Childbirth In America Analysis

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The history of childbirth is a long one that spans across the entire history of the world. The physical act has pretty much stayed the same over all this time with the exclusion of c-sections but the social aspect has changed drastically. Through exploring Nancy Dye’s History of Childbirth in America, Wenda Trevathan’s The Evolutionary History of Childbirth, and Barbra Rothman’s Childbirth as a Negotiated Reality, one will receive a glimpse into the social history of childbirth. Nancy Dye’s, History of Childbirth in America, explores the social evolution of childbirth by breaking it into three stages: before the 18th century, later 18th century to 1919, and the 1920s onward. In the first stage, pregnancy is a social event that is attended …show more content…
Trevathan’s, Evolutionary History of Childbirth focuses on the physical evolution of labour. She compares human birth to those of other mammals, specifically chimpanzees and apes, in an attempt to understand humans past social and atmospheric attitudes towards childbirth.[ 2rd] Here she finds that most mammals prefer to give birth in private where they are protected. This concept of studying our “closest” relatives is fascinating because there is not much known about how humans use to approach birth and this could lead us to an answer. While investigating this idea, Trevathan also came across the common denominator of …show more content…
Rothman, like the people before her, explores the shift from home to hospital. At home, a midwife would tend to every need of the mother and would come when called giving the mother a sense of security and safety.[ 3] Hospitalized births, on the other hand, are stricter, forced and make the baby appear as a product of the hospital instead of the parents.[ 3] She shows this by walking through the medical categories of labour which she believes are arbitrary: labour, delivery and then after birth.[ 3] The mother is kept on a strict schedule that can at times interfere with the natural process, midwifery allow for them to go at their own pace. After the delivery, the baby is taken away and when they mother awakes from her drug induced state that was used to ease the pain or make her forget the actual process is she then present with the baby. The baby at this point is wrapped in a standardized hospital blanket and kept away from the mother who is tied to a schedule of feed and nap time.[ 3] To Rothman and authors she cites in her article, these actions interfere with a natural process. Before doctors were only called in emergencies but most pregnancies can be performed by a woman herself. Rothman gives off a very critical and almost skeptic tone in her article that is hard to get away from but she does a great job and portraying how the role of hospitals and how

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