Pregnancy can be defined as the bodily condition and experience of carrying and nurturing a developing human foetus from conception to birth for a period of around 40 weeks. It is considered to be a time of psychological adjustment to the role and identities of motherhood which have an important status in sociocultural constructions of femininities. Cultural and social representations of pregnancy and motherhood frame and mediate the experience of pregnancy. Those are, in turn, informed by complex power relationships organised around gender but also intersected by ethnicities, class, and religion. This entry outlines the main trends in research on pregnancy with a focus on pregnancy’s different meanings across cultures, feminist perspectives on pregnancy, and pregnancy’s changing role and meaning under neoliberalism.

Pregnancy’s Cultural Specificity

Pregnancy has ...

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