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Women, Midwives, and a Medical Model of Maternity Care in Switzerland.

Brailey, S., Luyben, A., van Teijlingen, E. and Frith, L., 2017. Women, Midwives, and a Medical Model of Maternity Care in Switzerland. International journal of childbirth, 7 (3), 117 - 125.

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Women midwives medical model of maternity care Switzerland (2).pdf - Published Version


DOI: 10.1891/2156-5287.7.3.117


This paper presents a case study on the organisation of maternity healthcare in Switzerland, which has a costly healthcare system with high intervention rates within an obstetric-led maternity care model. Evidence has shown that midwifery care is associated with lower cost, higher satisfaction rates amongst women and less intervention. However, in the current model, midwives are both marginalised and underutilised. The paper focusses on the distribution of power and knowledge between midwives, women and the medical model. The varying power structures that shape the maternity care system in Switzerland are examined, using a case study approach that draws on Foucault’s concepts of the gaze, surveillance, disciplinary power, and the docile body. This paper will critically analyses the model of maternity care received by women in Switzerland and how it negatively impacts on both women’s personal and midwives’ professional autonomy whilst simultaneously driving up costs. A better understanding of the underlying power structures operating within the maternity care system may facilitate the implementation of more midwifery led care currently being endorsed by the Swiss Midwifery Association and some government agencies. This could result in reduced cost and lower intervention rates.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Switzerland; midwifery; private health care; power; knowledge
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:30537
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:09 Apr 2018 11:02
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:10


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