As I read this book I start to realize and think more about how it used be back then in the old times for childbirth and pregnant women. A question that always comes to me as I read this book is why women would still want to go through with pregnancy even though they know that they have a high high risk of dying.
When I read chapter 4 I learned about a big factor that was part of the deaths in pregnancy, “Childbed fever was never the leading killer of women, but it was the most tragic” (pg 51). Childbed Fever or Puerperal Fever was usually followed up by sharp pains which meant that it was suffocating the ovaries, uterus and abdomen, the mothers were basically rotting in the inside. When I read this I started imagining how it must look like and how it felt like it and it wasn’t pleasant. I thought about how when a piece of bread starts to rot it gets all moldy and smells bad and then I imagined a pregnant lady intestines being like that, it made me cringe and feel bad for them.
As I continues to read this chapter I realized how many experiments doctors tried in order to figure out the cause of why so many women were dying. Some doctors blamed the midwives saying that they were ignorant and filthy. The midwives blamed the doctors saying that they just poked inside women with dirty hands and tools.
There was a lot of pointing figures but there was also quite a few things that were tried in order to stop the deaths. One of the weirdest treatments was giving fresh air therapy. “At a New York City hospital, sick women were carted up to the roof to air out their genitals” (pg. 54) Its weird to think about this type of treatment being able to cure sick women but doctors boasted that a sick women came to the hospital skeletal and feverish and after a month on the roof she went home cured.
After trying some experiments came the discovering of the germs. Many doctors believed that germs could be the cause to all the deaths. One of them, Max Von Pettenkofer believed the germ theory but wasn’t convinced that one small germ was the whole cause of it, he thought about how it must have other triggers too and to prove himself he did and experiment. He and several of his students drank cholera infested water and surprisingly survived and a few got sick. Later on in Hamburg 8,000 people died because they didn’t clean the water and everyone blamed Pettenkofer.
I started to realize all the changes that have been done towards giving birth and I also learned how many experiments and theories have been made in order to get to where we are today .