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Labour Mythology

07/10/07

  04:36:57 am, by Nimble   , 361 words  
Categories: Thoughts, People, Science

Labour Mythology

We're learning all sorts of things in our pre-natal classes, and there are a few things that were mythology-dispelling. Where do we pick up on such mythology? Television. Well, at least, according to what I've learned so far, I have not witnessed proper labour on-screen... or, if I have, then I fear for the habits of the medical profession ;)

Labour is a wonderfully "primitive" process, according to our embryologist-cum-doula-cum-mother-cum-educator. Left to their own devices, women will not want to have their labour or give birth lying down on their backs, for it's rather unnatural.

Why would this be? A few of the major reasons:

  • Labour hurts more when a woman is lying down on her back
  • The tailbone is one of the things loosened (likely by relaxin), and lying down on it will prevent it from moving out of the way
  • Gravity is not helping, and is minorly hindering, when lying on one's back
  • A good squat can give up to 15% more room for the baby to pass
  • The baby lying on the cervix is uncomfortable, but speeds the process along

Doctors will often want a woman on the bed once she's crowning, and after initial admittance when she gets hooked up to monitors (one of our 'jobs' for our wives is to make sure she's lying down for only the requisite twenty minutes, because hospital staff can be busy and forget).

It doesn't seem like you see real labour on TV, with women making funny sounds, sitting on a birthing ball (they have them at the hospitals here) or kneeling facing a chair.

Ah well, I'll give the media credit for portraying non-stork deliveries and occasionally a properly goopy baby.

Do they stick women on beds for their whole labour in places?

Now, for the next thing I want to know, is how prevalent labour amnesia is, since some people *cough* *Lily* *cough* cannot remember very many details at all of their hospital stay.

In some ways, I'm a little envious of that "primitive" regression where moms' minds go when they're in labour. The price isn't worth it, but I have to wonder what that state of mind feels like.

6 comments

Comment from: Adam [Member]  
Adam

Eesh; when I first read the title of the post, I thought you were going to be talking about Clement Atlee and the birth of the NHS :)

07/10/07 @ 09:43
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

…and Keynesian systems? Oh, nay nay. That’s not the sort of labour that weighs heavily upon my mind of late ;)

07/10/07 @ 18:41
Comment from: Adam [Member]  
Adam

Ooh, economics! Now we can discuss the division of labour!

07/10/07 @ 18:53
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

Well, we can discuss how this particular labour cannot be divided; it doesn’t matter how many people you throw at the problem!

Problems like this always come from unions ;)

07/10/07 @ 19:11
Comment from: Adam [Member]  
Adam

Sure it can. Remember, if it takes one woman nine months, then surely it’ll only take one month if you involve nine women. Simple math! That said, I’m not sure if you threw just nine men at it that the results would be terribly satisfactory; maybe 12?

Oh, and I’ll see your Venn diagram, please.

07/10/07 @ 19:26
Comment from: Nimble [Member]  
Nimble

Problem being, of course, that Venn diagrams don’t have a good time axis on this.

For the single case, of course, you have:

Baby Venn

This being about a 12-month case (YMMV, especially from step 1 to step 2), it would seem that you can have one baby in one month if you have at least one woman having been pregnant eight months earlier than the last step. So all it takes is preparation!

I guess the other thing Venn diagrams aren’t good at is showing individual identity of the baby involved. If that were important, then, well, I don’t know what I’d do!

07/22/07 @ 02:15