About the Project

UPDATE:

I have recently made a major revision in my book that changes its scope and focus.

As I’ve been writing, I’ve found that I’ve become more interested in exploring how women form their identities as mothers, especially first-time mothers. This turns my book away from a cultural exploration of birth and toward an exploration of the mind. Therefore, I have renamed my book, “Becoming Mother: Narratives of How One Becomes Two.” Instead of focusing on what happened at each stage of becoming a mother, I’m turning toward an exploration of how these experiences work to shape a mother’s identity.

You can read more about this new vision for the book at www.becomingmotherblog.wordpress.com.

 

Hope to see you there!

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16 thoughts on “About the Project

    • The word count is totally up to you. You know best about what you want to say and how you want to express yourself. If I decide later that I want to include any parts of or your whole narrative, I’ll communicate with you first about how that will look in the text. Thank you for your interest and future contribution!

  1. I hope your book acknowledges the discrimination formula feeders get because for some reason whether it is medically or personally they did not breast feed. No one ever highlights this, instead it’s always about the breast feeding people getting the most help and attention. Breast feeding mothers make out they have it hard when in fact it is the formula feeding mums getting all the backlash and nasty comments. I am yet to see a study where they have compared the two throughout the children’s life span to say breast milk is indeed the best as it is made out to be. I haven’t seen a study that shows the difference between babies being bottle fed and breast fed to be true. How do they know breast milk from every mother is in fact healthy to give to a baby? I am all for breast feeding but there is nothing wrong with formula feeding and people need to stop these judgemental attitudes!

    • Jade,
      As much as humanly possible, the purpose of this project is to just “tell it like it is.” If a particular group feels judged for whatever reason, their feelings will come across in their narratives. If I see that pattern emerge from the narratives that I collect, I will acknowledge and explore it. I’m hoping to receive more accounts from mothers who formula feed because right now, I only have 5 breastfeeding stories. Could you contribute your story?

  2. I`ll gladly participate. I do want to remark that the way your questions are worded is suggestive and likely to skew the responses in a particular direction. When referring to interactions with medical staff (doctors and pediatricians) you use the word `clashes` which is very negative. When asking about interactions with other health professionals such as doulas and nurses the language is neutral. Are your own pre-existing expectations about patient-doctor interactions this negative? Or are you primarily interested in stories from women who adhere to the `natural birth` ideology and who received unwanted interventions? That`s one subgroup of women who certainly deserve to have their stories told but they are far from representative for `American birth` as a whole.

    • Clara,
      Thank you for pointing out this difference in language. You are right that they may skew my responses. I have updated both phrases to “interactions.” My intention is to collect a variety of stories, including C-sections, natural birth, inductions, medicated births, and home births.

      • Another word to use extremely cautiously is “natural”. If I were doing a study of this type, I would be sure to only use descriptive terms like “vaginal birth” “c-section birth” etc, because terms like natural have so many political and social undertones. Good luck – sounds like an awesome project!

  3. I will be sharing my story 🙂 I will write every chance I get and I plan to touch on almost all of your topics. So my story may be pretty long to read. I hope you can get some use out of it though. Thank you for this opportunity!

  4. I would be very happy to contribute. I have a two year old and a five month old and can still vividly feel the emotions of that time. How can I get my story to you?

    • Kathleen,
      Take a moment and fill out the “Share Your Story” page for me and I’ll get in touch with you by email. Thank you for your future contribution!

  5. I’ve already shared my story, partly because you seem to have a lot of assumptions about birth in America, and what is wrong with it, and I wanted to say “Hey, I’m pretty happy with the way birth is handled in America today. At least for me, a privileged white middle class woman with access to health care, birth in a hospital with doctors and nurses is pretty great. It is safe and because I had ready access to pain relief, satisfying. Not only did we all leave the hospital healthy and with all of our brain cells, but I was treated with kindness, respect and was not left to be in pain. As soon as any problems cropped up, they were handled competently and efficiently, and thanks to the stellar care I received, many problems that might have happened were prevented.”

    That’s probably not the case for poor women, who don’t have access to health insurance. I think that’s where birth in America is a problem, but of course that’s where everything in America is a problem. I’m sure those women would love to receive the kind of prenatal care that I had.

    I’ll agree that the way new mothers are treated in America is kind of appalling, with poor leave policies in the workplace, and often little support in the early post-partum period. Perinatal and post-partum mood disorders are not taken seriously enough and that’s a problem.

    • No, it’s not too late. I’ll continue to accept stories for at least another 6 months (summer 2014) and probably longer. I’ll start sitting down to read and write more over Summer 2014.

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