Pregnancy and childbirth make up an area of medicine that has suffered greatly from social, medical, religious and historical whims and misconceptions. This episode takes viewers on a journey through medical history from the ancient Egyptians, who linked fertility with the flooding of the Nile, to the dark ages when midwives were seen as witches and burned at the stake.
While nothing is more natural than pregnancy and childbirth, it is also an incredibly dangerous period for both mother and baby, an area of medicine that has suffered greatly from social, medical, religious and historical whims and misconceptions.
Kill or Cure: Pregnancy takes the viewer on a journey through the medical history of pregnancy and childbirth: from the ancient Egyptians who linked human fertility with the flooding of the Nile; to the dark ages where midwives, with their potions and herbal mixtures, were seen as witches and burned at the stake; to the Victorian era where obstetricians were not permitted to view their patients and had to rely on an accurate sense of touch.
The episode also contrasts modern aspects of pregnancy, observing American medical students working on a state-of-the-art simulation model of a mother and baby, with the practices of a midwife in the slums of Sao Paulo. She has no training and no access to high-tech facilities just years of hands-on experience.
Kill or Cure: Pregnancy is a fascinating look at an aspect of life that is both common and mysterious. An everyday miracle that has suffered the foibles of history and reality.