Women living in different parts of the world could have different size and shape of women’s birth canal. Scientists warned on Wednesday that most medical textbooks are based on European body type which can give birth to a number of health risks as not all women in the world have same body type.
This research study was published in the journal proceedings of the royal society B. The research study brings focus on a point which illustrates that the Differences in the depth and width of the pelvic canal determine a newborn’s route into the world, and forcing births to conform to a single standard can be harmful to mother and child.
“The obstetricians are trained on a model of the pelvis that has been developed from European women,” lead author Lia Betti who is a senior lecturer in evolutionary anthropology at the University of Roehampton in London said.
The study mentions that the typical pelvic shape and typical childbirth pattern can differ among populations. The researchers suggest an update in the medical textbooks especially those being used in a multi-ethnic society.
Women from sub-Saharan Africa possess a deeper canal while native American women have a wider canal. Lia Betti explained.
European and Asian women have canals somewhere in between these two extremes.
The shape and size of the birth canal is of high importance as a baby rotates while travelling through the canal, aligning the sides of the head and shoulders to the channel’s contours.
Betti explained If a woman’s birth canal is different from the model described in textbooks, the movement of the baby will also be different from the expected pattern.
She cited a number of examples in which the doctors had used forceps to rotate babies during delivery, based on erroneous assumptions about the shape of the pelvis.
According to a report of world health organization, almost 300,000 women die during or shortly after delivery of child every year.
Betti explained that the most likely cause of variation in human migration. It is belleived that homo sapiens originated in Africa from where they spread to the rest of the world 60,000 to 100,000 years ago.
“This is clear evidence that birth canal variation has been shaped by past population history,” Betti said.