Abstract

Abstract:

We must reconceive the ethical relationship between mothers and their newborn babies. The intertwinement of mother and baby does not disappear with birth but rather persists in the form of postpartum maternal tethering. Drawing upon three years of ethnographic fieldwork and training in the United States and China, I argue that dependencies associated with postpartum maternal tethering make it extremely difficult for postpartum mothers to act autonomously, even in the relational sense. Breaching this tether opens up new possibilities for thinking about the bioethics of vulnerability, dependency, and care by denaturalizing and desanctifying the mother-baby relationship and diversifying newborn care.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1937-4577
Print ISSN
1937-4585
Pages
pp. 49-72
Launched on MUSE
2021-03-19
Open Access
No
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