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Home birth, citizenship and social inequalities in the Czech Republic

HREŠANOVÁ, E. Home birth, citizenship and social inequalities in the Czech Republic. Aalborg, Dánsko, 2012.
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Home birth, citizenship and social inequalities in the Czech Republic
Rok vydání: 2012
Autoři: Mgr. Ema Hrešanová Ph.D.
Abstrakt EN: In this paper I explore social inequalities in accessing birth care in the Czech Republic. In particular I investigate the paradox in providing birth care at home to various women of different citizenships. On one hand, women with Czech citizenship who desire to give birth at home face severe difficulties in obtaining such care because of a new legislation in force, which forbids any midwives and health care providers to attend home birth. On the other hand, women with foreign citizenship often face severe difficulties in accessing any birth care because they are obliged to arrange a commercial health care insurance, which is costly. Many of these women manage to find a midwife who is willing to attend their birth at home for a reasonable price, but in case these women desire to give birth in hospital, they are obliged to cover high costs of birth care services, which they cannot afford. In this paper I build on indepth ethnographic interviews with various women of different citizenship who live in the Czech Republic and who gave birth at home or plan to do so. I focus on their experience and reasons for choosing home birth. In particular I ask what obstacles these women face in accessing birth care they want, and how they actually overcome and solve these problems – what are their coping strategies? My aim is to understand 1) different factors contributing to the raising social stratification within the Czech birth care system; 2) different moralities within the birth care system which determine what are the “right” ways and places of birth care provisions for various groups; 3) new subjectivities of different women shaped by the post-socialist context within the civil society evolving in the Czech Republic.
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