As I’ve been reading and analyzing Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein, I realized how many risks there are when it comes to pregnancy. Pregnancy is no joke. A 9 month roller coaster with no going back. There are many complications that could go wrong during a pregnancy: severe tears, fetal distress (baby doesn’t have a normal heart rate), breech position (the baby isn’t positioned correctly, nuchal cord (umbilical cord is wrapped around baby’s neck) and many more. Living in a world where we depend on the magic of technology, I thought about what it was like in the past, where they weren’t as advanced in technology. When Eve was pregnant, there wasn’t anybody to tell her to use forceps or a vacuum extractor to be enabled a faster delivery. Giving birth was a never before seen show. A little human coming out of a female that’s going through excruciating pain? Who would’ve thought?
“Despite the collection of advice manuals, we really have no idea whether our great-great-grandmothers followed advice doled out by mothers, midwives, or medical men…Did they read the pregnancy books or just let them collect dust on a shelf? (7)”
Centuries ago, women wouldn’t plan their pregnancies, give birth naturally with no use of drugs for pain, and gave birth at home. It was important for women to switch to giving birth in hospitals instead of their homes because of pain reducing anesthesia. There wasn’t any medical help at home to assist the birth giver through the difficulties. The woman’s family or midwife would aid to her. Later on, the use of different forms of heavy anesthesia was used, the women would become so drowsy to the point where they weren’t able to push. Thus, the use of forceps and c-sections were needed in order to deliver the baby. The spinal anesthesia has improved over the years, but now women requests drugs like epidural for birth. There was a time where people believed in natural birth giving and non-drug use ways of pain relief. Programs to make preparations for the women for childbirth. These programs included relaxation, hypnosis, patterned breathing, and water immersion. Personally, I think techniques that are used now are safer than how people gave birth back then. Even though they are risks taken when giving birth today.
“For 200 years, beginning in the late 1500s, this family of doctors concealed a design for obstetric forceps…these men had the highest success rate for getting the baby out safely and keeping the new mother alive, thanks to their secret tool. (17)”