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Childbirth: A Cultural Historical Overview

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Allison Baker

on 29 January 2015

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Transcript of Childbirth: A Cultural Historical Overview

In 1894 the first Cesarean section was performed in Boston
In 1898, Dr. August Bier created the predecessor of the modern epidural by injecting cocaine into his assistant's spine numbing the lower body
In the late 1800s there was a shift towards emphasis on hygiene because of breakthroughs in bacteriology
Childbirth: A Cultural, Historical Overview
By: Jeremiah M., Vanessa R., April O., and Allison B

Medical advancements in Childbirth
For Natural Birth
Lessons Learned from Other Cultures
Lessons from History

Current Challenges: Mother's Health
1960s - Present
Babies around the world
"The History of Childbirth." N.p.,n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015.http://www.birthologie.com/pregnancy/the-history-of-childbirth/

"The History of Midwifery and Childbirth in America: A Time LinePrepared by Adrian E. Feldhusen, Traditional Midwife." The History of Midwifery and Childbirth. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015.

"Maternal Mortality." UNICEF. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

"Newborn Care." UNICEF. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

"Science Museum. Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine." A Natural Process? Women, Men and the Medicalisation of Childbirth. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015.

"Tropical Medicine & International HealthVolume 2, Issue 12, Article First Published Online: 3 NOV 2003." Practices and Beliefs of Traditional Birth Attendants: Lessons for Obstetrics in the North? N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

"What's a Water Birth Like?" BabyCentre. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2015"

From the 1750s to the 1880s, doctors did not connect infection with hand washing and would go from an autopsy to to delivering a baby without proper hand washing causing many deaths during delivery and post-delivery
In 1772 twenty percent of women contacted childbed fever which had a high mortality rate
Childbirth History
Midwifes - monitor mother and babies' health
herbs, massage techniques - ease pain, calm down,
pattern breathing - reduces pain of contraction
hypnosis - eliminate pain and fear
water immersion -stimulates labor contractions to be strong and regular due to relaxation

Types of Child birth
In the 1900s doctors were more present in childbirth by being in half of the nation's births these births were of the middle and upper class women. Those who could not afford a doctor were cared for by a midwife
In 1950 eighty-eighty percent of of women gave birth in a hospital
Mom viewed as an active participant vs. patient
Walking in early labor to speed the process
1st Stage: Non-medical comfort techniques (water, massage, different positions)
2nd Stage: upright delivery positions to use gravity (standing, kneeling, sitting, supported squatting)
Midwives and Doulas
Communal care for mom during labor, delivery and postnatal period
Breastfeeding as the norm, with support from experienced women

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance midwives were exclusively women and in most cases always delivered the babies.
Even though they were not doctors, midwives had a better understanding of childbirth than most doctors at the time
During the 1500-1700s the men in the Chamberlen family in England began to attend births and developed instruments for use in obstructed labor, most notably the forceps, which they kept secret for over 100 years

Overall reduction in infant and maternal mortality in US due to medical advances
Multiple options for mothers in developed countries: health care providers, setting and pain management
"Cascade of interventions"
Judicious use of medical interventions - best practices
Perinatal and Maternal Mortality in the US
Peruvian Woman Laboring in an Upright Position
Maternal Mortality by Region, 2005
Maternal death rates difficult to measure, especially in developing countries
Reasons for maternal deaths vary from region to region
Hemorrhage: main cause in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
Hypertension and labor complications: main factors in East Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Carribbean
In Industrialized Countries, the main causes are complications from C-sections and anesthesia
Neonatal Deaths by Cause, 2000
Each year, around 4 million Newborns die before they are 28 days old
newborns in developing countries are 8 times more likely to die than those in Industrial countries
reducing neonatal care requires better access to prenatal care for mother and access to quality care throughout pregnancy and childbirth
Prenatal interventions: detection and treatments of maternal illnesses like malaria, syphillis and pre-eclampsia
During Childbirth: management of labor to avoid complications; safe, clean deliveries
After birth: breastfeeding within the 1st hour of birth and keeping baby warm
Balinese Babies cannot touch the ground until they reach babies cannot touch the ground until they reach 3 months
Jamaica, China and India Eating of the placenta to gain back nutrients
Pakistani women are isolated during pregnancy
Nigeria The elders usually spit on the baby they do that as a way of passing on knowledge to the new generation
Vaginal Birth
Epidural birth
Scheduled Cesarean
Unplanned Cesarean
The only way would would need an unplanned Caesarean
is if your baby 's head is faced down
the baby is too large to pass through the pelvis
the baby is in distress

In 1976, The Children's bureau funded education for midwives.
In the early 1970s, conflict between feminists and medical profession about natural birth
Fem: Natural birth = not a disease therefore being hospitalized is unneccesary
Doc: needed to be hospitalized to ensure safety of the child and mother
Back then, if a doctor was caught helping a homebirth, he/she would lose priveleges and lose his/her license BUT homebirth was not illegal.
Natural birth generally gives women a "strong feeling of empowerment during labor and a sense of accomplishment afterward"
+ emotional support via loved ones
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