Why Pregnant Women Don’t Tip Over

Here’s an interesting article about evolutionary adjustments in female physiology to help cope with the effects of pregnancy:

Wedge-shaped vertebrae in the lower back might be the key evolutionary adaptation that helps human females maintain a stable posture over the course of pregnancy.

The article caught my attention initially because of the bit about wedge-shaped vertebrae. That is what I have which gives the hunchback look. Only it applies to pretty much all of my vertebrae, whereas the specific adaptation to help adjust a woman’s balance when the weight of an enlarged belly is added only applies to three vertebrae in the lower part of the back.

[…] the size of the joints relative to the vertebrae in the lower back is much larger in women than in men. This suggests that the joints’ larger surface area is an adaptation to bear more load.
And the shape of the vertebrae in women tapers off toward the back, creating a wedge shape that further facilitates arching, Whitcome said.
Women also have three such vertebrae, while men have just two.

I found this part of the article to be amusing:

[…] previously known about male-female differences in the shape of the pelvis related to birthing, […] spinal differences between males and females had not been appreciated until now.
“Like so many discoveries,” he added, “this is one that causes you to slap your forehead and exclaim, Of course! Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?”

It does seem like a kind of logical thing, doesn’t it? But I suppose we have only had technology for x-raying and comparing many people’s spines for a relatively short time, and other technologies for viewing the spine of a pregnant woman with less risk than x-rays for even less time.

Why Pregnant Women Don’t Tip Over

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Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard will begin shooting a sequel to their 2006 smash hit The Da Vinci Code in February. Angels & Demons – again based on a novel by Dan Brown – will see Hanks reprise his character of Harvard University symbolist Robert Langdon.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this done, but it really annoys me. Angels & Demons is not a sequel – it came first! It was published in 2000, and The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003 and is set after the events of Angels & Demons. Get it right, people!

I watched Knocked Up the other day. That movie has a lot of swearing. Seriously, for me to notice that there is a lot of swearing, you know there has to be a lot. But I didn’t think it was over the top or gratuitous, the people were saying them in context for their situations. I’m just used to people on TV not doing that.

There were a few minor things that annoyed me in the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth. One was when she went for her first appointment. She announces she POAS and it was positive, so the doctor whips out the u/s wand, covers it with KY and sticks it up her. Within seconds he is pointing out the baby and the beating heart. And goes on to say she’s about 8 or 9 weeks along. Sorry, it takes a bit of effort to find the sac and embryo when it’s that tiny, then to line it up at the right angle and stuff. It doesn’t just magically appear on the screen.

The guy also annoyed me at one point when the couple were having sex and he started freaking out and saying he was going to poke the baby in the head, then he had his hand on the girl’s belly and the baby moved and he about ran away. And she’s just telling him to STFU, it’s fine, keep going, etc. I wanted to slap the bastard myself. You just DON’T do that to an obviously horny pregnant woman.

Then at the actual birth scene, I was super surprised when they had a couple of quick views of the baby crowning. Showing the actual nether regions with a sliver of baby head visible, and then again when it was a bit further out. When the baby actually did come out, it bucked Hollywood tradition and didn’t emerge pristinely bathed, umbilical cord already cut and already wrapped in a blanket. That was good, but they still lose points for her being stuck in the bed reclined and the doctor being an ass. And also there was a scene where during the labour the baby’s heartrate started to have serious decelerations, the doctor reached up inside and said he was moving the baby so the cord wasn’t around it’s neck so that it’s heartrate would go back to normal. As far as I know the cord just being around the neck isn’t going to cause heart decels, there needs to be pressure on the cord, doesn’t there? And if the cord is prolapsed and being pressed on, simply moving the baby isn’t going to let you just carry on as normal.

That reminds me.. on the topic of misrepresenting all things reproductive.. In the mornings in the car when I’m taking children to school and kinder, I listen to the radio. I have it on B105. One of the presenters is pregnant, due sometime next month I think. They’ve been doing all sorts of things to use her pregnancy as a point of interest for the show. A couple of weeks ago they had a “test run” to see how long it would take them to get to the hospital if her water broke and she went into labour. Evidently they bought along some kind of pregnancy/labour guide book which one of the guys was flipping through, and announced that it was probably somewhat of a useless trip since most labours don’t actually start with the water breaking. No fucking kidding. So they discussed this for a minute and he said that what actually happens is that when you go to the hospital the doctor sticks something very long and pointy in to break the water. I was pleased when Camilla pointed out that you didn’t HAVE to have that, it was a CHOICE. But pleased only for a moment, because she continued with .. “but if you don’t it takes way longer.”

No, it doesn’t take way longer. It takes exactly as long as it is meant to take. Breaking the water artificially makes the labour become more intense and places greater pressure on your cervix to open up seeing as how the baby’s head has changed from a firm yet amniotic fluid cushioned pressure to a hard hitting battering ram saying LET ME THE FUCK OUT NOW.

Why must this misinformation continue?

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