Sawbones: Birth


This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee and Justin are wrapping up their pregnancy series with the mother of them all: Birth.

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Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Please stop apologizing

First, I love your show. I've been listening from episode one and have just reached this one. I have knocked out half your episodes in less than 3 weeks, so you can imagine how much I'm enjoying it, and you can totally take this criticism with a grain of salt, dismiss it as it being my time of the month or a wave of hysteria, whatever; but I'd LOVE for Justin to stop apologizing to women for all that "men have done to [us] throughout history." You don't mean to, but it comes off as patronizing and silly. Your wasting Sid's time with those meaningless apologies, and ironically interrupting an intelligent woman's train of thought with a meaningless apoogy for something you didn't have any part in and probably have no relation to. It's 2015 and it took some doing to get here, I appreciate that. You were not around when "doctors" were moving womens' uterusus (...uteri?) around to try and center them, coming up with 1594595847 diagnoses of "hysteria", etc. Too? Could you stop telling us that Thomas Jefferson was "not that great?"EVERY TIME HIS NAME IS MENTIONED? We get it. I'm pretty sure he wasn't the only person who owned slaves through the 1860s. Move on so we can hear WHY HIS NAME WAS BROUGHT UP IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SHOW. As a woman who has no need for your apologies, the most awesome thing you could do is LET SID TALK and be hilarious and supportive, as you are the other 99.999999% of the time.


E.B. Lowry was a woman!

Love your show! I've recently discovered it and have been binge-listening to all the old episodes. I came across this one and can't resist pointing out that the doctor who wrote Your Baby (and lots of other guides about sex, marriage, and reproduction) was a woman -- Edith Belle Lowry. There were actually lots of practicing women docs around that time (at the turn of the century they were 5% of the total in the U.S., but they were over-represented in ob-gyn).

I wrote my dissertation on the ways that women shaped nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century gynecology and obstetrics, and you'd be surprised how many women were involved in the movements you sort of characterized as male-led -- hospital births, twilight sleep, etc. Super fascinating and complex. :)

birth topics

To continue in this vein you could do some on postpartum. Postpartum depression is a serious topic. Also the phenomenon of ladies forgetting the troubles of pregnancy and childbirth. Ladies with many deliveries report that in just a couple of months they forget the pain completely.

human pelvis evolution

Great show as always. I just want to add a little. You were talking about the human pelvis and wondering about the evolutionary process involved in its origin, but you didn't get to the real cause of our challenging childbirth - the twin evolutionary pressures of bipedalism and bigger brains. Here's an article, "The evolutionary origins of obstructed labor: Bipedalism, Encephalization, and the Human Obstetric Dilemma".
- Marta J, Chicago