Re: Australopithecine birth

Glenn Morton (
Fri, 03 Apr 1998 05:59:25 -0600

At 12:44 AM 4/3/98 -0500, Wendee Holtcamp wrote:

>The idea that mothers can't deliver their own babies is a bunch of hogwash.
>Its a myth given us by well-meaning doctors who feel they must "do"
>something medical to a God-given natural process. Midwifes are universal in
>human births (historically) not because the mother CAN'T deliever the baby
>herself but because of the intensity of labor (particularly first time
>moms, or primips) and because of potential difficulties that may arise that
>another woman can assist with. Most midwives in today's age actually
>encourage moms to catch their own babies if they so desire. It all depends
>on the state of the mom at the time of delivery!


>Yes it IS possible. Many babies will clear their own passages with their
>first cry. Again here doctors have stepped in and act like they NEED to
>suck out great gobs of mucus or the baby won't live. Again its not true.
>Its a protection against malpractice suits is all. And umbilical cords are
>only wrapped around neck in about 10% of births and even that is not really
>a REAL huge danger. Its multiple wrappings that are more concern, and that
>is also why midwifes attend (or doctors these days) - in CASE something
>happens. Anyway I'm a mom of two little ones, both born naturally,
>drug-free and the second born at home with a midwife. I also began a study
>to become a childbirth educator but decided my path lie in a different
>direction for now.

thank you for your thoughtful reply. That is why I wanted to see what
others thought about this. I know that mothers do deliver alone and
Tattersall, if he thought about it would also know this. But is the danger
increased? Do you have any information on the percentage of pregnancies that
end in death of either the mother or the child when there is no one else
around? From an evolutionary perspective one might make a case that there
is selective pressure for social cooperation because it makes death less


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


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