The practices of attendants around the time of birth

  • Marjorie Tew

Abstract

Although the human mother, like other female mammals, is biologically endowed with instinctive behaviour to ensure the safe delivery of her offspring and so the survival of the species, civilization has taught her to distrust her instincts and rely on assistance of some kind from a birth attendant. The practices of attendants have varied according to culture and historical period. Presumably they have always been intended to improve welfare and reduce suffering and danger. Whether they were to achieve this with little or much intervention has depended on the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge of the attendants and the place of birth. But however successful they may appear to have been in particular cases, regular observations were not made to confirm that they were so in most cases and current practices persisted for long periods before being rejected or displaced by others of equally unproven efficacy, a pattern as characteristic of recent as of earlier history.

Keywords

Morphine Prostaglandin Straw Alba Naloxone 

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Copyright information

© M. Tew 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie Tew

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