Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Paleo Childbirth

My gutsy wife has had four home births.  During the Bradley Method Natural Childbirth classes we took in preparation for Dash 1, we learned much of what is written in the post that follows.

Aside from a certain frustration with the medical profession and its current practice of treating childbirth like a medical procedure, rather than the most natural thing on the planet which is more likely to end badly with intervention than without - the interesting thing is that once you notice which things probably should be done with respect for how humans did them for a million plus years, the lens of "what's wrong with this picture" is new.  What's wrong with this picture is humans were not evolved to be agriculturalists living in cities.  What's wrong with this picture is we didn't have to adapt to the reality of unlimited mood altering substances available for nearly nothing, 24/7.  What's wrong with this picture is we were built to live in small, enmeshed communities, doing a fairly few things, over and over again as we moved around with the seasons.  What's wrong with this picture is that while our ancestors couldn't have survived without the experience and accumulated wisdom of their tribe, our elders largely outlive their ability to keep pace with the change.

Oh, and what's wrong with childbirth is that never before have babies been born to such unhealthy, unfit mothers, who are struggling to get with a physiological process that was designed to happen in the confines of darkness, with only familiar folks around, and with no one poking anything into you or measuring this or that or telling you "you gotta sit this way so I can see" and never mind if the position that's easiest for the ER/delivery room is the least comfortable and natural way for moving an 8 pound body through the birth canal - mind you, in the right birthing position, the 8 pounds is moving towards the earth, vice having to be pushed away from the earth by the laboring mom.  Yes, the delivery room doesn't even account for that well know, not optional and very pre-paleo force, gravity.

Now I'm not laboring under the delusion that life would be grand if we all just up and went paleo.  It would suck, not least because precious few of us has lived that life and has the essential knowledge.  What I'm suggesting is the Paleolithic Model suggests a different understanding for the apparently incurable suffering of the life we see every day - understanding, but no cure.  For the cure, you gotta do what mankind has done since we went Neo - blaze a trail, look for the yellow brick road - aka, figure it out!

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