Calm Vessels: Cultural Expectations of Pregnant Women in Qatar

Susie Kilshaw, Daniel Miller, Halima Al Tamimi, Faten El-Taher, Mona Mohsen, Nadia Omar, Stella Major, Kristina Sole
2016 Anthropology of the Middle East  
This paper explores emerging themes from the first stage of ethnographic research investigating pregnancy and loss in Qatar. Issues around the development of foetal personhood, the medical management of the pregnant body and the social role of the pregnant woman were explored. Findings suggest that Qatari women are expected to be calm vessels for their growing baby and should avoid certain foods and behaviours. These ideas of risk avoidance are linked to indigenous knowledge around a mother's
more » ... around a mother's influence on a child's health and traits. Motherhood holds a particularly important place in Qatari culture and in Islam and women are ultimately responsible for protecting and promoting fertility and for producing healthy children. Qatar, pregnancy, women's health, miscarriage, risk
doi:10.3167/ame.2016.110204 fatcat:437fr2qlzfb4bcpdt2t7myh43e