THE EXPERIENCE OF PREGNANCY IN THE COVID-19 PERIOD IN GREECE
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Being pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic was challenging for pregnant women since they had to cope with the unknown and the unprecedented COVID-19 situation. The state and the biomedical discourse classified them as a vulnerable group due to the increased risk of severe illness and death for pregnant women infected by the coronavirus. My scope was to explore the embodied experiences of pregnant women during the coronavirus and bring into the foreground their agentive practices and tactics implemented during the COVID-19 period. To examine their counter-discourse, mitigation strategies and how they articulated their agency, I adopted the online ethnography approach through qualitative methods, namely archival analysis, netnography, and online interviews. Ι conducted eighteen online formal semi-structured in-depth interviews. I carried them out synchronously by deploying the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies. I performed netnography by approaching four moms’ Facebook online groups, of which three accepted me as a member and by navigating to state official websites and official biomedical sites to record their discourse about pregnancy and pregnancy in relation to COVID-19 vaccination. The research findings highlighted how concepts of mothering and motherhood were articulated and experienced by pregnant women. The emotion of fear and anxiety were predominant in pregnant women, and both of them stemmed from the risk of potential enactment of obstetric violence in case a pregnant woman was COVID-19 positive during the last month of her pregnancy. Another form of violence that caused fear and anxieties was the fear of COVID-19 vaccination slow violence,from potential implications to the development and health of the fetus. The risk of both these types of violence led them to practice and act biocitizenship from above and from below.