The Medicalization of the Body: Examining Reproductive Mental Health in Western Society

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Hewko, Julia
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This Capstone paper focuses on the medicalization of childbirth and pregnancy and its impacts on reproductive mental health. This paper acknowledges that many specific vulnerabilities can contribute to poor mental health in perinatal individuals. However, it will emphasize the biomedical model of care created through authoritarian knowledge systems and how medicalization can have negative implications. The literature review looks to understand the difference between authoritative and embodied knowledge systems and to discover what makes one valued in Western society over the other. Particular emphasis is given to medicalization's role in oppression, specifically for marginalized individuals. This Capstone also examines feminist and narrative therapy as empowering perspectives in counselling to take with individuals who have had a medicalized birth, are dealing with birth trauma, or are faced with depression, anxiety, or distress. It concludes with some recommendations for reproductive mental health care in Canada.
reproductive mental health , medicalization , authoritarian knowledge , embodied knowledge , counselling recommendations