I found this little article in Slate very interesting and relevant to the birth and beyond board.
animals have the advantage of not thinking about it before they undergo it. as modern women, we know so much about relative risks, details of what can happen, etc. ... and we psych ourselves out. and the modern medical establishment makes it much worse.
One thing the article didn't mention is that those animals all live in the environments for which they evolved. Humans... not so much. Evolution hasn't caught up to our chair-using, non-squatting, sedentary, shoe-wearing current environment. And it's not going to, thanks to obstetrical medicine. All these things, plus a diet that's diverged considerably from what our bodies have evolved to deal with, plus artificial light and disrupted social structures, play havoc with body alignment, strength, hormonal response and stress response.
When you think about it, it's remarkable so many women do manage to give birth with minimal complications.
And yeah, it'd thoroughly suck to be a hyena giving birth - but the chompy teeth and excess testosterone must be fun.
Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).