I am finding that the further I read into Get Me Out, the more amazed I become with all of the changes and discoveries that were made in order to get to our modern day childbirth. Especially as the book got into the mid 1900’s I was intrigued by the excessive use of drugs and the constant battle between natural childbirth and the use of anesthesia as well as many other drugs that would make the mothers have a very foggy memory of childbirth. Most women throughout the 1900’s administered some sort of drug during childbirth, however, the popularity fluctuated as time passed and more prominent obstetricians started to show their support for different methods of birthing. One man in particular, Dr. Grantly Dick Read wrote about Natural child birth. He said that:
“spirituality and meditation should reeducate upper-class women to deliver babies the same way poor people do, without pain.” (117)
He basically called birth all psychological and claimed that pains during labor were a female delusion. Many women did believe in his methods of natural childbirth and they believed that less distress and an easier natural labor would lead to a happier, healthier baby in the long run.
Another very interesting and saddening subject covered in this book is the use of diethylstilbestrol. It is a type of synthetic estrogen more commonly referred to as DES. It was said to prevent miscarriages but it was later proven that it had no effect on that but instead it caused adenocarcinoma which I found, after researching, is a type of vaginal cancer that is in the glandular cells and is more common in women after menopause, that is of course, except for if they were exposed to DES in the womb. In that case, the cancer is most likely to appear in the teens through early twenties. The scary thing about this is even after there were studies done to show that DES was inneffective,
“it was still marketed for another 18 years” (148)
Reading this book and seeing all of the different medical advancements and drugs developed specifically of childbirth made me wonder about the births in lower income countries not necessarily just the western world. Many countries do not have all of the resources in order to develop all of these high tech drugs and yet they still give birth. I feel like their methods of delivering children fall more into the natural birthing method not because they think its the best but more out of necessity. Many countries still have midwives like in Guatemala, my family is going for a mission trip and my parents are teaching the midwives how to help a baby if they are not breathing once they are born. Infant mortality is still a very real issue in many countries around the world and it is important to be informed.
I thought your blog posts were very interesting. I too wonder about how the medical resources are when it comes to low income countries. And I thought that it was amazing that your parents are going on a mission trip and teaching midwives. Truly inspiring.