The score ~ how childbirth went industrial

Filed under: Just For Moms, Your Pregnancy, That's Entertainment

First of all, a big thanks to Ethel for sending in the link to this excellent article from The New Yorker.

The article, by Dr. Atul Gawande, is an in-depth look at the medicalization of childbirth. I'm pretty well versed on the ins and outs of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I've miscarried, had a home birth with no complications, an emergency c-section at 33 weeks, and two in-hospital inductions, one with complications, one without. Also, I've read a lot on the subject, and at one point thought about becoming a doula. (Perhaps when my kids are older. . .) But, let me tell you that I was riveted by this article and learned quite a few things.

I learned about the woman who invented the APGAR scoring method, which, I also learned, rescued many babies from an early death. I learned about the person who invented the forceps and forceps delivery method, and how that device was kept a secret for generations. And, I learned about why the c-section rate is climbing.

I highly recommend reading this article. As Ethel pointed out, it does graphically describe c-section methods, but having had one, I found that interesting. (There aren't any gory photos, don't worry!)

The article also highlights how childbirth providers have gone from practicing an art, with different learned techniques for different situations, to implementing science and performing c-sections more often because the outcome is more "reliable." Now I understand more what my very experienced midwife (shown in the photo, weighing my daughter just after birth) meant when she said she missed the days when she could legally deliver breech babies. She never lost a breech mother or child, and she said those births were magical. I think she was mourning the gradually disappearing art of midwifery.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.