Partnered Childbirth and Individual Care Providers in COVID-19 Conditions: Power Decisions, Practices and Discourses
[Partnerskie rody i individual’nye soprovozhdeniia v usloviiakh COVID-19: vlastnye resheniia, praktiki i diskursy]
Type of publication: Research Article
partnered childbirth, individual midwife, doula, patient choice, informed consent, patient rights, medicalization, COVID-19, restrictive measures, quarantine, emergency regulation
The article analyzes field materials and regulatory documents representing childbirth with support of a partner, individual midwife and doula accompaniment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as strategies for interaction of patients, their families and personal assistants with maternity hospitals in the context of anti-epidemic restrictions of Rospotrebnadzor and recommendations of the Russian Ministry of Health. In large Russian cities, the possibility of extraterritorial choice of the hospital for receiving medical care during childbirth has been reduced. Physicians are forced to act on the basis of the presumption of positive covid status in pregnant women, women in labor, infants and other caregivers. In maternity hospitals, the practice of family / partner and doula mutual assistance was temporarily suspended, and physical separation of the mother and the newborn was recommended, including that in children’s intensive care. However, the conspiracy and eschatological discourses of the inhabitants and the academic establishment, fears of asceticism and “cancel of one’s neighbor”, a return to “bare life”, the supremacy of biopower, loss of rituals of childbirth and funeral were overcome by individual specialists and practices of continuing life itself. Antiviral restrictions forced them to transfer interactions with women into forms uncontrollable and invisible to the state and provide support for home births, online support in maternity hospitals, (un)paid prenatal and postnatal counseling and rehabilitation.
Kuksa, T.L. 2021. Partnered Childbirth and Individual Care Providers in COVID-19 Conditions: Power Decisions, Practices and Discourses [Partnerskie rody i individual’nye soprovozhdeniia v usloviiakh COVID-19: vlastnye resheniia, praktiki i diskursy]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 6: 39–61. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150017932-5
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