The Changing Face of A and P

AandPI believe that back in history the uterus was thought
To wander round the body, and when in the brain it caught
Hysteria would ensue, so any woman who dared to think
Was pathologised in an instant, abnormal in a wink

It’s since become more stable and we now think it stays put
It doesn’t travel to the ears, or meander to the foot
But other bits of A and P have changed as time’s gone by
The clitoris grew bulbs and extended in its lie

Retroplacental clots are now a distant ancient haze
And sinuses lactiferous a relic of bygone days
The baby doesn’t settle as its mother’s labour starts
It spins and moves all over; it wheels and turns and darts

We once cut people up to find out how they’re made inside
But now we have technology our gaze is broad and wide
Though sometimes I do wonder if our investigation
Is an invite to our babies to change their lie and station

Do they think, “Oh here’s the ultrasound, a study’s underway
Time for a bit of fun, I think I’ll spin around and play
And I’ll talk to my placenta and suggest a different way
To detach itself so we can have some fun and games today”?

medium_10091647426Who knows if what we know today will stand the test of time?
Who knows if theory A or B is crazy or sublime?
Who knows how the pelvic floor will change or if red cells will stay packed?
Who knows if all our gazing’s only showing artefact?

Now research may well be interesting, gazing can be fun
But it carries implications, and it’s important that it’s done
With care and understanding, with honesty and tact
And full appreciation that it’s not eternal fact

And the students of tomorrow, well no doubt they’ll think it odd
That we believed such silly things; they’ll look at us and nod
Maybe they will understand that knowledge comes and goes
That there’s little that stays stable, however fast the research grows

In the meantime, we must stay alert for new facts that appear
Adapt our ways accordingly, embrace the new frontier
But I have a secret theory, just my proverbial two cents
I’m not sure that the babies are reading up on the evidence!

This poem was first published as Wickham S (2009).  The Changing Face of A and P.  TPM 12(11): 33.

 

Bibliography

Angier, N (1999) Woman: An Intimate Geography (Revised and Updated) New York: Virago.

Banks, M (2003) Utilising the Unborn Baby’s In-Labour Movements. New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, 29: 6.

Brown SJ (2005)  Changes in Breast Anatomy. Midwifery Matters 104: 13-15.

Davies L (2008) Breastfeeding method and infant weight gain. Practising Midwife 11(7): 41-43

Dietze M (2001). A Re-Evaluation of the Mechanism of Labour for Contemporary Midwifery Practice. Midwifery Matters 88: 3-8.

Kent J, Ramsay D, Mitoulas L et al (2003). ‘New insights into breast function and breast milk expression’, International Lactation Consultants Conference, Sydney, Australia, August 2003.

Krapp M, Baschat AA, Hankeln M et al (2000). Gray scale and color Doppler sonography in the third stage of labour for early detection of failed placental separation. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 15(2): 138-142.

Krapp M, Katalinic A, Smrcek J et al (2003). Study of the third stage of labor by color Doppler sonography. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 267(4):202-04.

Lieberman E, Davidson K, Lee-Parritz A et al (2005) Changes in fetal position during labor and their association with epidural analgesia. Obstetrics and Gynecology 105(5 Pt 1): 974-82.

O’Connell HE, Hutson, JM, Anderson CR et al (1998). Anatomical Relationship Between Urethra and Clitoris. The Journal of Urology 159(6): 1892-97.

O’Connell HE, Sanjeevan KV, Hutson JM (2005). Anatomy of the Clitoris. The Journal of Urology 174(4 Pt 1): 1189-95.

Walshaw CA, Owens JM (2007) New ultrasound evidence shows that the accepted understanding of breast anatomy and the mechanics of breastfeeding are not correct: therefore should the advice on breastfeeding management be changed? MIDIRS Midwifery Digest 17(4): 570

 

woman by carinemily via photopin cc

Leave a Reply