2021-10-12 19:47:06 UTC
By Elissa Garay.
Comments, from elsewhere:
"People don't realize how dangerous even a healthy/normal pregnancy can be. There's a reason it was the main cause of death in women for a long damn time - it's not as natural and beautiful as modern women make it out to be and I'm convinced the ones who lived through it a long time ago were just super lucky.
"Something I read recently suggested that the uterus is not a way to protect the fetus from outside harm - it's a way to contain the fetus to protect the woman from it. A pregnancy can change a woman on a genetic level when fetal cells cross the placental barrier and bury themselves in the woman's tissues. Conditions like ecclampsia and pre-ecclampsia can kill the woman. Things like hyperemesis gravidarum can become life-threatening if the woman is so sick that she can't keep down water.
"Even when the woman stops being pregnant either due to giving birth or miscarrying, shit can go south. Like the article says, blood clots are a post-natal issue, and I also learned recently that it's possible to develop ecclampsia/pre-ecclampsia after giving birth too. If a woman miscarries and even the tiniest scrap of fetal tissue remains in her uterus after her body decides it is done being pregnant, she can go septic. Ectopic pregnancies can cause life-threatening bleeding if they go untreated.
"The fact that more women are getting pregnant later in life and/or when they're very obese is not going to do anyone any favors either because both these things greatly increase the risk of complications and death...."
"Before modern medicine, from my reading it looks as if childbirth was an even bigger killer than the actual pregnancy, which was obviously very risky by itself. Women dying during or soon after childbirth were not unusual, because lots can go wrong then. Sepsis and infections after birth were largely untreatable before antibiotics.
"Sepsis (blood infection) can kill even with antibiotics today. Ask me how I know. I've had it and it almost took me out in 2015.
"Pregnancy and childbirth might not be "supposed" to kill someone, but historically they sure were risky as hell. A lot of people don't study history and have no idea how bad many things used to be."