Over medicalization of birth: a new risk in developing countries

Francesca Lariccia, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Antonella Pinnelli, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

Progress in population health and maternity care has reduced drastically maternal and perinatal risks in developed countries. But motherhood is progressively treated like disease: use of expensive, not evidence based, invasive obstetric interventions has increased excessively even in low risk pregnancy and delivery; moreover breastfeeding is not generally practised. Aim of this paper is to alert about risk of Over Medicalization of Birth (OMB). Two sub-goals are defined, considering Italy as example: monitoring OMB evolution in last decades; characterization of factors determining OMB. We expect: a general OMB increase; a lower OMB risk in women with a high degree of wellbeing, education, autonomy (they should face maternity care with more awareness, avoiding excessive cares). To analyse OMB in each component we defined some indicators regarding pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. Data used are from national sample surveys on health (ISTAT 1987-2005). To test our hypothesis logistic regression models are used.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender