Saturday, March 8, 2008

Primate Birth

Some time ago I posted about an orangutan in the zoo being given a cesarean. I wondered about the impact of the zookeepers standing by watching her labor had on her labor and eventual birth outcome. I recently finished reading a very interesting book by Tina Cassidy (Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born) that happens to touch on this issue and so I wanted to share what it said.

"Monkeys in labor often stop contracting when they know a human is watching them. Women aren't necessarily different. After laboring at home for hours, many find their labor stalls when they arrive at the hospital, surrounded by the unfamiliar...For women, being among strangers can retard labor."

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