Evolution and child birth
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15-04-2012, 10:21 AM
Evolution and child birth
If we traverse far enough back in human history we find ourselves on the plains of Africa, fighting other animals for the right of survival. We walk upright most likely to get a better view of the world and be able to see dangers faster than if we were walking around on all four. All perfectly logical, however, there's one thing that puzzles me.

When giving birth it normally takes hours or even days from when the contractions start to when they baby arrives. How is this evolutionally logical? In a world where we always had to be on our toes, ready to make a dash for the trees, how can prolonged child birth be an evolutionary advantage?
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15-04-2012, 10:58 AM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2012 11:10 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 10:21 AM)Ninett Wrote:  If we traverse far enough back in human history we find ourselves on the plains of Africa, fighting other animals for the right of survival. We walk upright most likely to get a better view of the world and be able to see dangers faster than if we were walking around on all four. All perfectly logical, however, there's one thing that puzzles me.

When giving birth it normally takes hours or even days from when the contractions start to when they baby arrives. How is this evolutionally logical? In a world where we always had to be on our toes, ready to make a dash for the trees, how can prolonged child birth be an evolutionary advantage?


Am no Evolutionary Biologist, but maybe ya have to traverse back even further. The systems, and hormones for the birthing process, would have been in place a lot earlier than the move out onto the plains. We came from the trees, not the plains. So the question is, how does the process promote survival THERE. That's not so difficult to figure out. Some genetic strains of women labor only a few minutes, (and some only feel a "cramp"), so there is a lot of variation there, (it's not ALL for the hours you might think it is). Most mammals have a relatively long birthing process, most don't have the option of escaping into a tree. (Don't whales and elephants labor for a few days ?) If there is a question about the birthing process, and it's promtion of survival, you're gonna have to ask the same question about a lot of other species also.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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15-04-2012, 11:12 AM
RE: Evolution and child birth
We may never know how this was supposed to evolve since there are so many scheduled C-sections these days for convenience sake and a lot of women are screaming for an epidural at the first twinge...some as soon as the stick shows a plus sign.

The few that do for a real natural childbirth know that the biggest hurdle is the medical staff that's pushing drugs on you and wanting you to lay flat on your back so that gravity and the natural processes of the body are hindered. Walking during labor can often be very helpful to speed things along and helped me get my son to turn into the right position instead of them doing it.

One nurse was determined to take my temperature when I was having contractions...my husband finally told her she better get out and stay out...she had a child but not one contraction thanks to a handy-dandy C-section that fit into everyone's schedule. She needed those temps at certain times and didn't seem to care if I bit the damn thermometer in half. She had rules to follow...damnit!


Intensity and duration of labor varies greatly from woman to woman and for each delivery.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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15-04-2012, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2012 01:39 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 11:12 AM)Anjele Wrote:  We may never know how this was supposed to evolve since there are so many scheduled C-sections these days for convenience sake and a lot of women are screaming for an epidural at the first twinge...some as soon as the stick shows a plus sign.

The few that do for a real natural childbirth know that the biggest hurdle is the medical staff that's pushing drugs on you and wanting you to lay flat on your back so that gravity and the natural processes of the body are hindered. Walking during labor can often be very helpful to speed things along and helped me get my son to turn into the right position instead of them doing it.

One nurse was determined to take my temperature when I was having contractions...my husband finally told her she better get out and stay out...she had a child but not one contraction thanks to a handy-dandy C-section that fit into everyone's schedule. She needed those temps at certain times and didn't seem to care if I bit the damn thermometer in half. She had rules to follow...damnit!


Intensity and duration of labor varies greatly from woman to woman and for each delivery.


There are some trends reversing in the States about the things you are saying .. as the Health Plans start to look at this a lot closer. Vietnamese, (and many Oriental ladies) traditionally give birth standing up, (or "squatting"). Many do it so fast it'S amazing. We have patients who give birth in the hospital parking lot, and when told, "ok come on in, we're going to admit you", they say, "what for..I already had my baby, I'm going home" ! Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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15-04-2012, 11:37 AM
RE: Evolution and child birth
Yeah, I was close to having middle child in the car...then I thought it was going to be in the hospital elevator. The doctor managed to run in just in time to catch her.

There are changes, as you mention, but women need to be educated that you don't have to be drugged out of your mind to survive most births.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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15-04-2012, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2012 02:58 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 11:37 AM)Anjele Wrote:  Yeah, I was close to having middle child in the car...then I thought it was going to be in the hospital elevator. The doctor managed to run in just in time to catch her.

There are changes, as you mention, but women need to be educated that you don't have to be drugged out of your mind to survive most births.


There are some really ridiculous regulations in some places about whether, (as you say), they run in the door and "catch" the kid .. and then charge for "doing" the delivery, or whether they don't get there in time, or are outside the room, and the nurses do it. The whole thing is ripe for reform. A very strange subculture in medicine.

Me ... "I don't know nuthin 'bout birthin no babies, Miss Scarlet".




Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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15-04-2012, 12:09 PM (This post was last modified: 15-04-2012 12:13 PM by Antirepublican.)
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 10:21 AM)Ninett Wrote:  If we traverse far enough back in human history we find ourselves on the plains of Africa, fighting other animals for the right of survival. We walk upright most likely to get a better view of the world and be able to see dangers faster than if we were walking around on all four. All perfectly logical, however, there's one thing that puzzles me.

When giving birth it normally takes hours or even days from when the contractions start to when they baby arrives. How is this evolutionally logical? In a world where we always had to be on our toes, ready to make a dash for the trees, how can prolonged child birth be an evolutionary advantage?
There weren't any hospitals on the plains of Africa. That Ape woman probably died....which is part of evolution.

You got to be able to squirt those youngins out on the plains of africa like those fat women in Iowa who don't even know they are pregnant.


Seriously though, there are still plenty of primitive human civilizations in the world who don't use hospitals for child labor and are in a hostile environment where they aren't at the top of the food chain. For your argument to hold water, these civilizations shouldn't be able to exist, yet they clearly do.
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15-04-2012, 01:16 PM
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 11:49 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(15-04-2012 11:37 AM)Anjele Wrote:  Yeah, I was close to having middle child in the car...then I thought it was going to be in the hospital elevator. The doctor managed to run in just in time to catch her.

There are changes, as you mention, but women need to be educated that you don't have to be drugged out of your mind to survive most births.


There are some really ridiculous regulations in some places about whether, (as you say), they run in the door and "catch" the kid .. and then charge for "doing" the delivery, or whether they don't get there in time, or are outside the room, and the nurses do it. The whole thing is ripe for reform. A very strange subculture in medicine.

Me ... "I don't know nuthin 'bout birthin no babies, Miss Scarlet".
I hadn't thought about that, the nurses did more than the doc and that wasn't much...I was only at the hospital about 30 minutes and they made me do the whole registration routine...I was in labor and delivery about 10 minutes...just enough time to get into a gown basically. And this 'too small' baby they said I was going to have weighed 8 lbs.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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15-04-2012, 01:34 PM
RE: Evolution and child birth
Might be not right, but I would view a longer child birth process to be beneficial more than a hindrance back in those times.

For example, if you don't know when the baby will pop out, imagine running to catch food, then BAM baby on the ground. Now you've got to stop hunting, collect the child, and potentially run for cover or something so other animals don't hunt you down.

If you do have a longer one, or just have warning signs, the mother will be going along the way, realize it's "time" and then go for shelter/safety providing more time to do whatever the "people" did to protect themselves and offspring during that time, right before it was needed. Who knows, maybe the woman gave signals for the father of the offspring to come back home and defend her and that took time.
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15-04-2012, 01:46 PM
RE: Evolution and child birth
(15-04-2012 12:09 PM)Antirepublican Wrote:  
(15-04-2012 10:21 AM)Ninett Wrote:  If we traverse far enough back in human history we find ourselves on the plains of Africa, fighting other animals for the right of survival. We walk upright most likely to get a better view of the world and be able to see dangers faster than if we were walking around on all four. All perfectly logical, however, there's one thing that puzzles me.



When giving birth it normally takes hours or even days from when the contractions start to when they baby arrives. How is this evolutionally logical? In a world where we always had to be on our toes, ready to make a dash for the trees, how can prolonged child birth be an evolutionary advantage?
There weren't any hospitals on the plains of Africa. That Ape woman probably died....which is part of evolution.



You got to be able to squirt those youngins out on the plains of africa like those fat women in Iowa who don't even know they are pregnant.





Seriously though, there are still plenty of primitive human civilizations in the world who don't use hospitals for child labor and are in a hostile environment where they aren't at the top of the food chain. For your argument to hold water, these civilizations shouldn't be able to exist, yet they clearly do.



You misunderstand, I did not make this post as a way to try to disprove evolution, it was merely for curiosity's sake and I wanted to hear what you guys had to say about it. Thumbsup
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