Pregnancy: 9 Month Rollercoaster- Claudia L.

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)”

Natural Birth

3 thoughts on “Pregnancy: 9 Month Rollercoaster- Claudia L.

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  1. I think the comparison between pregnancies and deliveries today and 100 years ago are astounding. The whole process has flipped and changed, doctors are now respected trained professionals in contrast to 100 years ago when they weren’t respected and aided on a whim. Women today have the luxury of anesthesia and other drugs to help them with the pain, but 100 years ago there was none of that and the women had to endure the pain. The tests and procedures, the technology and the overall health care have all changed. This article describes better and more in depth the changes of pregnancies between today and early 1900’s: -childbirth-changed-century

    -Celeste O.

  2. I can’t imagine what giving birth would have been like without the drugs and technology of today! It’s frustrating to think that even when there were drugs around like chloroform, the doctors didn’t use them because they thought it would bring harm to the baby, despite evidence against this, and some believed that birth was meant to be painful. Celeste brings up a good point when she says that doctors weren’t very well trained, but now doctors have to go through years and years of education, and have respectable, high-paying jobs. It’s amazing to think of how the process of giving birth has developed, just as our society as a whole has developed with it.
    -Isabella V.

  3. Claudia L,
    I do agree with everything you have stated. Pregnancy today is seen as something easy and more as a “joke”. Many females are getting pregnant just for the sake of it while back in the 18-1900’s, few females took the risk of getting pregnant due to the high risk of birth complications/deaths. All though the technology today has advanced dramatically and is just as dangerous as to having no medication back in the day, I do believe it has brought some positive. Yes, the mother won’t feel any/little pain, but I do believe too that natural births (at home or hospital – no medication) would really bring a stronger connection between the mother and child. Today, if there were to be complications, we are able to bring solutions to the table thanks to our medications, but sometimes we over-abuse the use of our solution(s), something few people have seen/realized.

    -Pattie A

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