The Evolution of Human Birth; New Look at Human Evolution; Special Editions; by Karen R. Rosenberg and Wenda R. Trevathan; 6 Page(s)
GIVING BIRTH IN THE TREETOPS is not the normal human way of doing things, but that is exactly what Sophia Pedro was forced to do during the height of the floods that ravaged southern Mozambique in March 2000. Pedro had survived for four days perched high above the raging floodwaters that killed more than 700 people in the region. The day after her delivery, television broadcasts and newspapers all over the world featured images of Pedro and her newborn child being plucked from the tree during a dramatic helicopter rescue.
Treetop delivery rooms are unusual for humans but not for other primate species. For millions of years, primates have secluded themselves in treetops or bushes to give birth. Human beings are the only primate species that regularly seeks assistance during labor and delivery. So when and why did our female ancestors abandon their unassisted and solitary habit? The answers lie in the difficult and risky nature of human birth.