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The baby and the bath water: disabled women and motherhood in social context.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1997
<mark>Journal</mark>Sociology of Health and Illness
Issue number5
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)622-643
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this paper is to explore key dimensions of the reproductive experiences of disabled women who are, or who are thinking about becoming, mothers. The paper reports a qualitative study which involved semi-structured interviews with 17 disabled women who were contemplating childbearing, or were pregnant, and/or had young children. The interpretation of these women's experiences is situated with reference to current debates on the meaning and nature of disability, and draws attention to the ways in which these experiences can be understood as manifestations of disablism. More specifically, the paper considers three themes which emerged in the data analysis: the women's engagement with the medical 'risk' discourse; the pressure felt by disabled women to demonstrate that they are, or could be, 'good enough mothers'; and their experiences of receiving unhelpful 'help' from health and social care workers.