On the margins of maternity: low-income women's experiences of maternity care in late twentieth-century Glasgow

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Abstract

The healthcare provided to expectant mothers impacts the health outcomes of the mother and infant, or infants, and reflects current social and political priorities which mirror middle-class values and leave poorer women feeling socially isolated. Utilising focus group interviews with nineteen women who were living on low-incomes in Glasgow, Scotland, when they delivered their first child between the 1970s and early 2000s, this article analyses the women’s recollections of their maternity care experiences within the changing middle-class health context. It reveals how expectant mothers remembered feeling healthcare practitioners prioritised the needs of the embryo/foetus/infant before their own. The women recalled feeling stigmatised for being pregnant and poor. While interviewees identified individual caring practitioners, overall a disconnect remained between the middle-class healthcare providers and the needs of low-income mothers. Finally, this article suggests that co-creating history with a third-sector organisation could offer a potential methodology for addressing the middle-class bias of official sources.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Early online date17 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2024

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