Pregnancy • Emotional Reactions: • Positive Emotions- include anticipation and excitement, sense of purpose, accomplishment, growing sense of attachment towards the baby. • Negative emotions- include physical reactions such as nausea and fatigue, feeling fragile, depressive feelings, fears and anxieties.
Childbirth • Childbirth is profoundly affected by social factors. • Ireland study: pregnant women participated in a program that included customized childbirth classes and nurses assigned to each women for the entire childbirth experience. • Labour was 2.7 hours shorter for this group than for a similar group of women who had the standard treatment. • Botswana: significantly less pain medication if woman had been accompanied by a female relative during labor and delivery.
Medicalizing Childbirth • Canada and the U.S have the highest rates of C-sections in the world. • In Canada, the rate of cesarean births has increased from 5.2% in 1969 to 25.6% in 2003. • European countries have a ¼ of these c-sections and have better outcomes. • High tech, doctor assigned delivery in America ranks 23rd in infant mortality and 21st in maternal mortality among the nations.
C-section consequences • 8 week recovery • Significantly increased risks of severe postpartum complications (e.g., hemorrhage requiring hysterectomy, cardiac arrest, major infection) relative to planned vaginal deliveries. • Cesarean birth linked to higher rates of severe maternal morbidity, including hemorrhage requiring transfusion, hysterectomy and uterine rupture; intensive care admission; postpartum readmission to hospital; problems with subsequent births (e.g., reduced fertility, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, placenta previa); complications of repeat cesarean birth; and increased cumulative costs.
Research indicates that attention and focus on compassion on the mother will produce the most successful births that don’t require any intervention. • The hands off style of attending to the women in the labor that hospitals prefer is detrimental to a good delivery. • Hand on midwives and birth attendees can significantly and positively affect the length and complications of labor. • Social factors such as emotional support can greatly influence the outcome of your delivery and the first few months of motherhood.
Alternative Models of Childbirth: • 1. Learning about pregnancy and childbirth in order to reduce fear and dispel myths; • 2- Controlled breathing techniques, which distract attention away from the pain of the contractions; • 3- Relaxation techniques and muscle-strengthening exercises; • 4- Social support from someone who had attended classes, usually the baby’s father or a close friend of the mother.
Family Centered Approach • 1- Labor should not be artificially induced. • 2- Women should move around during labor and to sit upright when the child is being delivered, rather than lying flat on the delivery table with their feet in stirrups. • 3- Hospital birth practices that have no health benefits should be modified. These include routine enemas, shaving the genital area and forbidding any food during labor. • 4- Anesthetics should not be used unless necessary or desired. • 5- A supportive family member or friend should be present. • 6- Special birthing rooms and out of hospital birth centers typically make the birth experience more pleasant. • 7- Health care providers must be empathic individuals who can encourage a woman’s sense of empowerment during childbirth.
Motherhood • Stereotype - she is joyously upbeat, eagerly anticipating the blessed event. • Motherhood is portrayed as happy and satisfying and a one's ultimate fulfillment. • The motherhood stereotype also specifies that the mother will need only a few moments of adjustment to the new baby and then she will feel perfectly competent as her ‘natural’ mothering skills take over. • She is completely devoted to her family, she shows no concern for her own personal needs
The Reality of Motherhood • Negative Factors • 1- Fathers help much less with child rearing than mothers expected. Mothers take the major responsibility for child care, including the less pleasant task such as changing diapers. • 2- Child care is physically exhausting; fatigue is almost universal in the first weeks after childbirth. Sleep deprivation is also common. • 3- For several days after childbirth, women report that they feel leaky and dirty, coping with after birth discharges. They are also likely to feel pain in the vaginal area and in the uterus. • 4- New mothers seldom have training for the task of motherhood they often report feeling incompetent.
5- Pregnant women often create a vision of the glowing baby they expect to cuddle in their arms. • 6- Because mothering is done at home, mothers of newborns have little contact with other adults. Friends and extended family may not be available to provide support. This kind of isolation further encourages the invisibility of women. • 8- Women who have been previously employed feel that others judge them negatively as ‘just as housewife’; they are deprived of other sources of identity which were once central to who they were and what gave them a sense of pride and achievement. • 9- Because the women’s attention has shifted to the newborn, her romantic partner may feel neglected.
Postpartum Blues • 4-6 weeks after birth • Refers to a short change in mood that usually occurs during the first 10 days after childbirth. • Roughly half of new moms experience postpartum blues and it’s found in many different cultures. • Common symptoms include crying, sadness, insomnia, irritability, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. • Postpartum blues are a result of the emotional letdown following the excitement of childbirth, combined with the realistic life changes that a new baby bring.
Postpartum depression (also called Postnatal depression) • Feelings of extreme sadness, fatigue, despair, loss of interest in enjoyable activities and loss of interest in the baby • The U.S has the highest rate of postpartum depression in the world! • Affects about 10-15% of women who have given birth. • Usually beings to develop within six months of childbirth and may last for several months. • Social factors are important in explaining post partum depression.
The relationship between hormonal levels and postpartum disorders is inconsistent and not very strong • Unknown in countries where women have a lot of social support after giving birth such ad India, China, Mexico and Kenya suggesting that the reasons are at least partly cultural. • Other factors: dissatisfaction with body size and shape, feeling incompetent to care for a newborn, a sense that one’s real self is lost in the role of mother, disappointment with a partner’s lack of support. • Countries in which postnatal depression is rare offer a period of rest and special care for the new mom, practical and emotional support from other women and a positive attention to the mother, not just to the baby.
Women and Unpaid Work • Household Chores and Child Rearing • Women everywhere in the world bear the brunt of household labor, regardless of whether is combined with paid work. • Women do more housework than men do in every type of family living situation, married, cohabiting, divorced, living with parents and single. • In nearly all developed countries, women do between 75-90% of meal preparation and cleanup. • They also do most of the childcare, especially when children are young. • The double day refers to household chores like cleaning, shopping, cooking, washing, ironing and keeping a house hold running that is done after a full working day outside of the home.
Relational work • women are responsible for caring for others emotional needs in a family. • soothing emotional crisis for kids and spouse and extended family • keeping up with ones social life- making dinner dates, planning the babysitter etc. • remembering family members birthday, buying a present and sending thank you notes. • taking care of extended family members like sick relatives • They organize big events like weddings, holidays and religious celebrations
Women and Paid Work • Women make up 98. 3 % of preschool and kindergarden teachers, 96.3% of secretaries and 90.2 % of nurses in the U.S. • In Finland France and Sweden, more than 95% of the women are secretaries. • More than 89% are nurses and midwives and more than 80 % of domestic helpers and cleaners are women. • Fewer than 1/3 of employed women are in the higher paying managerial and professional occupations. • Jobs that women are clustered in tend to be relatively low in pay and status with little job security and fewer opportunities for career advancement. • Most are also service oriented and associated with stereotypical female characteristic such as caring.
Discrimination Against Women in the Workforce • 1- Undervaluing the Work Done by Women • Studies asking respondents to evaluate the quality of a particular piece of work, such as research article, have frequently found that the same piece of work is evaluated less favorably when it is attributed to a women than when it is attributed to a man. • Their success was also devalued by being explained as luck and competent women are described as unfeminine and less likeable and competent than men. • One consequence of this undervaluing of women’s work is that women receive less credit and pay for their work.
2- Making Assumptions about women’s Values • Jobs or roles that promote the interests of the elite, powerful groups in society are called ‘hierarchy enhancing’ • Those that promote the interests of oppressed groups are called ’hierarchy attenuating’ • The jobs that enhance the hierarchy are higher paid and have more prestige than the jobs that are hierarchy attenuating. • Employers but were more likely to hire men for hierarchy enhancing jobs (jobs that maintain and strengthen the status quo). • And women for hierarchy attenuating jobs (jobs that seek to change this or improve the lot of people who have been marginalized. • This was true even when the applicants resumes violated the stereotypes where for example women career history clearly indicate they were ‘enhancers’
3- Motherhood • Some employers such as factories run by large mutational corporatism in southeast Asia, central American and other developing regions dismiss women or force them to resign if they have a child. • Many countries don’t have paid maternity leave and their jobs are not guaranteed for them when they go away. • Discrimination against women is not only in hiring practices, but in a lack of support for women with kids- i.e. Affordable daycare, flextime, etc.
4- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation • One review of 21 studies showed that between 16-46% of self identified lesbian, gay and bisexual people surveyed reported that they had experienced employment discrimination. • Lesbian and bisexual women earn about 13-15% less than heterosexual women.
5- Women’s Working Conditions • Nurse’s are exposed to infectious diseases and must often lift heavy patients. • One investigation showed that the risk of serious injury for a nurse was higher than that for a coal miner or a steel mill worker. • The risk of serious back injuries form lifting and moving patients and the risk of assaults from patients were also serious. • In 1997, all of all serious workplace assaults reported in private industry, 27 % of attacks were against nursing aides, compared to only 7% of security gaurds. • Women also work all over the world in factories- where they get low pay, long hours, stressful and dangerous working conditions.
6- The Glass Ceiling Discrimination in Promotion • Men tend to hold positions that have higher status and better pay than the jobs women hold with an organization or occupation. • Women being blocked from advancement in their career has often been referred to as the glass ceiling. • The women can see her goal, but she bumps into a barrier that is both invisible and impenetrable. • Women have more trouble moving past midlevel positions in business and professional occupations.
7- Women’s Work as ‘only natural’ • When men and women are in equal jobs, such as corporate management, women are expected to be more caring and supportive than the men. • Because caring is part of the female stereotype, it is often seen as natural rather than a hard earned and valued skill that needs to be evaluated. • Flip side of that is that women are also judged differently socially. If a woman acts moody, one is far more likely to make sexist comments ('oh, that time of month' or 'that phase of life') than for males
8- The Wage Gap • Women earn less money than men across the board in all jobs and professions. • The wage gap is significant- with women earning 76 cents for every dollar a man earns in the United States for doing the same job. • The gender gap in earnings remain substantial when variables such as education, absences, number of hours worked and years on the job are controlled for. • Men earn more simply for being men – a huge gender discrepancy which makes a big difference in a capitalist driven life where money is power.
How can Discrimination be eliminated? • 1- Ensure that women’s performance is accurately evaluated by teaching people about attribution biases. • 2- Develop, clear, specific criteria for performance evaluation and make people responsible for meeting the criteria. • 3- Allow enough time and attention for performance evaluations. The quicker and more automatic the decision making, the more people rely on cognitive biases that disadvantage women. • 4- Increase the number of women in the pool, which reduces the salience of gender. • 5- Appoint leaders who are committed to gender equity. • 6- Develop clear institutional policies about gender equity and make sure they are consistently implemented.
The work and family conundrum: • Role conflict refers to the psychological effects of being faced with sets of incompatible expectations or demands. • Role overload describes the difficulties of meeting these expectations. • Chronic overload leads to fatigue, short temper and lowered resistance to physical illness. • Women are much more likely to experience role conflict and role overload than men.
Effects of Balancing Act • Positive • Paid work is a source of increased self esteem and personal satisfaction. • Associated with more social involvement and an independent identify. • Provides families with better incomes which is good for everyone. • Studies done in the U.S show that employed women appear to be happier and healthier than homemakers, expect when they have infants to care for. • Employed women have lower risk of heart disease than either homemakers or women unable to find steady work. • Expansion hypothesis- multiple roles give increases sense of mastery, self esteem identity and the social and economic rewards of different roles.
Negative • The combination of family and employment roles add up to a very heavy workload for most women, and studies show that women complain of exhaustion and stress that results because of conflicting demands.
Effects on Kids • Children cared for their by their moms did not differ developmentally in any significant way from those cared by other adult caretakers. • Kids in day care do not suffer from disruption of the bond with their moms, they may experience increased intellectual growth and development, especially if they come from low income homes that cannot provide an enriched environment. • Day care also teaches social skills and is interesting stimulation for the kids.