In the 1970s, women celebrated “natural” childbirth. Yet by 2009, cesarean section was the most commonly performed surgery in the country. How did this surgery become so commonplace? Today, 86 percent of women initiate breastfeeding after giving birth. Yet by the time American babies are three months old, the majority are consuming far more formula than human milk. How (and when) did we become a formula-feeding culture?
Join Jacqueline Wolf, professor of the history of medicine in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, for her Science Café, “A High Cesarean Rate and a Low Breastfeeding Rate: How Did We Get Here?” at 5 p.m. on Wed., March 27, in the Baker Center Front Room. Wolf will discuss her research on birth and breastfeeding practices, what sparked her interest in the topics, and some of the historical, cultural and social factors that have shaped the way American women give birth and feed their infants today.
“We like to think of medicine as a dispassionate science,” Wolf said, “but culture and society have always shaped medical practice, and this is especially apparent when you study the medical specialties that touch on infant care and women’s reproductive health.”
The Science Café also may be viewed live or after the event here: https://livestream.com/ohiocas/events/8469547.
Science Cafés are part of Ohio University’s Café Series, Wednesdays at the Baker Center Front Room. The series provides a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty presenters, staff and the Athens community.
Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions can win a free t-shirt. The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division and Sigma Xi.