I found this week's readings on childbirth very interesting, enlightening, and--I'm not going to lie--a little unnerving! I feel like childbirth is somewhat romanticized in our society. Sure, we are constantly hearing and talking about how excruciatingly painful labor is for the mother; however, I think the many dangers involved in childbirth for both the mother and the child are downplayed and pushed somewhat underground. Reading "The New Yorker" article by Atual Gawande and Henci Goer's response to it, I was extremely eye-opening to read about all the different types of problems that can occur and the many risks involved in different procedures for the mother and child.
I was also shocked by how in the mid 1900's, "babies who were born malformed or too small or just blue and not breathing well were listed as stillborn, placed out of sight, and left to die" (Gawande). I was repulsed by the fact that doctors could give up on babies so quickly and easily. Thank goodness the "Apgar score" was invented, which allowed the condition of newborn babies to be rated on a zero to ten scale and "required observation and documentation of the true condition of every baby" (Gawande). However, Gawande then goes on to say that "even if only because doctors are competitive, it droev them to want to produce better scores--and therefore better outcomes--for the newborns they delivered." I was once again disgusted--if doctors are only properly caring for and evaluating newborn children in order to be "top doctor" and "win," we have some serious problems.