Women, midwives and a medical model of care in Switzerland

Article


Brailey, S., Luyben, A., van Teijlingen, E. and Frith, L. 2017. Women, midwives and a medical model of care in Switzerland. International Journal of Childbirth. 7 (3), pp. 125-117. https://doi.org/10.1891/2156-5287.7.3.117
TypeArticle
TitleWomen, midwives and a medical model of care in Switzerland
AuthorsBrailey, S., Luyben, A., van Teijlingen, E. and Frith, L.
Abstract

This article presents a case study on the organization of maternity health care in Switzerland. Switzerland has a costly health care system with high intervention rates within an obstetric-led maternity care model. Evidence has shown that midwifery care is associated with lower cost, higher satisfaction rates among women, and less intervention. However, in this model, midwives are both marginalized and underused.

The article focuses on the distribution of power and knowledge between midwives, women, and the medical profession. The varying power structures that shape the maternity care system in Switzerland are examined, using a case study approach that draws on Foucault’s concepts of the gaze, surveillance, disciplinary power, and the docile body. This article critically analyzes the model of maternity care received by women in Switzerland and how it negatively impacts on both women’s personal and midwives’ professional autonomy while simultaneously driving up costs.

A better understanding of the underlying power structures operating within the maternity care system may facilitate the implementation of more midwifery-led care currently being endorsed by the Swiss Midwifery Association and some government agencies. This could result in reduced cost and lower intervention rates with reduced associated morbidity.

Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
JournalInternational Journal of Childbirth
ISSN2156-5287
Electronic2156-5295
Publication dates
PrintJan 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Jan 2017
Deposited29 Apr 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Restricted
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1891/2156-5287.7.3.117
LanguageEnglish
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