Don, you sure are lucky don't have to give birth.
I'm glad we're an intelligent species, but boy, thatinfant head feelsmighty large going through thatnarrow birth canal.
And then,after all that, the baby comes out facingdown and backwards,which means you're helpless toassist it, or even to untangle itfrom the umbilicalcord.
Well, Yeal. According to evolutionary anthropologists, babies of the earliest humans had afifty-fifty chance of coming out facing backwards.
This was a result of humans learning to walk on two feet.
As the pelvis became optimized for walking, the birth canal developed twists and turns thatmeant the baby had to rotate in order to keep its head and shoulders aligned with thewidestpart at all times.
And then our brains also got bigger.
Which meant more twists and turns.
And backwards-facing babies, stupid,huh?
Well,you know,Yeal.Some of the earliest humans learned to compensate for the difficulty ofgiving birth by receiving assistance during childbirth, which made a huge difference in termsof survival.
So there might be an evolutionary advantage to having someone help you give birth.
Some anthropologists certainly think so and conjecture that human females who gave birthtobackwards-facing babies, and females who had assistance because they felt particularlyanxiousabout the birth, ended up doing better than females who didn't.
After all, if problems arise duringlabor, having another person around can make the differencebetween life and death.