Recently, Czech researchers discovered documents confirming the first successful Cesarean in Europe. In 1337, during the reign of John the Blind, Beatrice of Bourbon gave birth to her only child through a successful Cesarean operation. Although the young consort suffered greatly, the operation was deemed a success because both mother and infant survived. It is speculated that the young woman passed out at the beginning of the surgery, awoke in pain and went into shock. The shock constricted the blood vessels so that she did not bleed to death. Beatrice lived 46 years more.
Although C-sections are mentioned in history and literature going back to ancient times, the women died of blood loss, infection and/or pain and stress. Until modern times, infant mortality was ramped and women dying during child birth, common-place.
The doctors performed the C-section in order the save and baptize this baby. Saving this particular baby was important because the male child was of royal lineage. He would inherit the title of “Duke”. Also, his baptism was important for civil and spiritual reasons. In Christian Europe in the Middle Ages, recording the baptism in the annals of the church gave the baptized certain privileges in this world with the hope that the baptized would enter the kingdom of heaven after death. A baptismal certificate, issued a century or so later, was a sort of precursor to a Euro-pass or a passport, as well as a license to conduct business. Anyone without a baptismal certificate, experienced restrictions in travel, business, and buying or selling property.
In spite of modern hospitals and pain numbing drugs, many women in the Western world are deciding not to bear children. If that trend continues, future generations will be dependent on the off-spring of the poor and underprivileged. Perhaps that may be a good thing???