Men and women have each contributed a lot to the world of childbirth. As I was reading Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank I was intrigued about how much the men knew about pregnancy considering that they were not allowed to have anything to do with the pregnancy and were not allowed in the delivery room. Men wrote books about pregnancy and childbirth only knowing what they knew because of things they made up and stories that had been told by family and friends. It was also interesting to me that men would be so intrigued by childbirth that they would risk their lives and dress up as women to go into a delivery room and see what was happening. Women knew what they knew about childbirth because of experiences they had themselves or seeing it through others.
A family of men called the Chamberlens came out with amazing tools that could help save lives of mothers and their children. Before there were forceps there was a tool that was hook shaped and it would be used to drag the baby out, which is very dangerous and would often kill the mother or the baby, sometimes both. The Chamberlens were very secretive about their inventions because they didn’t want anyone on the outside to know what they were doing and how the tools they made worked. Seems a little selfish if you ask me, but they wanted it to be for them only, that meant more money. People everywhere wondered about the tools that the Chamberlens were using and tried to create tools that were similar to theirs, even though nobody knew what they looked like.
It is very cool to me that people will go so far to protect their own inventions when they could share it and save a lot more lives if they allowed people to see what they were doing, because other people were still out there using the hook tool and that tool is not safe at all. If only they could have got the tool patented they could have sold it and made lots more money then just keeping it a secret and putting outside lives at risk. The Chamberlens also created a whole new side to men in the midwife business. Before men were not allowed to do anything with it and then the Chamberlens bent the rules and made something extraordinary.
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