Pregnancy, Mothering, and Inequality

Pregnancy and birth are among the most common of human experiences and—one might think—there are similarly common ideas about how to give children a healthy start in life. Yet when pregnancy, birth, and mothering are explored in detail, as Professor Mason does in this book, class-driven differences quickly emerge. For this book, Professor Mason interviewed dozens of pregnant women and new mothers from poor, middle-class, and mixed-class backgrounds. After these interviews, it became clear that approaches to having positive, healthy pregnancies varied based on the socio-economic class of the mother. Professor Mason concluded that while no woman is free from the social expectation that they will invest in their babies’ bodies as a project, class and cultural background heavily impact the time and resources women have to devote to these projects.