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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

Remember Pregnancy is a State of Health

Remember Pregnancy is a State of Health

(p.38) 3 Remember Pregnancy is a State of Health
From Here to Maternity

Ann Oakley

Policy Press

This chapter argues that pregnancy is a medical condition — a condition to be monitored by doctors. Between seven and eighteen visits to the general practitioner (GP), local authority, or hospital clinic were made during pregnancy by the sample women for antenatal care: the average was thirteen. Going to the doctor suggests illness, and two other features of illness are associated with pregnancy in modern industrialised society: a pregnant woman, like other ‘patients’, is allowed to give up her normal work, and is encouraged to hand over responsibility for the management of her condition to others (the medical profession). Moreover, pregnancy produces unpleasant symptoms, each of which, in other circumstances, can be a sign of illness. Even in pregnancy some of these require medication, a habit not normally associated with health.

Keywords:   medical condition, antenatal care, illness, symptoms, medication, health

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