Journal List > Korean J Women Health Nurs > v.18(2) > 1089417

Lee and Park: Meaning of 'Natural Childbirth' and Experiences of Women Giving Birth using Midwifery - A Feminist Approach



The purpose of this study was to explore the meanings of 'Natural childbirth' from experiences of Korean women who gave birth to a baby in the midwifery using a feminist approach.


This paper is a qualitative research study and applies a feminist epistemology and methodology to the experiences of women who gave birth in midwifery. The data were collected by individual in-depth interviews with eleven participants.


Two main themes emerged from the feminist content analyses and each main theme had three sub themes. A. transformation of control and knowledge on childbirth and the body 1) refusing coercive medicalization and building a new normality, 2) specific expectations about biological health and maternity rather than a return to nature, 3) the subject of pregnancy and childbirth, B. 'natural childbirth' practice as a new embodied discipline 1) helpers to support mothers, midwives, 2) helping the body to do 'natural childbirth', 3) from isolated labor to cooperative reproduction.


These results indicate that women desired to practice being a subject, consultation with professionals, self-discipline and named actors except for women as 'other subjects' in childbirth.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
General Characteristics of Participants (N=11)

C/S=cesarian section.


This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government(NRF-2010-330-H00010).

Summary Statement

▪ What is already known about this topic?
Childbirth in the midwifery is one alternative to overcome problems that result from medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth. Emotional, psychological and physical supports from midwives are known to satisfy women's childbirth experience in a positive way.
▪ What this paper adds?
Women want professional knowledge and experience of midwives as medical professionals. To do this, women actively practice childbirth in the midwifery.
▪ Implications for practice, education and/or policy
Nurse professionals should know the specific needs of women for midwifery and try to use the specialized knowledge and experience of midwives in nursing.


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