A fascinating article by Atul Gawande about the history of childbirth and the medical establishment and the ethical considerations facing today's obstetricians.
Published in The New Yorker, Oct 9, 2006
Have you ever wondered why human babies are so much more vulnerable at birth when compared to other newborn mammals? We can't walk, see very far, and our nervous system is still somewhat undeveloped. Turns out it's because of the relatively small size of the human pelvis which is what the baby has to pass through to get born. Since our bodies can't wait for babies to get any bigger, all human babies are effectively born premature and develop the skills most mammalian infants have immediately over the next year or so.