chapter  9
The professional as mediator between mother and fetus: antenatal care and assessment
ByJoan Raphael-Leff
Pages 16

Babies represent the future of a nation and the production of healthy babies therefore becomes a political issue. Each society defines the parameters of procreativity for women, and in Britain, these include provision of National Health Service antenatal care. Given the inaccessibility of the fetus to the mother, the professional, who has the means of getting to 'know' what is happening inside her, becomes an important mediator between the pregnant woman and her inmate. The professional can provide more direct access to the fetus. During the course of her pregnancy each woman may encounter a whole host of different professionals. Their potential influence on her is very great as they appear to have privileged information, vital procedures and immediate access to her fetus denied to her. In many western clinics, women routinely undergo ultrasound investigations at particular points in the pregnancy.