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Conversation with Neelu Paleti, ASAM Fellow.

Title: Modern Births?: A Qualitative Study of Power, Choice, and Safety in Caesarean Deliveries in South India.

Description: The research explores the female body amidst the larger structures of maternal health care to ultimately question the rising rates of C-section deliveries in South India. As childbirth shifts to become a product of social, economic, and political pressures, I investigate how decision-making power and agency is shifted away from the woman herself towards the State, medical professionals, and family. This research explains how historical legacies have labelled Indian and Asian American mothers as foreign bodies in today’s medicalized and overregulated period of pregnancy.

Bio: Neelu is a rising senior from Dublin, OH studying Health and Societies to pursue her interests in health policy and global health. At Penn, she serves as the Director of Operations of Service Link, and she is actively working with Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, Penn Healthcare Review, and the Center for Healthcare Innovation. Neelu is fascinated by the intersections of sociopolitical factors and health outcomes, and she hopes to further explore these connections through her research on the rising rates of c-section deliveries and the implications on agency, class, and power in South Indian and Asian American populations.