(NaturalNews) Researchers have discovered that the heartbeat of a mother and fetus synchronize when the woman breathes rhythmically, and are using this finding to push more medical interventions into the birth process.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen used a machine known as a magnetocardiograph to measure the heartbeats of pregnant women and their fetuses. The women were asked to breathe in time with a computer-generated clock, and researchers noted how the heartbeats changed in response.
"Pregnant mothers often report an awareness of a bond with their child," said researcher Marco Thiel. "But until now there has been no hard evidence to suggest this bond is reflected in the interaction of their heartbeats. Our findings reveal that synchronization between the heartbeat of a mother and fetus does actually occur - but only when the mother is breathing in a rhythmical fashion. The fetus can sense the rhythmical shift in the mother's heartbeat and adapts its own heartbeat accordingly."
The researchers suggested that if heartbeats fail to synchronize when a mother breathes normally, it may indicate fetal distress and a need for medical intervention. Media reports did not cite any evidence for this assumption, yet it is already being put into practice in the treatment of pregnant women at Witten-Herdencke University in Germany.
The medicalization of birth confronts women with a wide array of confusing decisions, the first of which is choosing the correct care provider.
"Do you want to be given drugs ... to speed up labor?" asks Phyllis A. Balch in her book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition.
"What type of medication (if any) do you want? ... If you do decide to use drugs for any pain you might experience, what are the potential side effects? Is it safe for the baby if you breastfeed immediately after using pain medication? Does your physician or midwife use homeopathic and/or natural remedies for pain?"