Room D115, London Anarchist Bookfair Central Saint Martin’s, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, London N1C 4AA
In 2001, the NHS published new guidelines advising midwifes and doctors to encourage women to opt for so called natural births. Natural childbirth is childbirth without routine medical interventions, particularly anaesthesia in the form of epidural, the most effective pain relief method available for child birth. Breast feeding has been for some time similarly encouraged, and women going through pregnancies are repeatedly warned of the risks of formula feeding. The way the debate is led tells us about and reflects on prevalent ideals and ideas around motherhood and femininity.
In this talk we want to look at two things: why the state is promoting natural child birth and breastfeeding; and why it finds so many fans of this programme.