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Publication Date: 
September, 2015
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From the perspective that birth attitudes are largely enculturated, the researchers assessed medical and natural birth attitudes among 1,467 nulliparous university women and men,


In the U.S. and other industrialized nations, the prevailing childbirth approach has been described as medicalized, a view in which safe birth is characterized as requiring specialized intervention. From the perspective that birth attitudes are largely enculturated, we assessed medical and natural birth attitudes among 1,467 nulliparous university women and men, expecting that pre-parents would endorse medical more strongly than natural birth attitudes. We analyzed data in subgroups categorized by sex, race, and future childbearing plans. White men and women who did not plan to have children scored significantly higher on the medical than natural birth scale whereas non-white women and men rated the natural birth scale higher. Our results reflect the complex interplay between demographics and birth philosophy and indicate the need for awareness of enculturated beliefs, particularly in developing childbirth informational campaigns to address growing evidence indicating that intensive intervention has not led to measurably increased maternal or newborn health.



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