My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Challenging the biomedical model of childbirth
Health means different things to different people, and this is reflected in the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth in this free course, Challenging the biomedical model of childbirth. People's views on health and disease are often influenced by official discourse which today, just as in times past, has projected authoritative messages about what should be considered important. Such official accounts contain judgements about health, emphasising some ideas and practices while marginalising others. In childbirth, there have been many challenges to these official ways of seeing and doing, and this course focuses on some of them.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- discuss the dominance of biomedicine in Western societies' experience of childbirth
- understand concerns about the medicalisation of childbirth
- demonstrate knowledge of challenges to the biomedical model and how a broader, more social view of childbirth is emerging
- show knowledge of how childbirth is a highly individual experience, and how research has tried to capture and understand the challenges women face in making birth choices.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The medicalisation of childbirth
- 2 Exploring the range of challenges
- 3 Values and choices in childbirth – putting the official response into practice
- 4 Personal experiences of childbirth
- 5 Survey research into the experience of childbirth
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
5 hours study
Level 1: Introductory
Become an OU student
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.