Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Why Textbooks May Need to Update What They Say About Birth Canals

          For years it has been claimed by doctors and textbooks alike that diet during the adolescent years of females is one of the major reasons for a wide pelvis and better birth canal. Recent studies show that our view of the female human pelvis is quite wrong, and that the shape of the pelvis also depends on where the female comes from rather than just diet. What we consider to be a "normal" pelvis dates back to the early 1900's and is wildly different from the female pelvises we see today. 

          Two scientists, Dr. Betti and Dr. Manica, conducted a study of 348 female human skeletons from all around the word in order to compare and contrast each body's structure. All in all, they found that not only were the pelvic structures different, but that arm and leg length also varied significantly in each separate population. Narrowing it down, they realized that pelvic structure relied on the geographical location of the individual, "People of sub-Saharan origin generally had the deepest pelvises back-to-front, while Native Americans had the widest side-to-side. Europeans, North Africans and Asians fell in the middle of the range". On a genetic level, the scientists discovered that a fluctuation in gene frequency was related to the variation in pelvic shape. Dr. Betti also believes that geographical natural selection has something to do with the shape of the pelvis as well and use the example of a siberian woman tending to have a birth canal that is much wider at the top because it will, "make the individual stockier" and hold weight better to keep her warm. 
"A comparison of two human pelvises: The top is more oval in shape, representative of Europeans, North Africans and Native Americans. The bottom is more circular, representative of sub-Saharan Africans and Asians."CreditCreditLia Betti
          The reason that I chose this article is because as a woman I believe it is important to know about your body, especially if a new fact that we previously did not know about arises. It is important to become knowledgable about your body. Now that we know this information as a society, it will make a lot of women look at child birth differently. More importantly, I think this is imperative for doctors to know and learn about. Now we know that pelvic structure difference is much grander than we previously imagined. Learning this will help us better serve women during child birth and make it much safer for both mother and child. 

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