Advanced Self Googling: The Gaskin Maneuver

This form of self Googling is so advanced that Google isn’t even required, which is useful given current IT limitations in China. Here goes (and be warned – this shit is crazy): try Wikipediaing your name and see what comes up.

The best thing I learned about was The Gaskin Maneuver.

Ina May Gaskin grew up in Iowa, USA, a state I wrote about here. She was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which I thought a funny enough organisation to research a little when I was at high school. The WCTU was important (via her hotness Kate Sheppard) to women getting the right to vote in government elections in New Zealand.

Ina May Gaskin was the Joni Mitchell of midwifery. (Don’t know what that means. That’s an imperative, not a declarative.) Here’s a picture of her speaking in New Zealand (where I’m from) in 1981 (when I was in utero) from her Wikipedia page. She’s funny looking, but I like her good times cowboy ensemble of three items that are all the same Windows blue.

Gaskin learned the Gaskin maneuver in 1976 from a Belizean, who learned it in Guatemala, where it was invented. It’s a technique that helps women whose babies’ shoulders become trapped during childbirth. The trapped shoulder problem is often diagnosed by “the turtle sign”, where the foetus’s head keeps appearing and withdrawing from the cervix.

During the Gaskin Maneuver, a pregnant women shifts from the lithotomy position – where the feet are level with the hips and the perineum is positioned at the edge of a hospital bed or surgical table – and moves onto all fours, widening her “pubic outlet”.

The Gaskin Maneuver sounds like it would be similar to the style dogs use when giving birth. Medically speaking, however, the term “doggy style” is typically applied to behaviour during conception, not childbirth.

Also, dogs usually give birth lying on their sides.

While the Gaskin Maneuver is super-rad, there are other ways of dealing with a trapped shoulder, or “shoulder dystocia” during childbirth. There’s the McRoberts Maneuver, the Woods’ Screw Maneuver, the Ruben I and II (not to be confused with the Reuben I, which involves giving the mother a sandwich) and the Jacquemier Maneuver.

In desperate situations, the Zavanelli Maneuver may be used. It requires pushing the foetus-baby’s head back inside the womb and performing a Caesarian. (The largely unrelated Caesar I is a maneuver involving bacon, lettuce and either chicken or anchovies).

While I like the idea of inventing a maneuver of my own, perhaps in another field, such as the dance floor, I am determined for it to be worthy of sharing the title with Ina May’s important, if kinda stolen, contribution.

Wait! Just as I was about to hit publish I reread the title of this post. What if the cumbersome “Wikipediaing yourself” were instead called “The Gaskin Maneuver”?!

2 Responses to “Advanced Self Googling: The Gaskin Maneuver”

  1. Who knew that you had such a pedigree?

  2. haha – um, no relation? (except for the manifold less than biological ones?)