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Natural birth to become a thing of the past ?


Posted on Monday, 25 May, 2015 | Comment icon 52 comments

Will all women eventually have to rely on medical assistance to give birth ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
A prominent French doctor has claimed that women are losing the ability to give birth naturally.
Obstetrician Michel Odent maintains that the rise in modern aids to childbirth such as drugs and surgical procedures could eventually leave women unable to give birth without medical assistance.

Evidence in support of this view can be found in the form of statistics from the last few decades indicating that women take much longer in labour now than they did 50 years ago, a rise of around two-and-a-half hours between births this century and births in the 1950s and 1960s.

"To me it demonstrates the obvious - that women are losing the capacity to give birth," he said.

Other factors include a rise in the number of births carried out via cesarean section and an increase in the number of women who are given synthetic oxytocin drips to help induce labour.

"I believe that the human oxytocin system - oxytocin being the hormone of love, fundamental to birth and bonding, even in adulthood - is growing weaker," he said.

Odent's arguments have been laid out in full in his upcoming book - Do We Need Midwives ?

While no stranger to controversy having previously suggested that it was bad for the father to be present at the birth, the obstetrician's concerns over the future of natural childbirth nonetheless carry a great deal of weight and maintain substantial support in the medical community.

"Odent has in the past said things that seem preposterous but a few years later are borne out by the evidence," said Professor Soo Downe of the University of Central Lancashire.

"Giving women synthetic oxytocin interferes with the balance of hormones. Evidence is growing that there are long-term consequences."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (52)

Tags: Birth, Baby

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #43 Posted by MysteryMike on 26 May, 2015, 22:10
Good that way let this be a lesson to humanity not to get so overpopulated.
Comment icon #44 Posted by rogue wave on 27 May, 2015, 2:09
Good that way let this be a lesson to humanity not to get so overpopulated. I used to feel the same way. But then I learned that it only feels that way because we cram ourselves in cities and along water fronts. http://static.persquaremile.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/the-worlds-population-concentrated.png
Comment icon #45 Posted by psyche101 on 27 May, 2015, 2:21
And others, like one that basically has you drink a really strong bleach, are actively harmful. The lack of regulation also means there are plenty of alt health meds contain little or none of the so called ingredient. Never been my experience, I find Western Medication works fine. Perhaps we do not have the regulation issues the USA sees down here. Since taking on a healthy lifestyle, I find I read the back of everything before I buy it. Not that I would know half the extremely long names used in medicines though. One regulation change Australia is implementing is that the active ingredient(s)... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by tcgram on 27 May, 2015, 2:28
Generally speaking C-sections are only done for medical reasons (not expediency). Having surgery isn't without risk but it can save lives when complications arise. Both of my children were delivered by c-section, as I developed pre-eclampsia with both pregnancies. I was in labor for 72 hours with my daughter and the c-section was only done b/c I was having trouble breathing through contractions and was getting fluid in my lungs d/t being very swollen. I developed the same symptoms the second time with my son so I opted to have another c-section rather than try to have him naturally. I am thank... [More]
Comment icon #47 Posted by Michelle on 27 May, 2015, 2:53
That is part of it, but I have also heard from medical practitioners that if something goes wrong, they get the blame for it. This can lead to lawsuits and trouble for the doctors. There are also women who want a specific birthday for their kid (Astrology pops up a lot for why, job related reasons come up as well), or just want the whole thing over with. Yes, there are many reasons for the rise in c-sections. Some women ask doctors to induce labor so they can give birth on a particular date too. And like you said, they schedule the time off from work and the baby is late. It's a lot more commo... [More]
Comment icon #48 Posted by ShadowSot on 27 May, 2015, 3:41
Never been my experience, I find Western Medication works fine. Perhaps we do not have the regulation issues the USA sees down here. Since taking on a healthy lifestyle, I find I read the back of everything before I buy it. Not that I would know half the extremely long names used in medicines though. One regulation change Australia is implementing is that the active ingredient(s) must be listed immediately below the brand name, with the first letter of the active ingredient directly below the first letter of the brand name. LINK I think you misunderstood my post, or I wrote it wrong. My post w... [More]
Comment icon #49 Posted by psyche101 on 27 May, 2015, 4:13
I think you misunderstood my post, or I wrote it wrong. My post was meant to be in support of Western Medicine. Sorry, I got confused with the bleach statement, I took it to mean the medical front in the US is passing off rubbish as medicine. My point is that alt med has been given a loophole where they can be sokd here as supplements without having to be tested for efficacy. At most they have to be shown to not be actively harmful. Gotcha. It seems ridiculous it can be sold as a "medicine" when it is not tested as a "medicine" it's really just a home remedy, like a hot toddy for a cold. Altho... [More]
Comment icon #50 Posted by ShadowSot on 27 May, 2015, 6:23
Sorry, I got confused with the bleach statement, I took it to mean the medical front in the US is passing off rubbish as medicine. No problem. There are good reason to be skeptical of the industry, I think. Drug trials only using a placebo control instead of testing against competing medication which will give a false impression of it's actual effects. Direct advertising to the public instead of doctors, and so on. Ben Goldacre has a couple of really good books on Alt Med and Pharmaceutical industries. He's also been able to get major drug companies in the UK to release their research to the p... [More]
Comment icon #51 Posted by Daughter of the Nine Moons on 27 May, 2015, 12:19
Technology and an emergency c-section is what saved my son's life. If he had been born in the early to mid 20th century there would have been a 32-47% chance that he wouldn't have survived. I'll take technology any day.
Comment icon #52 Posted by Athena1979 on 1 June, 2015, 7:46
Ugh. Finally, no more natural births! Now I can build my city of tube babies. No pain...lots to gain.


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