Bonny babies? Motherhood and nurturing in the age of obesity

Keenan, Julia and Stapleton, Helen (2010) Bonny babies? Motherhood and nurturing in the age of obesity. Health Risk and Society, 12 4: 369-383. doi:10.1080/13698571003792926

Author Keenan, Julia
Stapleton, Helen
Title Bonny babies? Motherhood and nurturing in the age of obesity
Journal name Health Risk and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1369-8575
Publication date 2010
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13698571003792926
Open Access Status
Volume 12
Issue 4
Start page 369
End page 383
Total pages 15
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The ‘bonny’ baby is traditionally the prized emblem of good health, yet there has been speculation that within the context of rising levels of obesity and diabetes within childbearing populations that this may change. Within epidemiological understandings, obesity and diabetes in pregnancy are strongly implicated in the increasing numbers of very large babies. Given the power of biomedical risk discourses to shape women's experiences of pregnancy, motherhood and infant feeding, lay understandings of infant size/health and the ‘bonny’ baby are perhaps subject to revision. This paper, draws upon critical obesity studies and contemporary commentaries regarding ‘parental causality’ to discuss the medicalisation (through BMI) and moralisation of large bodies in pregnancy as ‘obese’ and (by implication) the creation of subjects ‘at risk’ to themselves and their foetus/infant. Through an analysis of longitudinal interview data from large-bodied women in their transitions to motherhood, this paper explores how this powerful biomedical discourse plays out in women's reported interactions with maternity professionals in pregnancy, birth and the months that follow. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of such findings for contemporary parenting,
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 20 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 20 Oct 2014, 14:15:01 EST by Amy Spence on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work