She Said, She Said: Interruptive Narratives of Pregnancy and Childbirth




natural childbirth, medicalization, narrative inquiry, creative analytic practice, composite poem, informed consent, agency


In this article, we explore narrative inquiry data we collected with women who attempted to have a natural, drug-free childbirth for the birth of their first child. The data presented come from semi-structured life story interviews with six women who live in a metropolitan city in the mid-southern United States. Using creative analytic practice (CAP), the women's experiences are presented as a composite poem. The (re)presentation of the women's narratives in the poem emphasizes the tensions between what women desired and planned for in contrast to what they actually experienced during pregnancy and birth. The poem illustrates the politics of agency, the ways in which consent is bypassed or assumed in some medical institutions in the United States, and the resilience of the women.



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Author Biographies

Alison Happel-Parkins, University of Memphis

Dr. Alison HAPPEL-PARKINS is an assistant professor in counseling, educational psychology and research at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Her empirical work centers around women's health and reproductive rights, and her theoretical work uses ecocritical and ecofeminist frameworks to interrogate K-12 public school curriculum and practices in the USA.

Katharina A. Azim, University at Buffalo (SUNY)

Dr. Katharina A. AZIM is a clinical lecturer in psychology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), New York, USA. Her academic interests center on ethnic identity and Middle Eastern-North African/Arab/Muslim psychology, on the one hand, and women's reproductive health, agency, and rights in the USA, on the other. Methodologically, she uses postcolonial feminist and poststructural theories, narrative inquiry, and autoethnography.




How to Cite

Happel-Parkins, A., & Azim, K. A. (2017). She Said, She Said: Interruptive Narratives of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 18(2).



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