Time for me to get out "Rediscovering Birth" by Shelia Kitzinger.
As I was searching for the bit I wanted to quote, I came across a "fun fact" to corroborate applejuice's point:
|In 1913, 15,000 or more American women died in or around childbirth and nearly half of the deaths were from 'childbed' or puerperal fever. Women who gave birth in hospitals were especially likely to develop puerperal fever becuse the doctors examined their patients without washing their hands. The cause of puerperal fever had already been discovered many years before, in the mid-1800s, by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes in America, and also by Dr. Agnaz Semmelweis in Austria, who found that the death rate of mothers from puerperal fever was three tiemes higher in the part of the Vienna hospital run by the doctors than the part in which the midwives worked.
I don't have a citation for this tidbit, but in conjunction with this filthy hand business, it was thought that doctors, because they were GENTLEMEN, had clean hands.
Thnx, busybusymama, for the actual author....but I was making an obscure, Dennis ******-like allusion to the famous OB pionerr, Dr. Joseph DeLee--were he alive today, I'd like to meet the man we can thank for the popularity of episiotomies! (Who would, were he alive today, be a big fan of scheduled c-secs, I presume.)
The following quote, again from Ms. Kitzinger's wonderful new book, is a quote SHE has from Dr. DeLee's "The Prophylactic Forceps Operation', printed in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1920.
(Maybe you gals are smarter than me, but it took me a few readings of this to realize DeLee is trying to 'shock' us with his salmon reference. Of course women aren't disposable like a spawning salmon, but the death of a salmon is 'natural', like uterine prolapse...so maybe 'natural' isn't good, and OB's should follow DeLee's lead and do everything they can to prevent nature from ruining women.)
|Labor has been called, and is believed by many to be, a normal function...and yet it is a decidedly pathologic process. If a woman falls on a pitchfork, and drives it through her perineum, we call that pathologic-abnomral, but if a large baby is driven through the pelvic floor, we say that it is natural, and therefore normal.....[blah blah, he's a little verbose at this point and OT for my point].....I have often wondered weither Nature did not deliberately intend women should be used up in the process of reproduction, ina manner analogous to that of a salmon, which dies after spawning? Perhaps laceration, prolapse and all the evils soon to be mentioned are, in fact, natural to labor and therefore normal, in the same way that death of the mother salmon and the death of the male bee in copulation are natural and normal.
This is why I joke about Jennifer Berman, the new millinium's answer to women's lib and feminizm, w/ her show "Berman and Berman: For Women Only". I've caught her little show a few times, when it was brand-new and we got the cable channel. She sounds just like archaic, intrusive, mis-guided Dr. DeLee:
|My second reason for choosing c-section stems from the work I’ve done as a urologist. During a reconstructive surgery fellowship last year, I saw women who suffered the effects of incontinence and prolapse. These effects are directly related to vaginal delivery.
(Remember, episiotomy is directly related to vaginal delivery!)
I am not convinced that surgery is ALWAYS REQUIRED when delivering a baby (I always say 'birth', but a scheduled c-sec seems more like delivery!) to prevent a woman from having pee-trickle problems later in life! DeLee said snip the crotch, Berman says slice the belly. WHATEVER.
Let's not forget to Kegel tonight, girls!