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Does habitual squatting ease childbirth?

logo for Club EvMed: Virtual Evolutionary Medicine Conversations
Monday, October 24, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Gillian Bentley, John Gorman, and Charlotte Roberts
Club EvMed

Join us for a conversation with Gillian Bentley (Durham University), John Gorman (Independent Scholar), and Charlotte Roberts (Durham University). In this presentation based on a recent EMPH paper, the authors argue that a lifestyle of habitual squatting could have significantly improved childbirth outcomes and made labour easier for ancestral women. They apply principles derived from engineering to discuss the morphology of the pelvic anatomy and how habitual squatting could widen the pelvic outlet and increase flexion at the sacra-iliac joint. We discuss problems in attempting to assess this hypothesis given that few populations exist that still habitually squat, their accessibility for examination using suitable technologies is difficult, and the likelihood that frequent squatters would also experience nutritional deprivation affecting women's optimal growth and development.

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