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The Surprising History of How We Are Born

Most Surprising Historical Account on Birth Practice

The author of this book has presented the historical accounts of birth in such a way that it is not easy to single out the most surprising practice. Almost all the practices are surprising for the reader, as it is hard to believe that these types of childbirth used to occur in the past. However, after a thorough reading of the book, I came to recognize that women who underwent the caesarean method of child delivery found it difficult to bear. There was no anesthesia to reduce the pain, yet the society expected the women to be strong and give birth to healthy children. Most midwives were said to be inexperienced at the time, yet they were the most reliable people in assisting pregnant women deliver.

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Choice of Midwife

I would have gone to a midwife if I had found myself pregnant before reading this book. The agony of giving birth while alone is risky, as the pain could rise to levels that are unbearable. Sometimes, there are reports that the unborn child is in such a dangerous position that the mother may have a stillbirth if no prompt action is taken before delivery. In such a case, the midwife would come in handy in trying to palpate the woman’s womb in order to bring the child to the correct position before delivery. Midwives have been reported to be very supportive in child delivery. They give encouragement to the pregnant woman by assuring them that the process of childbirth will be over successfully if the woman holds on. Therefore, I would not hesitate to visit a midwife for assistance in child delivery.

On the other hand, if I got pregnant after reading this book, then I would hesitate to visit a midwife. This book has discouraged the use of midwives in child delivery, as they are normally inexperienced. Midwives do not administer any anesthesia; thus, there are high chances that the mother could succumb to the pain that is experienced during caesarean delivery and lose the baby in the process too. Some midwives are also reported to be arrogant to the mother to a point that the mother can be discouraged from ever giving birth in the care of midwives in the future. In addition, midwives are said to have little medical knowledge; therefore, they would offer little or no medical help in case there is a complication during child delivery. The effect of the inexperience is that many women, as well as their children, have died in the hands of midwives. However, one question that I would ask myself is: Where else can I get help during childbirth? The answer to this question would determine whether I would go to the midwife or not. In case the only available assistance is the midwife, then I would reasonably seek her intervention than growl in pain all by myself. However, if there would be a medical facility nearby, I would prefer the medical center that has qualified medical personnel to a midwife who has little or no medical education.

Book Review

The book is organized into events that follow each other in a smooth succession. The writer has put considerable effort to explain how different generations choose different methods of childbirth. These methods are said to have been influenced by different circumstances, such as cultural, political, and religious orientations. The history of childbirth has been explained in such a way that it is obvious that the reader will appreciate the current advances that have been made in the delivery of children. The writer has given the role of midwives, family set up, and the community in the delivery of a child. The author of this book has used a unique way of delivering her message; she has infused history with medical science. In other words, the author uses her experiences, as well as the experience of her other mothers in child delivery to give a history of what used to happen during childbirth in the past. One could mistake the book for a novel or a mere historical book.

I would recommend this book for nursing students, as they would be able to understand and appreciate the various advances that have been made in the delivery of children. The language used in this book makes it clear to nursing students that child delivery is not just a walk in the park. Therefore, nursing students are expected to handle pregnant women in a way that shows empathy and support for these women. On the other hand, I would not recommend this book for expectant women. The kind of ruthless experiences that women who are mentioned in this book went through would scare pregnant women from giving birth. Indeed, the pregnant women would become stressed because of the fear that they may also go through the same trauma.

What I have learned from the Book

This book has many learning experiences. One can appreciate the role of different sociological groups in past child delivery. However, the most important piece of information that I have learned from this book is the appreciation of how far the medical field has gone to make advances that are useful in child delivery. One cannot help but be amazed at the current equipment and services that are available in medical facilities for use in child delivery today. The effectiveness of the modern support in child delivery cannot be compared to what used to happen in the past.

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