Rachel Marie Stone for Her.meneutics:
Because birth is for most Americans an event that takes place in the hospital—and, increasingly, in the operating room—there are simply fewer opportunities for women to see other women give birth. By contrast, in early America, as in virtually all traditional cultures, to attend another woman’s birth was expected and routine, more or less like attending a baby shower today.
Stone bookends the topic by addressing the question of “modesty”:
We might do well to reclaim birth and breastfeeding as a few of the very few times when supposed immodesty serves purposes far higher than titillation or voyeurism.
Bodies are for doing things.