, childbirth is highly medicalized, with practitioners and midwives intervening to manage the safe delivery and health of mother and newborn. Advances in science such as IVF, surrogacy and stem-cell work are causing tectonic shifts in the management and experience of reproduction, pregnancy and birth. Technological and scientific approaches result in different experiences, which seem at odds with those considered ‘natural’. The Research Topic ‘Birth’ hosted by Professor Kath Woodward, Professor Mary Christopher and Dr Sophie Woodward aims to address the complicated relationship between often conflicting views of what is natural and provide insights across sociology, gender studies psychology and veterinary science.

“Discussing issues around birth is crucial because of the dramatic scientific advances that are taking place. The production of an artificial mouse embryo from stem cells is a key example that raises all sorts of questions about living beings and how control is exercised. The scale and speed of scientific, technological and medical advances arguably gives a sense of urgency to the questions in our Research Topic.

The hard sciences are also social. There are choices made when undertaking research, when deciding what to research and how to disseminate that research. These are all social decisions that demand analysis. Developments and practices in veterinary and medical science are much more connected than might appear.

Read more at Frontiers: Science News

(photo: snopes.com)

For more research on ‘Birth’ see recent articles

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