Problem presentation and advice-giving on a home birth helpline: A feminist conversation analytic study

Rebecca Shaw, Celia Kitzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rate of home births in the UK is very low (around 2%) and many women who would like to give birth at home find it impossible to get midwifery cover or are advised of medical contraindications. The Home Birth Helpline offers support and expertise for women in this situation. Based on the analysis of 80 recorded calls, this article uses conversation analysis (CA) to explore how callers present their reason for calling the helpline, and what this shows about the culturally shared medicalized culture of birth. This research is an example of feminist CA in that it contributes both to the study of childbirth as a key women's health issue and to the study, of helpline interaction from a conversation analytic perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalFeminism and Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • childbirth
  • conversation analysis
  • feminism

Cite this