Research Interest: Birthing

I have had a long interest in birthing bodies especially when they are raced. I worked on a postnatal ward in 1994, after working in mental health for much of my career. I have written about this elsewhere and how the poor care experiences of migrant mothers in Auckland led me to research their experiences and think about them for more than twenty years. From there I developed and worked in a new community-focused maternal mental health service. I developed a brochure on PND for the NZ Mental Health Foundation and did a Masters degree and researched the experiences of Goan mothers in Aotearoa, then undertook a Families Commission project with the Plunket society to look at the experiences of migrant mothers in general. I also spent some time thinking about reflexivity and positionality and what it meant to be an insider/outsider or outsider- within as Patricia Hill-Collins calls it, and the moral aspects of mothering. I later did a secondary analysis of the Korean (discursive) Families Commission data for my Ph.D. along with interviewing Plunket Nurses.

I have published the findings about Indian mothers in a book by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay and blogged about the experience of White migrant mothers. I have also talked to Chinese and Indian men about their experiences of becoming fathers in New Zealand, and Refugee background women about their experiences of parenting and more recently have been researching the intersections of pregnancy, birth, migration, and digital technologies. In June 2021 I launched Birthing and justice which you can find on your favorite podcast app. I am aware that the language of human reproduction is changing and that not all pregnant people are women, or mothers so hope to reflect more of these changes in how to use language and think about birthing.