Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Childbirth Unmasked 2

Chapter 1 in the amazing book by Margaret Jowitt is entitled Evolution. She starts off by explaining how evolution, over the last 20 million years, has prepared us to labour and give birth.
"...the blind process of natural selection has produced a potentially highly efficient mechanism for childbirth." And goes on to ask "...most of us are nearer our genetic ideal than ever before, so why is childbirth still painful and danagerous?" Good question.

Jowitt informs us that very early woman would have lived by the sea and entered the warm waters to give birth. This would keep her relaxed and calm and upright. Perfect. However, the ice age put paid to that little piece of birthing joy as people were forced inland to avoid the cold weather. Today you can enjoy a lovely warm water birth at your local birthing center whatever the weather.
 "Seaside women laboured and gave birth in the water which was the perfect medium for allowing freedom of movement and relieving aches and pains."

The overall message of chapter 1 is that we are women and we have been shaped and bred for millions of years to give birth, it should not be as difficult as some make out. In fact, most of the problems that we encounter in our hospitals are not from women having bad genes but from the medical model of care interfering in a natural process.
"...high-tech medicine treats the effects rather than preventing problems."
She is very scathing of obstetricians who blame women's bodies for a poor birthing performance rather than how much they have interfered.

"...the mechanism of human childbirth is not one of Mother Nature's accidents. Natural childbirth has evolved to suit the species and if mankind chooses to ignore her advice and interfere with her workings we must not complain about the consequences. We have only ourselves to blame."

Rock on Margaret!
Next chapter is called Instinct and Stress. At last, adrenalin, my favourite subject. x


Pain Free Labour books are now available from Amazon.