Conceptions of nourishment during pregnancy among primiparous Australian women of English-speaking backgrounds: Influence of social class and sources of health knowledge
Associate Professor Nick Higginbotham, Professor Linda Connor (School of Education and Arts - Social Sciences), Dr Michael Dibley, Dr Andrew Bisits (John Hunter Hospital)
This study examines Australian women's understandings of pregnancy nourishment and the role of social class position in resisting or accommodating recommendations arising from biomedical practitioners.
Using in-depth interviews with 40 expectant mothers over the course of their pregnancy and in early motherhood, this study will:
- Document how models of nourishment are formed among primiparous Australian women receiving ante-natal care and examine social class differences in women's willingness to accommodate nutrition advice. This part of the study will contribute a cultural perspective to Dibley et al's epidemiological data of nutrition deficiency being collected among the same population.
- Document womens' understandings of the technologies used during pregnancy and childbirth and examine social class differences in women's discernment of those technologies.
A complementary empirical element that focuses on practitioners' perceptions of womens' wants and concerns relating to pregnancy will commence in 2003.
Gillian Harris and Lindy Connor have interviewed 31 study participants on up to three occasions. Analysis of the data is underway. Two papers were written in 2002: "Seeing the baby: Pleasures and dilemmas of ultrasound technologies for primiparous pregnant women" and "I'd rather have too many than not enough: Pregnant womens' understandings and use of dietary supplements."