or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › C-sections effecting our evolution
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

C-sections effecting our evolution - Page 3

post #41 of 61
This is getting very interesting. I agree that evolution is very slow and I don`t think c/s will have a huge effect on the normal way to give birth. Here is a great anthro. article about how important vaginal birth is when it comes to colonizing the baby with the proper bacteria. The c/s baby is almost "too clean" and luckily breastfeeding can help do what the lack of the birth canal trip cannot. http://english.ohmynews.com/ArticleV...no=1&back_url=

Applejuice, I do understand what you mean now, and I think the above article also touches on the whole hormonal connection & "imprinting", in a different way, especially when it comes to bacteria we were meant to be exposed to.

As an aside, I think the main reason milk is slower to come in with the c/s mama is b/c of all the pain & separation & careful watching of mama & baby, instead of the normal closeness you might have in a hb or natural hospital situation. In my case I went all "3rd world" after my high tech c/s and brought my son into bed with me where he stayed and nursed constantly. I had my milk in at 24 hours pp, I know this is just anecdotal, but going back to basics and focusing on baby can make all the difference in getting the milk in quick.
post #42 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by liseux
If anything, maybe c/s mess with evolution b/c they keep alive some of the moms who might have died during labor in the past, due to some of the severe and rare anomalies that prevent vaginal birth. Yet, now these mamas can have a baby surgically so some women keep giving birth to daughters with possibly similar issues where the line might have ended with them.

Like all things in nature, evolution is not perfect and clean, there will always be weird things popping up that don`t fit with where we thought humans were going.
I think c/s is more keeping alive babies that would have died in the past, so it's more likely that babies with problems that would have caused them to die prior or during labor would be put into the pool whereas before they wouldn't (which is not likely to affect women's birthing ability). Most mothers died of infection or hemorrhage, not labor/ contractions or not getting the baby out in and of itself (forcibly removing the baby, in the relatively rare cases they did that, through means I won't repeat here often did kill them but because of the infection/bleeding as a result).
post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
I think I read that same study, but they found it was the fault of the drugs given, not the fact of the mother being cut open. Once the placenta leaves the wall, the proper hormones still kick in.
It's the anesthesia and narcotics that are affecting mom's milk, not the actual act of cesarean.
And being sick from the narcotics for a full day after the operation (as I was) and not being able to keep anything down, plus being given until you fart only broth and jello. Not a good way to get the nutrition that helps bring milk in. I think mine was a little late and a little on the light side b/c of those two factors.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
I thought it was proven not to be that slow. Six generations for one species, eight for another, but certainly not thousands. And these were natural, no chemicals introduced, no surgerical processes, nothing like that.
It's a complex subject...for example, a study like that with the peppered moths demonstrates a truly rapid change brought about through natural evolution (maybe this is one of the studies you're thinking about? where the pollution changed the wing color of the moths within a very short period of time?). In order to see this sort of rapid change though you need a few variables. First, you need both traits present in the general population at the same time (you need moths with white wings and moths with black wings living together). And then you need a massive evolutionary push that favors only one of these traits (all moths with white wings die...all white winged offspring of black wing moths die).

This sort of rapid evolutionary shift just isn't seen with complex traits (like a flipper turning into a hand) or in situations where there isn't this sort of dramatic "die-off" push. Of course, you can look at the example of various despotic regimes over time (say, one in which every person who wears glasses is killed...over time, that population has better vision since only those whith perfect eyesight are allowed to reproduce) to see examples of artificially created "extreme evolution"...but as soon as this external pressure is removed the population once again begins to contain a variety of traits since there really isn't a extreme "natural" push for or against the trait in question. Natural evolution of complex traits really is a process of thousands of generations.

Although c/s might be "saving" women and children who would have otherwise died, the impact isn't extreme enough (on a biological evolutionary level...I'm not talking socio-culturally here) to drive a sudden and significant change (since reproduction/birth/etc is a VERY complex system with plenty of redundancy, unlike moth wing color).
post #45 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyjeans
I don't know about that- looking at the pharmacutical influence on so many- I've seen first hand how people are depending more and more on drugs, instead of trying to alter their lives to cure or treat an ailment. Know what I mean? Depending on technology is the backbone of our society it seems. Just an opinion.
But that hasn't altered our genetic abilities/characteristics. There are lots of things that are causing our bodies not to function as they should--processed foods, sedentary lifestyles, environmental pollution and degradation, etc. What if we were able to live in a pollution-free environment, consuming only the types of foods we evolved to consume, using our bodies for the tasks that keep them strong and healthy? We would probably encounter fewer problems that were beyond our body's natural ability to combat and heal.

Technology should be used only for those problems that our bodies can't deal with on their own. Unfortunately, technology itself has increased the occurrence of those types of problems, everything from allergies to cancer--but look at the theory of, say, homeopathy, which basically says our bodies, with a little stimulation, can heal many problems on its own. Conventional medicine doesn't even give the body a chance to try in most cases.

Medicine doesn't change anything on the genetic level. The genes don't know, for example, that the wisdom teeth have been removed or that a child was born through an "alternate route," so these things should not be affecting the genetic development of humans.

As some have pointed out, c/s might result in more women being born whose pelvises or wombs are genetically incapable of birthing a child, but the vast majority of women who have c/s have fine pelvises/wombs, and those are the genes that will be passed on, no matter how her children are born.

Edited for grammatical silliness
post #46 of 61
The c-s birth has been around since the days of Julius Caesar over two thousand years - that was his name since it was believed that someone in his prior lineage had been born that way; however, in those days it was done only if it was known that the mother was already dead and to save the baby.

caedare - to cut in Latin.
post #47 of 61
Aren't things like medicine, dentistry, sanitation, agriculture and etc. all part of the process? So it's not that these things are driving evolution so much as they are part of it?
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam
The c-s birth has been around since the days of Julius Caesar over two thousand years - that was his name since it was believed that someone in his prior lineage had been born that way; however, in those days it was done only if it was known that the mother was already dead and to save the baby.

caedare - to cut in Latin.
I don't think that's been established and is generally considered a myth. The first recorded c/s was sometime in the 17th or 18th c I believe.
post #49 of 61
"As some have pointed out, c/s might result in more women being born whose pelvises or wombs are genetically incapable of birthing a child, but the vast majority of women who have c/s have fine pelvises/wombs, and those are the genes that will be passed on, no matter how her children are born." AndiB

I agree, that`s what I`m trying to say. Aprilushka, I agree with you that things like infection and bleeding & preeclampsia(like my great great grandmother who died at home in childbirth) are what killed most moms who died giving birth back in the day. I was thinking of the few who have malformed uteruses and odd pelvis shapes too though. These things happen in animals still, there is no perfectly evolved perfect species yet, so it makes sense that there are a very few women who have these problems who weren`t knocked out of the gene pool b/c they were able to deliver surgically.
post #50 of 61
Thread Starter 
You mamas rock! I am so loving this discussion. Thanks to all the anthro-knowing mamas for their insight, too!
I did want to respond to AndiB- I totally agree that it's not just the pharma influence, but our progression through history- the way we live, the food we eat, the air we breathe that also effects us on every level. I'm sure you know people are living longer and longer because of the many advances in science. But is it right to do this? We are a cognative species meant to evolve and better ourselves through growth, learning, and discovery. But when do we say when? Do those whitecoats scientists who invent that"no-name" drug realize what impact it may have long-term? Even if it gives "Mr. A" another 10 years of so-called life, could it's impact be felt on a broader scale?
Just because we can, does it mean we should?
does that make any sense?
post #51 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by liseux
As an aside, I think the main reason milk is slower to come in with the c/s mama is b/c of all the pain & separation & careful watching of mama & baby, instead of the normal closeness you might have in a hb or natural hospital situation. In my case I went all "3rd world" after my high tech c/s and brought my son into bed with me where he stayed and nursed constantly. I had my milk in at 24 hours pp, I know this is just anecdotal, but going back to basics and focusing on baby can make all the difference in getting the milk in quick.
I have had my milk come in very quickly with all three of my surgical births. Even after my horrific csection.

I wanted to add that I agree with you on the reasons why it is slower for a mom to get her milk in with a csection. I also think there is the unexpected pain factor as well and the lack of focus on mom after baby is out. Its been my observation -- and this is just my personal observation, that after a csection more focus is put on baby than on the mother. However with a vaginal birth, there seems to be more of an equal focus. Maybe something to discuss in another thread.

Anyway, I wanted to say that some of the "older" women I have talked too that had csections did not seem to have the trouble that younger generations have had getting their milk in. Its not something I really have delved into but something else to discuss.

Going back to the evolution thing -- I am the first woman in my family to have a csection. I have to have them due to a uterine deformity caused by DES. Anyway, my SIL who also had surgical births is the fourth generation female to have one. In fact I am good friends with her cousin and all of them have had csections. Great Grandmas, Grandmas, aunts, mommas, daughters -- all of them have had csections and all for similar reasons. (there have been several VBAC attempts but all failed)
post #52 of 61
I have thought about that myself ... I was born vaginally, but my DD was born by c/s... I have no doubt that she will be able to have a vaginal birth, but after hundreds of years of routine c/s who knows .... Although I do hope and sort of expect that at some point there will be a backlash. Unfortunately not in time for my childbearing years...but I pray for my daughters.
post #53 of 61
Quote:
Going back to the evolution thing -- I am the first woman in my family to have a csection. I have to have them due to a uterine deformity caused by DES.
Now, DES is part of the evolutionary picture.

OnTheFence, you should be sure to get your own children followed up as the damage done by DES, that vitamin pill given to women from 1938 to 1971 to prevent miscarriage, does pass from mother to daughter and now there is evidence of third and fourth generation damage.

Let me find it........here it is...

http://www.cdc.gov/DES/consumers/third/index.html

My mom was given a prescription for DES also before my premature birth in 1954.
post #54 of 61
Quote:
And being sick from the narcotics for a full day after the operation (as I was) and not being able to keep anything down, plus being given until you fart only broth and jello. Not a good way to get the nutrition that helps bring milk in. I think mine was a little late and a little on the light side b/c of those two factors.
I think that could be a valid factor too. I also think there could be two other factors involved. The psychological impact of having a c-sect, especially if you truly had hoped for a vaginal birth. I also feel that the impact of having a major abdominal surgery in its self is a huge factor. Your bodies initial reaction to any major surgical event is to "shut down" or to basically perserve blood flow for the major organs. Thus, creating breastmilk becomes less of a priority. That's the same reason why your GI functions halt following surgery and slowly begin to function again following. (the reasoning behind the liquid diet until bowel sounds are present)
post #55 of 61
Applejuice thanks for the link I will definitely be looking at that.

My mother took DES after the ban. : She had a history of miscarriage and it took her 3 years to become pregnant with me, so her doctor gave her the "vitamins" that he had saved after they were pulled. He is now dead and it has since been discovered that he gave DES to other women up until 1974.

Kim
post #56 of 61
Thank you, OnTheFence. I do know it was in beef production until 1979 also, so none of us have really escaped its effects.

My mom still has the prescription paper from late in 1953.

G-d Bless You, and your family.
post #57 of 61
I do think that over time, having sections could affect evolution, but it would take many generations. Before csections those women may have died in childbirth or had dead babies, and wouldn't have passed on the genes for the mishapen uterus, incompetent uterus, or pelvic bones or whatever.

But that's not why most women get csections. Most get them for failure to progress, or breech babies, or when the baby is in distress for some reason. In the old days most of these births probably would have still resulted in live moms and babies.

The only way that csections and modern medicine is affecting the gene pool is that many babies who would have otherwise died are being saved and may go on to have their own babies and pass on those genes. Things like heart defects and other inherited conditions. But that wouldn't genetically alter the way women carry or birth babies.
post #58 of 61
Just a couple of quick comments.

Evolutionary change requires that the trait in question have an impact on reproductive ability - either negative or positive (negative means that trait will disappear and positive means that trait will be selected for).

Health and medicine (vaccinations, c-sections, antibiotics, surgery, etc) interfere with classic evolutionary pressures. Children are alive today who would have died before age 5 100 years ago (or in developing countries). Women who previously would have been unable to give birth to live babies (either from infertility or problems with delivery) can. We can repair many birth defects and save many many lives that would have previously been lost. And all these people who live have children, thereby potentially passing on the factors that would have killed them to their children, and to their children, and so on.

So, yes, we are raising generations of humans who are reliant on the technology that allowed their existance. However, this has been true for over 5,000 years since we are completely reliant on agricultural technology in order to feed the numbers of humans we have on this planet. Our technology is getting more sophisticated and is spreading to more parts of the planet.

But since humans created the technology, in a way, we are creating a new reality for ourselves. We have a huge responsibility here - as well as an amazing opportunity. We have basically looked evolution and nature in the face and said "no, we are going a different direction" - for good and for bad.

I, for one, am NOT supportive of the noble savage approach that we sometimes see as a response to overly technical interventions. I have lived and worked in developing countries - there is nothing noble about a 3 year old dying of malaria or a woman getting a fistula due to malnutrition in childhood and a lack of medical care in labor.

Technology, as we all know, can do great evil. It also can perform miracles. It is how we use it that matters.

(off my soap box now!)

Siobhan
post #59 of 61
haven't read the replies yet- but, I have always suffered from incontinence and it is not in any way worse since giving birth vaginally.
post #60 of 61
Could be... Isn't there a sort of pug that cannot deliver its young vaginally, but has to have C-sections? I'm pretty sure I just heard this recently. If it could happen in another species, why not ours? I think, though, it would take LOTS of time and drastic reductions of or even erradication of vaginal births.

Interesting topic!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › C-sections effecting our evolution