We’ve come a long way, baby!

A timeline of the developing tools and methods of childbirth.
By Ginny Butler
1847

Chloroform is first used as anesthesia for labor by Scottish OB Sir James Young Simpson.

1881

First modern C-section is performed by German gynecologist Ferdinand Adolf Kehrer. (Roman C-sections took place at least as early as 715 B.C., but the mothers didn’t survive.)

1895

French OB Adolphe Pinard invents the “Pinard horn,” a trumpet-shaped stethoscope made for listening to a fetus while in the womb.

1904

Lane Bryant sells the first maternity clothes from her shop on Fifth Avenue.

1935

In Nazi Germany, law permits abortions for those deemed “hereditarily ill,” while banning abortions for Aryan women.

1942

First use of epidural for labor, although the method didn’t become popular until about 1980.

1953

Oxytocin hormone is synthesized for medical use. (Now sold under the name Pitocin for inducing labor.)

1957

Thalidomide is introduced as a cure for morning sickness.

1960

The birth control pill becomes available in the U.S.

1960

Elisabeth Bing (pictured) and Marjorie Karmel become the first individuals to teach the Lamaze method in the U.S.

1963

Invention of first handheld ultrasound scanner, the Porta-arm.

1964

Surgeon General’s report concludes that smoking causes cancer. At the time, about half of all U.S. men and a third of U.S. women smoked.

1965

Dr. Robert A. Bradley publishes Husband-Coached Childbirth to promote his natural birthing method.

1973

Roe v. Wade puts a spotlight on the abortion controversy.

1974

First edition of Prenatal Yoga and Natural Childbirth is published by Jeannine Parvati Baker.

1977

e.p.t. creates the first home pregnancy test kit.

1978

First successful birth as a result of IVF.

1981

U.S. Surgeon General issues a warning that drinking alcohol during pregnancy could cause birth defects.

1982

Rebecca Matthias begins a maternity catalog business, which, over time, evolves into Destination Maternity Corporation.

1984
1987

3D ultrasound technology is developed at Duke University.

1991

Demi Moore appears nude (and pregnant) on the cover of Vanity Fair.

2006

Birth of Pregnancy & Newborn!

2008

Two documentaries, Orgasmic Birth and Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born, expose American birth practices and encourage birth without medical intervention.

2010

Robert G. Edwards is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his development of natural cycle IVF.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Baby Buzz, Buzzworthy, Homepage Slider, Photo Gallery