Stunning statistic

OK, it\’s from Sweden but still:

6 women died in 2005 in connection with complications during pregnancy and child birth. 101 346 children were born that year.

The death rate in "natural" childbirth (ie, zero modern medicine) is thought to be 1,000 to 1,500 per 100,000 births. It\’s certainly close to that in much of sub Saharan Africa today.

Haven\’t we come a long way?

6 thoughts on “Stunning statistic”

  1. We certainly have.

    Does the definiton of “natural” childbirth you cite include factors such as malnutrition and lack of sanitation in addition to zero modern medicine? They are at least as important for increasing the chances of safe childbirth.

  2. Dr. Crippen says the mortality rate for ‘natural’ childbirth is 5% of the mothers and 20% of the babies.

  3. I was in Gothenburg on 1st May, and depsite the workers paradise they have the fucking commies were still out for a march. Next day we woke up to find a few dozen windows smashed around the town. I guess you really can’t please some people.

  4. Yes but Winston, I’m sure that they were oppressive capitalist windows that had been grinding the faces of the poor and which had been subverting the revolution etc etc cont p.94.

    They’re bastards these windows.

  5. Oh and Renegade parent, it’s not just basic sanitation.


    Taking our NCT group as a small and unrepresentative sample, of just 9 couples, the following would have happened prior to ~1930 or so:
    – pre-eclampsia would have got one mother, either first or second time. And probably the baby as well for good measure.
    – two babies were reasonably early, one of which wasn’t breathing, so would almost certainly have died within minutes of birth
    – one more mother had a problem with her placenta failing to detach. She would then have died in agony from a deep septiceamia a week later.

    None of these are to do with basic sanitation: it’s about good ante-natal monitoring with decent medical and surgical support in the labour ward.


  6. @Cleanthes – agreed, as per my orginal comment.

    But inadequate nutrition and poor , lsanitary conditions are nevertheless significant contributory factors (as are other standards of living, such as age of first pregnancy, number of pregnancies, life expectancy, educational standards etc) – without them, antenatal care and emergency medical treatment alone (both of which are critical for healthy pregnancies and births) are less than satisfactory.

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