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Kristen Herlosky

Ph.D. Student


I am currently a PhD student researching traditional forms of birth knowledge and the overmedicalization of childbirth. I seek to explore the myriad of ways in which mothers give birth, whether it be at home, in a hospital, or alone, and how they make their reproductive decisions. My research interests explore how globalizing trends for development brought biomedicine and technocratic birth to the forefront of maternal health goals, while pushing traditional birth knowledge and practices to the periphery. My work is grounded in deconstructing the overmedicalization of birth through the critical examination of national policies and structural barriers towards healthcare. I specifically examine how these impact traditional forms of birth knowledge. I currently work among the Hadza Foragers of Tanzania to explore these interests and ask questions in light of a quickly changing socio-political and environmental landscape. My research is specifically focused on birth experience, postpartum practices, and health outcomes among mothers.