Why earlier childbirth was harder and how do modern women get rid of fear
Modern conditions for women in labor are not comparable to those in which our ancestors gave birth. Women in Russia were often allowed to give birth literally in the field, where they were caught working. The mortality rate was high, both among mothers and infants. Now there are very different numbers and opportunities, but the fear of childbirth is still strong among women. It often significantly interferes with the process.
What did women in labor die of?
It is not ironic to say that we are lucky to live in the age of antibiotics, pain management and advanced medicine. Just imagine what it was like for our ancestors to treat their teeth without anesthesia. And give birth?! Despite the fact that they did it many times more often than now. 10 children in a village family were not uncommon. Unfortunately, infant and maternal mortality also led the way. Women in labor died mostly from sepsis, uterine ruptures, bleeding, and multiple infections. And this was true not only of peasant women, but also of royalty.
At the service of women in labor were in fact only midwives. It was only in 1754 that the first obstetric schools were opened in St. Petersburg and Moscow. They were taught by foreign professors. At the same time, there was a manual for midwives “Instructions on how a woman should support herself during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth”. By the way, schools were not popular, there were very few students. Therefore, even at the end of the 19th century, 98% of women in labor in Russia were still allowed to give birth without obstetric care.
How was childbirth analgesic before?
Attempts to alleviate the pain with various means, of course, were made. As a rule, morphine and laudanum were used. Narcotic substances, in turn, could lead to a weakening of the uterine contractions and inhibition of the baby’s breathing.
Of modern drugs, most often sounds “Promedol” – a narcotic analgesic that increases uterine contractions, stimulating the course of labor. But it also has serious drawbacks: slow removal of the drug from the baby’s blood. Therefore, most often now resort to epidural anesthesia. The question is different: despite the development of medicine, most women still have a huge fear of childbirth. A number of expectant mothers even prefer to give birth at home, since in the maternity hospital their fear can turn into a stage of horror.
Olga Leonidovna Shustova
gynecologist-endocrinologist, obstetrician of the clinic of modern technologies KST
“Of course, for 20-30 years we didn’t have a lot of funds in our Arsenal to numb childbirth. Today, the picture is completely different and there are different indicators of maternal and child mortality. But women are still afraid of pain. The lack of psychological preparation for childbirth sometimes causes incorrect reactions and abnormalities. After all, the physiological factor of pain is present in childbirth only by 30%, and the psychological factor is already 70%. Fear contributes to the release of adrenaline, which, in turn, leads to narrowing of blood vessels and hypoxia – as a result, the pain response increases. Vicious circle. By the way, many primates do not have such a painful reaction to this physiological process.
A woman preparing for the first birth should know that this is a physiological process and the pain that you will experience is not beyond the limit. A lot depends on the mood. Now there are a large number of practices and methods that prepare the expectant mother for childbirth. Partner childbirth is practiced when your husband or close person is near you. In a number of maternity hospitals, there is a Jacuzzi where you can “survive” the most painful period of opening the cervix and preparing the birth canal – in warm water, this is painless.”
According to our expert, a woman in childbirth should behave actively: find a position in which it will be most convenient for her to help the baby come into the world. Activity is also encouraged during pregnancy: non-extreme sports, yoga, swimming, and Hiking. The more physically fit and better prepared a woman is,the easier the process will be.
Not torment, but labor
Plus, you can resort to epidural anesthesia, which is becoming more popular and available. “Thanks to the medical method of analgesia, there are almost no abnormalities of labor, cervical dystocia. You don’t need to be afraid of an epidural. In no maternity home will a woman be given drugs that can harm her. All the methods have been worked out for a long time. We will add that the woman in labor comes with all the tests and results of ultrasound, that is, we see the state of the fetus at the time of birth. The risks of complicated pregnancies are reduced – previously, women, alas, did not dream of this.
And here’s what else I want to say. The Bible supposedly has this expression “for your sins you will give birth in pain…” So: there is no such phrase, I studied the question. On the contrary, it says to eve that ” by working, you will bear your children.” So childbirth is not a torment, but a labor! And if you set your mind to this work correctly, you will be fine! Not afraid».