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Title: Bargaining for maternal health : partnerships and families in urban Mexico
Author: Cueva Luna, Teresa Elizabeth.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2006
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Maternal health in developing countries is a longstanding public concern with a marked orientation to problems of access to and quality of medical services. Debates on reproductive rights have led not only to the enhancement of conditions for pregnant women's health but also to a new understanding of previously disregarded micro-factors which undermine women's health. This thesis investigates maternal health at household level throughout pregnancy by focusing on 'maternal health behaviours' and 'pregnancy care' developed by each household member. A gender analysis on the different perceived roles, interests and contributions of household members highlights elements of conflict and cooperation in intra-household relations. Within such cooperative conflict the importance of pregnancy care is assessed. A longitudinal perspective on contemporary events in pregnancy led to the application of a case study approach. The exploratory character of this research in the absence of similar studies called for the identification of variations in pregnancy care. It was assumed that conjugal status mediates the bargaining process as well as pregnancy care. Eleven case studies included five types of relationship: long-term relationships; young couples; stepfamilies; reunited former couples and single women. However, subsequent acknowledgment of Mexico's tight family networks made me realize that conjugal contracts and pregnancy care are affected by how couples connect with their extended families. Pregnancies on the site are often unplanned and frequently trigger marital bargaining. Again, conjugal status is related to female bargaining power and the issues that the women brought to bargaining. The women's behaviour in seeking health-care varied according to the degree to which they could afford to mix private and public medical care and their sense of what medical services were appropriate at different points in the pregnancy. Poverty and social practices concerning pregnancy on the site highlighted a patriarchal system with harsh conditions and insecure pregnancy care for the women studied.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available