I recently finished reading an eye-opening book: “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born” by Tina Cassidy. It was amazing to learn about what women have had to endure over the generations and across different cultures as they gave birth. For example, some women had cesareans unmedicated or had symphisiotomies performed on them where their pelvic cartilage was cut and opened to widen the birth canal. I just can’t even fathom undergoing such a treacherous procedure. The history of pain medication has been rocky as well. From ether and chloroform to twilight sleep, women and their doctors sought out ways to help women avoid pain. Unfortunately these often brought on negative side-effects such as maternal hemorrhage, in the case of ether and chloroform, or lack of bonding with their child because they were in a semi-conscious state due to the twilight sleep.
However, the one thing I really gained from reading this book was perspective. I can find many flaws with our current birth atmosphere but many of them pale in comparison to the challenges our ancestral mothers faced. It made me grateful to be alive in this day and age. But, it did make me wonder what current trends we have now, will women 100 years from now think are ridiculous or barbaric? And where do I hope to see the birth atmosphere heading?
Here are my six dreams for the future:
12/9/2015 02:51:48 pm
wow, i totally agree. Some of your points i've never thought of. like the TV one having child birth always be this crazy scary thing. so not true for my birth experiences!
I would add that there need to be more midwives and birth centers to care for the 90% of women who don't need an OB. And more OBs who want to work with and back up midwives. Your dreams are all spot on, and having been a public school teacher in a previous life, I can say the maternity system is messed up in much the same way as the education system. It's all too big and too legal.
12/16/2015 10:45:41 pm
I completely agree about the need for more midwives! Thanks for pointing that out!
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