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Painful Chldbirth


glintofpewter
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I have been listening to some lectures by Dr. David Neiman. I found his idea that mythological stories represent actual phenomena of human experience. The stories about these phenomena are written as dramas with interesting characters. About the curse of painful childbirth he observes that humans are the only animals that experience painful childbirth which is the result of [narrow pelvis for bipedalism] and a larger brain at birth. This painful childbirth is the price paid for increased intelligence (knowledge). He connects this to the expulsion from the garden of Eden story and the curses that follow.

 

(According to his own (probably not modest) biography "Dr. David Neiman (1921-2004) was a renowned scholar in the fields of Biblical Studies, Jewish History, and the long and often complicated relationship between the Church and the Jews.")

 

Dutch

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the lectures I have heard Dr Neiman didn't let facts get in the way of story telling. People who didn't have your experience also questioned his statement but a short google brought up several sources which concurred. But your experience is more valid.

 

Dutch

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Upon further research

 

 

When paleoanthropologists of the 1950s and 1960s asserted that human childbirth is more difficult than in birth in other mammals, they may have been drawing upon their own North American cultural beliefs that childbirth is dangerous and belongs in a hospital.

 

p. 143

 

EVOLUTION AND PREHISTORY: THE HUMAN CHALLENGE

By WILLIAM A. HAVILAND, HARALD E. L. PRINS, DANA WALRATH

books.google.com/books

 

This idea would have been popular during Dr. Neiman's formative years.

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  • 4 months later...

I am a Midwife and do see that for many women childbirth holds varying degrees of pain. This amazing process requires that the woman's cervix both dilates from 1-2cm to 10cm to allow the baby out while at the same time powerfully contracting muscles to push her baby into life outside of her body. Humans do need to mentally overcome the 'fight or flight' response to move in to the process in a fulfilling way, which as I have seen, is powerfully emotional in a positive way when the woman realises her accomplishment. Perhaps the difference with animals is that they don't have the 'higher brain' mental battle, they just get on with it. This process though happens for all mammals and they all experience the same. Maybe early writers of the Bible needed to blame someone for the loss of Paradise so picked on the one thing that only females can do - give birth- and assigned this as painful punishment rather than a beautiful empowering life changing event.

Edited by ceecee
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  • 4 months later...

I have been listening to some lectures by Dr. David Neiman. I found his idea that mythological stories represent actual phenomena of human experience. The stories about these phenomena are written as dramas with interesting characters. About the curse of painful childbirth he observes that humans are the only animals that experience painful childbirth which is the result of [narrow pelvis for bipedalism] and a larger brain at birth. This painful childbirth is the price paid for increased intelligence (knowledge). He connects this to the expulsion from the garden of Eden story and the curses that follow.

 

(According to his own (probably not modest) biography "Dr. David Neiman (1921-2004) was a renowned scholar in the fields of Biblical Studies, Jewish History, and the long and often complicated relationship between the Church and the Jews.")

 

Dutch

 

I think I should have started in this section of this forum when I was transferred through the Spong hosters.

 

I was the first person to have natural childbirth in our area hospital with my daughter in 1971. Being an animal and not all that knowingly evolved and connected to the mishap in the garden of eden, I gotta tell ya, it was not fun. If anyone ever watched Bill Cosby's classic, "himself" (sure you can google and find it), he described childbirth as pulling your lower lip over your head. Just imagine the painful implications. Well, I'm here to tell you, it's the truth.

 

But we had some discussion on the Spong forum regarding, " do animals feel pain" and I was so happy to have convinced some very intelligent and animal oriented people that, yes, they do in fact feel pain.

 

Why wouldn't they? We're animals. they're animals. Do they say,"ouch"? Do they moan? yes they do. But most of us don't even take the time to learn Spanish, let along animalese!

 

I have a low threshold of physical pain. I also get seasick when my daughter and her father do not. My son does and we both have ADD, neurological disorders which have come about because of genetic compromised pathogens.

 

My point is that, way back in those days, they only were capable of attributing disease to biblical based prophesies. Google Scholar is so kicking itself for not being around then with such fertile monetary opportunities!

 

So, anyway, Dr. Neiman is basing his premises on the bible and are therefore biased, IMO. No, I haven't read him, but I'm basing my opinon on what those who have read him have posted.

 

Everything physiological doesn't happen because of what people have said in the bible. they weren't even aware of the neurological effect of the physical outcome in humans or any other animals. Acutally, now that you brought that up, I have to wonder who promoted these quotes and mind-sets which magically appeared to influence us in the 20-21st centuries.

 

I trust no one any longer. Sad but true.

 

Kath

 

oh, P.S.

 

My second child was born and I chose the epidoral block after finding out it was a non-transplacental drug. (grrr. why didn't they tell me with my first born? grrrr) and it was so awesome WATCHING the contractions, instead of FEELING them.

 

grrr.

Edited by Kath
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