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How Has Birth Changed: The History of Childbirth

If I said I wasn’t fascinated by the history of childbirth, I would be lying.  From the time in Europe where midwives were the main caretakers of pregnant and birthing women, to how Obstetrics evolved in the United States, it all draws me in. I think that is the history buff in me, though.

But most of the American women giving birth today have no idea what kind of an evolution has taken place even in just the past 100 years in our country, which has often sparked the debate as to whether the advances are truly helpful or hurtful to our mothers.

Of course there are a lot of positives, including the medical technology that has helped to significantly reduce the maternal mortality rates, especially in high-risk mothers that would have essentially lost their lives to have a baby even just 50 years ago. Unfortunately on the other hand we see the intervention rates such as c-sections, and inductions that are being increased not because of the healthier outcomes, but because of the litigious climate we live in.  Minor problem and doctors, or midwives are facing serious lawsuits and repercussions.

We see this in the connection between the rising c-section rates, and the increasing maternal mortality rates since the mid 1990′s.

One of my favorite videos that showcases the changes we have seen in the past is from Mother’s Advocate. They also have great videos on healthy birth pratices, and amazing teaching tools for those who work in the childbirth field.

What do you think about the evolution of maternity care in the United States?

Bump History Buffs, read on! The History of Circumcision

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