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From Here to MaternityBecoming a Mother$
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Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447349341

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447349341.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

In the Beginning

In the Beginning

(p.17) 2 In the Beginning
From Here to Maternity

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

This chapter documents the beginning stages of a pregnancy primarily in anecdotes, as women recount their initial experiences with the symptoms of pregnancy, their motives and intentions for motherhood, and seeking family planning and hospital care. Since the advent of contraceptive techniques that are reasonably effective and safe, it is widely assumed that people only have children because they want them — or that this ought to be the reason why children are conceived. But some babies are still conceived unintentionally, so this chapter places the question of whether or not the expectant mother wanted a baby comes before any discussion of people's motives for having children. Aside from these women's experiences, this chapter also documents the more emotional aspects of the initial stages of pregnancy, such as the strong cultural imperative for women to be overjoyed at the sign of pregnancy.

Keywords:   pregnancy, anecdotes, family planning, hospital care, babies, motherhood

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