This thesis explores the evolution of the birth model in America from a woman-centered, natural event to a medical procedure that occurs under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital. This transformation reflects the medicalization of birth. Medicalization is a phenomenon in which common or natural life events are problematized, labeled, and treated as an illness or disease. This thesis aims to ... read moreanswer these questions: How has this model of medicalized birth become so dominant in America? What are the effects of this medicalization? Is birth now safer under this new model of care? To answer these questions, I found resources at the Melrose Public Library and Tufts University_ï¿½_s Tisch Library, including its online catalog; I found relevant statistics on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention_ï¿½_s and World Health Organization_ï¿½_s websites. I also interviewed 20 Tufts women regarding their perceptions and expectations surrounding birth. I recruited my participants through convenience and snowball sampling. After reviewing the literature and conducting the interviews, I found that the medicalized birth model has become so dominant in America that it affects the way my participants perceive the birth process. Though it is the prevailing birth model in America, the medicalization of birth has not provided women or their infants with better care. In fact, care has probably gotten worse.