• Article

Pregnancy without Women Lessons from Childbirth Classes

In this article, we examine motherhood “scripts,” or cultural discourses, taught in prenatal classes in the US South. Our analysis revealed that these prenatal classes, all taught in the early 2000s, appear to have supported a model of “intensive mothering” that undermined women’s autonomy and power in pregnancy. In addition, the content and messaging of these classes appears to have contributed to a societal tendency to make pregnant women, especially poor women and women of color, invisible while privileging the fetus as a person rater than as a potential person.


Deeb-Sossa, N., & Kane, H. L. (2017). Pregnancy without Women: Lessons from Childbirth Classes. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, 14(4), 380-392. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13178-016-0265-6

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