Anatomy Lessons Needed!
We were a bit shocked to read that a recent study found half of young women (age 26 to 35 years) were unable to locate a vagina on a diagram. We knew from experience teaching childbirth classes and with doula clients, that some moms and dads-to-be can be confused about the location of some anatomical parts and we often get questions like "can you see the cervix dilating?"
We knew that the unique anatomical changes of pregnancy are not often well understood prior to taking a childbirth class, but this article made us realize we can't take for granted that parents understand even basic anatomy and that it helps to use simple illustrations and words to cover this information before we go further into pregnancy anatomy, stages of labor and birth.
How much time do you spend on basic anatomy in your classes? What are the most common questions you get from students? Leave a comment below!
Here are some resources that can help:
- Anatomy Posters
- Booklets for healthy pregnancy, labor/birth and postpartum
- PowerPoint visuals for your classes
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I agree, far too few people understand female anatomy. Too often the external organs, the labia, are thought to be the vagina, which really cannot be easily viewed from the outside. I think there are a handful of reasons for this. First of all, pop culture and celebrities usually refer to the “va-jay-jay” when they are really referring to the vulva or labia. But where did they get this notion that the vagina was on the outside of the body? Well, about 30 years ago this movement of teaching kids the correct names for their bodies parts began. You are supposed to teach little boys that they have a penis, not a pee-pee, or a wee-wee. “Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina.” This is a true fact. But I think it caused confusion. A boys penis can be seen, so wouldn’t it make sense to a young child who is being taught the anatomical difference between a girl and a boy that if the boy’s penis is visible that a girl’s vagina is visible? I think that this movement, although well intended, has created a generation of naive people. I have a friend who is currently studying to be a doctor. She had no idea that the vagina did not loosely refer to the entire “girl area.” A future DOCTOR, REALY? So if a medical student doesn’t understand female anatomy, can we really expect the rest of society to. Perhaps we should restart the movement of teaching our children the correct names of their body parts. “Boys have a penis. GIRLS have LABIA.” Yes, the vagina is a very important pat of a woman’s body, and not I don’t think it should be omitted from the knowledge of children, but lets teach kids the correct basics, and build upon them. After all, before we teach kids that they have a throat, they learn they have a mouth. I see it as a similar idea.
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