Email from KD, 6 November 2010

The equipment I used looked much different, there was a plexiglass dome with a plastic skirt that fit ’round the abdomen, connected to a vacuum device. I cannot remember the doctor’s name who delivered J_ and heard that he had passed away just a few years after J_ was born. I remember that he had talked about a follow-up study, but sadly, nothing was done. You will find that as a scientist, my son does not put much stock in it, because there was not a truly scientific study done…

Email from KD, 5 November 2010

Hello… I found your web page while trying to research the abdominal decompression equipment and process I used back in 1969 for the birth of my first child. I did it because I had read an article, probably by Dr. Hehns, about how to have a genius. Did it work?

I believe absolutely that it did. My son was valedictorian, graduated from Stanford with honors, has an MD/PhD from Harvard and is currently teaching and doing research at Cornell Medical School. As a scientist, he laughs at my stories. As the mother of a ‘genius’, I believe it worked.

Email from AM, 31 August 2010

I too used decompression in 1968, for the recommended time and through the first stage of  labour.

I have been looking for a) any sort of survey on the ‘children’ and b) feeling very strongly that more research should be done for painless labour.

My experience was probably very like your mother’s, except that late in labour the 10lb baby proved to be a breach which may have been related to the decompression throughout labour, and resulted in late diagnosis.

Decompression Babies

I recently added a new page to my website about my being a decompression baby — during the final months of her pregnancy with me, my mother spent half an hour or so every day in a strange contraption that lowered the atmospheric pressure on her abdomen.

The theory was that daily sessions of mild abdominal decompression on a pregnant women would result in increased bloodflow — and therefore oxygenation — to her foetus, which in turn would result in an easier pregnancy and a “smarter, healthier baby” (according to David M. Rorvik with O.S. Heyns, D.Sc, who published the only book I could find on the subject in 1973).

It seems to have gone out of medical vogue now, but apparently there are some tens of thousands of decompression babies in the World — all presumably about my age.