I finally got around to completing a task that had been on my To Do list for literally years last night — digitizing and uploading a PDF copy of Decompression Babies (PDF, 4.73 MB) to the site!
This is the book by David M. Rorvik and O. S. Heyns that attempted to promote the benefits of prenatal abdominal decompression to the World beyond the medical community back in 1973.
It’s a fairly short and easy read, heavy on anecdotal arguments and somewhat light on hard science, but it provides a fascinating insight into the future of childbirth as seen from the past!
O.S. Heyns was the South African Obstetrician who discovered the benefits of prenatal abdominal decompression back in the 1950’s, and subsequently spent more than a decade practicing and promoting the technique.
David M. Rorvik is an American and former reporter for Time magazine, who went on to write a number of often-controversial books about the future of human reproduction.
My two daughters (b. 1965 & 1969) were decompression babies, and my experiences with them were very positive; my impression was that use of the unit was efficacious. Just googled abdominal decompression since I’ve heard nothing about it for many years. Was curious if it’s still in use. I found the recent articles that conclude it’s not useful, but was a tad confused by the end points they use … Didn’t seem to reflect the original claims exactly.
By the way, the unit was developed before the mid- or late sixties; probably the late fifties. A classmate of mine living in Johannesburg in the early sixties went to the clinic in about 1963 or 1964, used the unit for her first pregnancy, and brought two back to Canada, one of which I subsequently used.
I’d be glad to give you a summary of my experiences, if you’re still interested … Partly a gong show! But otherwise a positive experience and outcome. By the way, I was a young OR nurse at the time of my daughter’s births, and subsequently did a couple of degrees and worked in clinical research, so have a working knowledge of reading clinical trial reports and findings.
I’ve book-marked your website & will get back to you if you want an account of my experiences.