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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Is it realistic? The Portrayal of Pregnancy and Childbirth in the Media
Author(s): Luce, Ann
Cash, Marilyn
Hundley, Vanora
Cheyne, Helen
van Teijlingen, Edwin
Angell, Catherine
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Keywords: Medical model
Reality television
Issue Date: 29-Feb-2016
Date Deposited: 8-Mar-2016
Citation: Luce A, Cash M, Hundley V, Cheyne H, van Teijlingen E & Angell C (2016) Is it realistic? The Portrayal of Pregnancy and Childbirth in the Media. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16, Art. No.: 40.
Abstract: Background  Considerable debate surrounds the influence media have on first-time pregnant women. Much of the academic literature discusses the influence of (reality) television, which often portrays birth as risky, dramatic and painful and there is evidence that this has a negative effect on childbirth in society, through the increasing anticipation of negative outcomes. It is suggested that women seek out such programmes to help understand what could happen during the birth because there is a cultural void. However the impact that has on normal birth has not been explored.  Methods  A scoping review relating to the representation of childbirth in the mass media, particularly on television.  Results  Three key themes emerged: (a) medicalisation of childbirth; (b) women using media to learn about childbirth; and (c) birth as a missing everyday life event.  Conclusion  Media appear to influence how women engage with childbirth. The dramatic television portrayal of birth may perpetuate the medicalisation of childbirth, and last, but not least, portrayals of normal birth are often missing in the popular media. Hence midwives need to engage with television producers to improve the representation of midwifery and maternity in the media.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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