Giving birth should be a revealing experience, and should contribute to the happiness of the mother and the home.
In our modem civilised world, however, the contrary is often true. In many cases pregnancy and the giving of birth are associated with a great deal of suffering and danger. Many women require special care almost from the very time of conception.
The so-called morning sickness with its nausea and vomiting is well-known. Occasionally the pregnant woman may be so weakened that she is in danger of losing her child, and must be kept in bed for many months or even during the entire period of pregnancy.
Those who escape this danger suffer during their pregnancy from many acute pains and disturbances, among which are swollen feet, hemorrhoids, constipation, gas, cramps, headaches, enlarged veins, and, not infrequently, dental caries (decay of teeth).
Following childbirth many women are found to be greatly debilitated, suffering from diseases that make their lives a burden.
These disturbances can be avoided, and a comparison of the experiences of the modem woman with those of her more primitive sister, the peasant woman, will make this evident.
The peasant woman is faced with very few of these difficulties. Conception and pregnancy make little difference as far as her health and activities are concerned.
To her, pregnancy is not an ordeal to be dreaded but a natural event to be accepted with equanimity and inner serenity.
Childbirth as a rule is easy and simple, and a few days after delivery the peasant woman is again able to return to her work, resuming her labors as if nothing unusual had happened.
What is the reason for this difference? Fundamentally the question is one of good health.
The more primitive woman, living on simple food and leading a simple life, possesses the health and the stamina that prepare her for painless motherhood without harmless aftereffects.
The artificialities of modern civilised life and unnatural living habits, on the other hand, have so weakened the modern woman that she is often unable to fulfill her maternal functions without paying a great price in suffering and disease.