Harrison Dissertation Defense

WGVCV and Zoom

PhD Dissertation Defense

Monday, May 22, 2023

Surveillance Medicine in Perinatal Care: Negotiating Constraints, Constructing Risk, and the Elusive Goal of Mental Health Integration

Jessica M. Harrison, LCSW

This dissertation takes a sociological approach to understanding the dynamics of mental health integration in perinatal healthcare in three key ways, including (1) tracing the implementation of standardized mental health screening and co-location of a behavioral health team in obstetric settings, (2) exploring midwives’ and obstetricians’ clinical efforts to attend to their pregnant patients’ multifaceted needs, and (3) investigating pregnant and postpartum people’s perinatal healthcare experiences, especially regarding their mental health. This study elucidates the consequences of mental health integration in perinatal healthcare, which include enforcement of the mind-body binary, the biomedicalization of pregnancy and childbirth, and the persistent marginalization of midwives and mental health clinicians in the organization of healthcare. This research contributes to our understanding of the misalignment between universal needs and lived experience and the culturally and structurally biomedicalized approach to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum in the U.S. It points to the need for policy change and comprehensive care that is better sensitized to the predominant health-related issues in the perinatal period.

When: Monday, May 22, 2023

Time: 11am

Where (in person): Mission Bay WGVCV

12th Floor, Room with the View

Zoom: email [email protected]