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Changing gendered divisions of labor in labor: fetal monitoring in Scandinavia
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Petra Jonvallen, from Luleá University of Technology in Sweden, gave a presentation of ethnographies she conducted surrounding two new technologies used in Scandinavian maternity wards. The technologies she investigated are called "STAN" and "Milou", and roughly speaking, they are used in maternity wards to monitor the mother's contractions and the fetus heartbeat throughout labor. The difference between these systems and similar systems used since the 70's, is that there are digital monitors placed in casual places, such as the lunch room and doctor/nurse break rooms. This new feature, allowed the doctors to monitor several patients at once in more casual places. When something was going wrong in the labor room, they could see it, and go to intervene in time.While these technologies seem ideal, their use led to some unexpected consequences. First, by having monitors outside of the patients rooms, this meant that doctors and midwives didn't need to spend as much time in the rooms with the to-be mothers to monitor their progress. In hospital terms, this made the doctors and midwives "more efficient" in the use of their time, but this pushed other duties usually performed by the midwives to the men, or soon-to-be fathers, that accompanied the soon-to-be mothers. These tasks include getting water or ice, massaging sore backs, and giving reassurance. Dr. Jonvallen also discussed how midwives are usually in charge of the "normal" births, while doctors were in charge of the abnormal or "pathological" births. Usually, when a normal birth started becoming suspicious or worrisome, the midwives would be in charge of contacting the doctors. Thus, the midwives were the point of negotiation between "natural" births and births that require surgical intervention. With "STAN" or "Milou", doctors began casually monitoring different soon-to-be mothers, and instead of waiting for a midwife's call, they would just intervene as they felt necessary. This point of negotiation, and part of the midwives duties, changed, for better or for worse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Gender and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-35349Local ID: 9db0c860-7221-11df-ab16-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-35349DiVA, id: diva2:1008602
Conference
Gender, Bodies and Technology Conference : 22/04/2010 - 24/04/2010
Note
Godkänd; 2010; 20100607 (petjon)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-11-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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