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Zero TrimesterPre-Pregnancy Care and the Politics of Reproductive Risk$
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Miranda R. Waggoner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288065

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288065.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

From the Womb to the Woman

From the Womb to the Woman

The Shifting Locus of Reproductive Risk

(p.34) 2 From the Womb to the Woman
Zero Trimester

Miranda R. Waggoner

University of California Press

This chapter traces the history and evolution of health professionals’ thinking about how medicine and public health should intervene to ensure healthy pregnancies, focusing specifically on the extent to which medical thought has implicated pre-pregnancy health and health care as influencing reproductive outcomes. Analyzing medical and public health literature from the nineteenth century through the turn of the twenty-first century, this chapter reveals how medical faith in prenatal care—and its attendant focus on the womb and pregnancy—declined over the course of the twentieth century. As a result of this and other demographic and political changes, pre-pregnancy discourse resurged in the medical literature—shifting, in many ways, the locus of risk for a healthy pregnancy from the womb to the woman.

Keywords:   history, medicine, public health, reproductive outcomes, medical literature, prenatal care

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