Grind And Bear It: Constructions of Toughness, Community, And Choice In White Women's Childbearing
Haverford College. Department of Anthropology
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Bi-College users only
Birth in the context of the United States continues to be stratified among a number of markers, including race as one of the most pronounced areas of disparity between the maternal health of white women and women of color (Tikkanen et al. 2020). This project examines white women's lived experiences of childbearing and the economic, social, and political factors that shape such experiences while forming an analysis on the ways in which race interacts with each of those factors and how the experience of childbearing could be improved for all birthing people. Ultimately, it was revealed that notions of choice in childbearing lie not solely within a mother's autonomous domain. Additionally, experiences of toughness are formative in women's perspectives of expertise and motherhood before, during, and after giving birth. Finally, the most emphasized aspect of white women's childbearing was that access to supportive social relationships were key in determining mothers' ability to reflect positively or negatively on their experience.