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If you're pregnant this will give you something to do
May 3, 2007 7:04 AM   Subscribe

virtual labor
posted by konolia (31 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Congratulations!

You do your best to breath deeply and not assist your body in pushing. You pull into the hospital parking lot just in time to have the midwife from the birth center help you remove your pants and catch your baby boy while you are still sitting in the car.

posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2007


It's a boy!
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on May 3, 2007


<h2 align=center>Your companions massage you...</h2>

NSFW!
posted by staggernation at 7:10 AM on May 3, 2007


Creepy.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:12 AM on May 3, 2007


Hmmm. I think I just got in touch with my feminine side.
posted by chillmost at 7:14 AM on May 3, 2007


I just want everyone to know I'm okay and to thank you for all of your gifts and support. Baby Sean Preston was born at 10:05 this morning

Apparently my decision to use the birth stool instead of the tub or bar changed the sex of my baby from female to male at the last minute-- once China gets hold of this technique, there'll be no getting that cat back in the bag, as it were.

It's still gay, though, in case you were worried.
posted by hermitosis at 7:17 AM on May 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, there seems to be no option for whelping in the streets. WTF?
posted by hermitosis at 7:19 AM on May 3, 2007


Oooo, I wanna do "virtual kick-in-the-nuts".
posted by dozo at 7:25 AM on May 3, 2007


Well hey, that was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And cheaper too.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2007


yes, you can use virtual money to clothe, feed and educate junior
posted by caddis at 7:43 AM on May 3, 2007


Metafilter: Use Nipple Stimulation
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:54 AM on May 3, 2007


I'm feeling a gentle urge to do something masculine. Who wants to arm wrestle?
posted by SinisterPurpose at 8:01 AM on May 3, 2007


Mine was an egg, so I guess I am only halfway there.
posted by 517 at 8:06 AM on May 3, 2007


It annoys me that there is no option for 'panic - everything is going wrong. I want an epidural!' Yes, natural birthing is great for those women who have a labour with no complications. But if there's any risk of complications - which in childbirth can be fatal then this site is giving the (maybe unintentional) message that 'birth companions' and midwives are all you need in the face of stuff like life-threatening bleeding or breech births or any number of horror stories. That worries me.
posted by talitha_kumi at 8:09 AM on May 3, 2007


Damn, I thought this was going to be about blue collar work, something I actually know something about.
posted by Eekacat at 8:17 AM on May 3, 2007


What is the baseline rate for mortality for the mother and/or the baby during childbirth without medical intervention but including safe(ish) conditions and a level of informed assistance that most cultures have developed indigenously? It'd be much lower than giving birth in a cave, alone, but I'd still expect it to be much, much higher than contemporary people in developed societies would be willing to accept.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:18 AM on May 3, 2007


More virtual labor!
posted by sourwookie at 8:20 AM on May 3, 2007


Thank you for laboring
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2007


No, thank you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2007


What is the baseline rate for mortality for the mother and/or the baby during childbirth without medical intervention but including safe(ish) conditions and a level of informed assistance that most cultures have developed indigenously?

19th century cemeteries offer a good clue.

Data/estimates from 2000 [PDF]:

WHO did statistical modeling and found maternal risk of death from a single pregnancy varied from 2% in Sierra Leone to 0.002% in Sweden. Lifetime risk of death in childbed ranged from 1 in ~30000 in Sweden to 1 in 6 in Afghanistan or Sierra Leone. Their models have fairly wide confidence intervals, though.

I didn't read carefully enough to learn whether their numbers are only for immediate death in childbirth or also include later death from conditions caused by childbirth.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:46 AM on May 3, 2007


I thought this thread was going to be about agents. Somebody owes me a few clock cycles.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:35 AM on May 3, 2007


Wow, that was easy. What's this hours and hours fuss about?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2007


So it's a "choose your own adventure" that's not satisfied until you choose the path that the author prefers?
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 10:25 AM on May 3, 2007


I gave birth to a MONSTER!
posted by joelf at 12:54 PM on May 3, 2007


Nipple stimulation? That's interesting. Nipples are so multifunctional, they never cease to surprise me (well, apart from guys nipples, the existence of which evolutionary biologists can't explain).
posted by algreer at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2007


well, apart from guys nipples, the existence of which evolutionary biologists can't explain

Really? I seriously doubt this. Breasts are developmentally controlled by hormones—all humans have the capability of developed breasts and lactation. So we're looking at two levels of selection pressure for males: sufficient to turn off the development of breasts and sufficient to eliminate breasts as a phenotype altogether. The latter requires much stronger pressure than the former. And, obviously, the latter never existed. Whatever the selection pressures were, they were answered by simply turning off the development of breasts rather than eliminating them entirely.

Think about it this way: even the primary sex organs are developmentally controlled by hormones during gestation. There is a base structure there which develops one way or another. This is mostly how sexual dimorphism works.

What could possibly be the evolutionary benefit of eliminating male breasts entirely? Looking at it another way, what kind of selection pressures could there have been when mammalian breasts evolved that would force a sexual dimorphism right from the beginning? Again we're asking just how big is the downside for males to have undeveloped and unused mammalian structures?

One thing that people don't understand about evolution is that it's not at all like design. It's not aiming for perfection, it's just the result of something being good enough.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:16 PM on May 3, 2007


This is definitely virtual labour. I would have remembered if there'd been an "exit" option during my two deliveries.

Sorry, I just don't get the whole "natural childbirth" movement. I am blessed with short labours, but that also means I don't get any drugs, so I have it "naturally" by default. Trust me, I'd much, MUCH rather have the epidurals. And don't even get me started on the idiot who came up with the phrase "too posh to push."
posted by Zinger at 3:07 PM on May 3, 2007


It's too bad the original post included so little context... although the site is presenting a very one-sided picture, the fundamental message of the natural childbirth movement is that childbirth is not a disease, or an injury... it's something human bodies are evolved to do. It's absolutely incorrect to be looking to third world and 19th century infant mortality rates for comparison. Modern natural childbirth does not blindly reject modern medicine... rather it focuses on using it only in the cases where it is needed.

The problem in the US is that we have over-medicalized childbirth. Despite the sophistication of our health system, the US has one of the highest rates of infant mortality among developed countries. Unlike the US, the nations with the lowest infant mortality make heavy use of midwives, with 70% of babies being delivered without a doctor and with very low rates of medical intervention.

As for the whole "giving birth at home" thing... part of that comes from the fact that it can be VERY difficult to have a natural childbirth in many US hospitals, due to the institutionalized culture and procedures. It's also unpleasant to be in the hospital when you're not sick... for example, it's almost impossible to keep them from waking you (and the baby) up at 3am to take your blood pressure. And in most cases, the hospital is a short ambulance ride away.

I'm not saying natural childbirth is for everyone, but in general American women are very poorly informed about the risks of medical intervention and the alternatives to it. Here's a good place to get started if you're interested in learning more.
posted by reborndata at 8:15 PM on May 3, 2007


It's too bad the original post included so little context

whaaaa? this was a great post. konolia, oh I love her so, tossed up a lovely little internet tidbit for all to consume, and you get to put your own spin on what it all means. best post of the day.
posted by caddis at 8:24 PM on May 3, 2007


The problem in the US is that we have over-medicalized childbirth. Despite the sophistication of our health system, the US has one of the highest rates of infant mortality among developed countries.

Are these two things connected though? In other words, where in the system is the infant mortality taking place - in the so called "over medicalized" procedures, or among the poor who cannot afford healthcare? It's an important distinction.

I will agree that some aspects of the hospital stay are unpleasant - post-partum care always seems a bit of a circus (at least at my local hospital in Canada), as if it's not a nurse it's someone bringing you a meal, or the pediatrician coming through, or the janitor, or the OB/GYN or... there's never more than 15 minutes peace.
posted by Zinger at 9:46 PM on May 3, 2007


Are these two things connected though? In other words, where in the system is the infant mortality taking place - in the so called "over medicalized" procedures, or among the poor who cannot afford healthcare? It's an important distinction.

Infant mortality is almost certainly related to maternal health and as much before she becomes pregnant as connected to her care during pregnancy. However, one should not presume that because mother and child both live that there is not great damage done even in the course of what's considered a "normal" or "uncomplicated" hospital birth. Statistics bear out that the majority of women don't need surgeons to play a role in the birth of their children and a large number would benefit greatly if they didn't.
posted by Dreama at 10:41 AM on May 4, 2007


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