Free course

Challenging the biomedical model of childbirth

Free statement of participation on completion

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.