Toward better births? Political discourses of maternity care in birth practices in Denmark and France

Nicole Thualagant*, Sine Lehn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Internationally, politicians and practitioners have focused strongly on humanization of births, to enable fewer medicalized birth care procedures. In this paper, we explore policy efforts to support better births in order to comprehend developments in maternity care in Denmark and France, two countries previously identified as having different birth cultures. Our analysis has been fueled by the question of how birth policies have developed in both countries in an era in which medicalization of birth has been problematized internationally. Using discourse analysis, we examine the political constructions of specific problems in central policy documents. The analysis shows which problematizations around maternity care are discursively constructed, what solutions are discursively presented and on what assumptions the problematizations are based. The article supports the conclusion of other scholars that a pervading risk discourse on birth and birthing bodies constitutes how maternity care can be experienced and practiced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Care for Women International
VolumeLatest articles
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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