walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Lease is up; tenant still has not moved out

I finished Grantly Dick-Read's _Childbirth Without Fear_ (note to self: enough with the staying up late reading!). This is the recently reprinted, relatively late edition with the intro by Michel Odent. Dick-Read is a Christian pro-natalist. He wanted to see a return to families of 7-10 children and he lived in South Africa for a time without being overly concerned by the effects of apartheid (or what would become apartheid), other than that he thought it was bad to have black women raising white babies who would eventually have to learn to ostracise these women. Be forewarned.

That said, both Odent and Dick-Read served as medics with some amount of actual war experience. Something about that level of excitement may contribute to producing obstetricians who do not feel a need to make their practice "exciting" or "interesting" through overly interventionist tactics.

Dick-Read's advocacy of a relatively non-interventionist birth management strategy makes reference to the benefits to the mother (not traumatizing her physically, psychologically, etc.) and the baby (ditto, plus the dead baby due to respiratory effects of drugs commonly used on mom), and the dyad (he pretty much lays out the whole bonding theory, without using those terms). He seems to actually be aware of the tradeoffs associated with having various people around for the birth (husbands, mothers, medical attendants of various inclinations can help or hurt). He's a huge believer in prenatal (being British, he says antenatal) care, and childbirth classes but his nutritional commentary is comparatively sane. His pregnancy exercises include one the current editors felt compelled to footnote as not recommended for pregnant women any more. Kinda reminiscent of the whole baby sleep on stomach/back to sleep switch.

I love working my way back/down through levels of advice. An accurate historic perspective is an empowering thing.
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