The question I will be responding to is, How has changing technology for childbirth over time affected women in labor? To answer this simply is that its much more complex. There are prenatal vitamins, birthing classes, parenting books , special surgeries, machines and doctors specifically meant for pregnant women so you could say we are more prepared but with more options there are more chances for negative outcomes, such as an allergic reaction that the baby has from the vitamins or how some surgeries are unsuccessful. These factors could harm the mother and child in very serious ways. My own mother almost died giving birth to my older brother because of the epidural shot she received. She was given the shot by a nurse who was unaware of the dosage required and my mothers whole body went numb making it extremely difficult for her to give birth. But its also amazing that we have technology that proves that some new sciences actually do work so people don’t have to listen to folktales and rumors about birth and pregnancy that aren’t actually backed up by fact. A quote from the book that scared me a bit was a home remedy a so called scientist suggested,”He told women to shove a dough ball of dung, cow bile, and 25 herbs into the vagina.” What bothers me so much about this is that since there were not a lot of medical breakthroughs in the maternal and fetal medicine that pregnant women actually believed this. There was so much harm done to the bodies of women and the growing fetus its astounding. Sometimes these days women will revert back to the ways their ancestors taught them because it worked for one person. At one point a very prestigious man named Peter wrote a book that could have killed many people he books includes quotes such as, “All midwives are ignorant and wreak havoc on childbirth” Midwives are the people that come to your house and help you give birth. They are like a doctor and nurse that is with you through the entire process and by this man writing this book and bashing midwives rep and usefulness he probably caused many women to chose not to get a midwife and deliver their own baby which is so beyond dangerous. Since this was in the earlier days women were not even seen as remotely equally women were expected to start homemaking again as early as the next day after childbirth. This is very dangerous because giving birth is considered a trauma and your body has to recover. You just created a life you can’t be up and around right away. Postpartum Depression is also a very real illness that wasn’t discovered for a very long time. Postpartum Depression is when a mother feels an emptiness after giving birth which ironically is exactly what it is. The body is coping and healing after the baby leaves the body and chemical and hormones become unbalanced causing some new mothers to become severely depressed and start resenting their babies. I am so thankful that I don’t have to give birth during a time when pregnancy is an unknown thing. I am looking forward to reading more of this book.
I have linked a great article written about 9 Birthing ritual of the past that i really enjoyed reading.