The phenomenon of medicalization saturates the entire reproductive experience, from birth control pills to in vitro fertilization to amniocentesis testing to birth. In general, Western women no longer rely on signals from their bodies to tell them that they are pregnant. Instead, as Barbara Duden notes, "contemporary pregnancies are given to women by physicians whose expertise, grounded in scientific medicine, is aggrandized through technology" (Duden 51). She writes that the milestone of feeling one's fetus move for the first time is also supplanted with an earlier "technological quickening" as one sees the fetus move on the ultrasound screen before ever feeling it move in one's body.
The dissociation of the fetus in one's body and the fetus on the screen puts pregnant women in a unique theoretical space. Many women report "bonding" with their fetus during ultrasound exams, or feeling like, having seen the fetus, they know it better. The visual ubiquity of the ultrasound has fundamentally changed the way pregnant women connect with and theorize about what is growing inside them. It is a constant reconciliation of image with feeling, technology with biology, and science with nature.