Medicine: Natural or Unnatural?

More than a century of medical progress designed to make childbirth a "more comfortable and happy event" is being slighted in the current craze for "natural childbirth," says a team of four Baltimore physicians. "It is no longer considered smart talk at the bridge table to discuss twilight sleep or painless labor," the doctors* say in Psychosomatic Medicine. "The woman of the day is one who can vividly describe every last detail of her delivery, including the ecstasy of the unassisted expulsion of the placenta."

This sort of thing prompts the doctors to ask: "Is natural childbirth natural?" Up to...

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