Natural childbirth

You can have it if you want it:

Please stop talking about “natural” childbirth. If you want to have a baby naturally, take a break from farming, crawl under a bush, grunt twice, push the brat out, smear the cord with mud, and get back to hoeing turnips. That is "natural" childbirth. Twenty per cent of the babies and five percent of the mothers will die.

13 thoughts on “Natural childbirth”

  1. “get back to hoeing turnips”

    Farming is not “natural” as it is part of our highly advanced civilization we have enjoyed only for the last 10,000 years. Real “natural” was much worse.

  2. “Real “natural” was much worse.”

    I read somewhere (something by Jared Diamond?) that the calorie intake was higher for hunter-gatherers, the quality of the food was better, and indeed the time spent working for each unit of food was lower.

    The difference farming makes is not that it’s a better life, but that you can get more people per square mile, generate food surpluses and then sustain a warrior/priest/royal class. The hunter-gatherers then haven’t a chance.

  3. “The hunter-gatherers then haven’t a chance.” Particularly because you will become a host to bacteria and viruses to which they have no resistance.

  4. “the time spent working for each unit of food was lower.”

    Terry Jones, a serious medievalist, calculated, a few years ago in a newspaper book review, that the 14th century peasant worked fewer hours for his necessaries than does the modern worker.

    Life wasn’t so nasty brutal and brief as we like to think. Nonetheless, the move for “natural” childbirth is a part of the contemporary rejection of the modern.

  5. Wasn’t part of the calculation the fact that they took so many saints’-days as holidays that the total hours worked per month was reduced?
    And that the Protestant scrapping of saints’-days was welcomed by employers because it reduced time off?
    Could be wrong, vague memories can be faulty, and the medieval period isn’t my strong point.

  6. Yea, it’s true, we have been enslaved.
    We Borrow Worthless bits of Paper AT FULL FACE VALUE and are then forced to work our butts of for the Establishment Bankers and Frontmen in Parliament to pay of these ‘loans’ as Taxes.
    If we Coined it our selves and issued that into the economy, hey presto, no lona to pay back, no interest, no £2 Trillion govt debt and Hence, NO NEED FOR INCOME TAX.

    Stung again folks.

    Paliament is a charade.

  7. What’s a serious medievalist? Are there frivolous ones, writing for comic book reviews.

    I think I need to get out more, possibly to a place of association.


  8. 14th century is an odd one to pick – everything changes half way through with the Black Death, so that market power moved from the landowner to the cultivator.

  9. Peter Risdon,

    “Terry Jones, a serious medievalist, calculated, a few years ago in a newspaper book review, that the 14th century peasant worked fewer hours for his necessaries than does the modern worker.”

    Have you got a link to that?

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  11. Peter Risdon:

    Dig it. At the same time, the evidence of a lifetime has taught me to recognize that people styled “medievalist” seem to take very serious
    interest in extolling the existential bliss prevailing in their microcosm and has tended even to prejudice my view of historians (all in all, a very shifty lot).

    Just a word to the wise, Pete. Where they get you is on those “necessaries.” If you think to say
    “There’s no way to compare necessaries. Today, on the way home from work, an unmarried worker can stop off in a nice warm pub to chat,
    have a hot meal, hoist a few with a dozen or so of his friends, watch football or a quiz show on TV, listen to music, and, if he’s lucky, meet up with an attractive gal who may render the remainder of his night even a bit more pleasant than its beginning.

    To which the medievalist will reply. “It is true that we cannot compare necessaries. But in the era in which I specialize, almost nothing except necessaries existed or was available as a choice.
    Life was as close to perfect as is possible.”

    What many of such people do is not so much inform us of the factual details of the past that will improve our existence in the present but, rather, furnish us with such factual details as will support emotions and attitudes at present
    supportive of some particular political agenda.

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