1st Edition

Understanding Reproductive Loss Perspectives on Life, Death and Fertility

By Carol Komaromy, Sarah Earle Copyright 2012
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    The study of human reproduction has focused on reproductive ’success’ and on the struggle to achieve this, rather than on the much more common experience of ’failure’, or reproductive loss. Drawing on the latest research from The UK and Europe, The United States, Australia and Africa, this volume examines the experience of reproductive loss in its widest sense to include termination of pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, perinatal and infant death, as well as - more broadly - the loss of desired normative experiences such as that associated with infertility, assisted reproduction and the medicalisation of 'high risk' pregnancy and birth. Exploring the commonalities, as well as issues of difference and diversity, Understanding Reproductive Loss presents international work from a variety of multi-disciplinary perspectives and will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists with interests in medicine, health, the body, death studies and gender.

    Contents: An introduction to understanding reproductive loss, Sarah Earle, Carol Komaromy and Linda Layne; ’Infertility’ and ’involuntary childlessness’: losses, ambivalences and resolutions, Gayle Letherby; International perspectives on the sterilization of women with intellectual disabilities, Liz Tilley, Jan Walmsley, Sarah Earle and Dorothy Atkinson; The social shaping of fertility loss due to cancer treatment: a comparative perspective, Karen Dyer, Khadija Mitu and Cecilia Vindrola-Padros; Reconstructing childbirth expectations after pre-eclampsia, Julie Savage; Diabetes and the pregnancy paradox: the loss of expectations and reproductive futures, Sarah Earle and Cathy E. Lloyd; ’Silent’ miscarriage and deafening heteronormativity: a British experiential and critical feminist account, Elizabeth Peel and Ruth Cain; Surrogate losses: failed conception and pregnancy loss among American surrogate mothers, Zsuzsa Berend; Focusing on force and forms in Cameroon: reproductive loss reconsidered, Erica van der Sijpt; Bereaved parents: a contradiction in terms?, Samantha Murphy; ’Troubling the normal’: ’angel babies’ and the canny/uncanny nexus, Linda L. Layne; Baby gardens: a privilege or predicament?, Kate Woodthorpe; The memorialization of stillbirth in the internet age, Anna Davidsson Bremborg; ’As if she never existed’: changing understandings of perinatal loss in Australia in the 20th and early 21st century, Susannah Thompson; Hiding babies: how professionals make sense of death and grief, Jan Bleyen; Managing emotions at the time of stillbirth and neonatal death, Carol Komaromy; Experiences of reproductive loss: the importance of professional discretion in caring for a patient group with diverse views, Ruth Graham, Nick Embleton, Allison Farnworth, Kathy Mason, Judith Rankin and Stephen Robson; Index.


    Sarah Earle is Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at The Open University, UK; Carol Komaromy is Senior Lecturer in Health and Social Care at The Open University, UK and Linda Layne is Hale Professor of Humanities and Social Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA.

    ’As well-known feminist scholars in the field of human reproduction, Earle, Komaromy and Layne have edited a significant collection, offering insightful, comprehensive approaches to reproductive loss, a much needed area of research. Readers will find this book to be a springboard for further research, an important asset for their teaching and a veritable eye opener to the complexities involved.’ Elizabeth Ettorre, University of Liverpool, UK ’Providing nuanced accounts of the range and complexity of reproductive loss set in historical and cross cultural context, this collection is a must read for all researchers and practitioners working in this field.’ Ellen Annandale, University of Leicester, UK