Elisabeth Bing

Last updated
Elisabeth Bing
Born
Elisabeth Dorothea Koenigsberger

(1914-07-08)8 July 1914
Berlin, Germany
Died15 May 2015(2015-05-15) (aged 100)
New York City, United States
NationalityGerman
Other namesElisabeth Koenigsberger
OccupationPhysical therapist
Known forProponent of natural childbirth
Notable work
1940s–2000s
Spouse(s)
Fred Max Bing(m. 1951)
(widowed)
Children1 (son, Peter)

Elisabeth Dorothea Bing (née Koenigsberger; 8 July 1914 – 15 May 2015) was a German physical therapist, co-founder of Lamaze International, and proponent of natural childbirth. [1] [2] She trained as a physical therapist in England after fleeing Nazi Germany due to her Jewish ancestry. Her hospital work there made her interested in natural childbirth, and she taught it to parents in the United States after she moved there in 1949. To promote natural childbirth methods, she co-founded the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics (now Lamaze International), made several TV appearances and radio broadcasts, and wrote several books on the subject. She became known as the "mother" of the Lamaze method in the United States.

Lamaze International, formerly the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics or ASPO, is an organization dedicated to promoting the Lamaze technique of natural childbirth. It was co-founded in 1960 by Elisabeth Bing and Marjorie Karmel.

Natural childbirth is childbirth without routine medical interventions, particularly anesthesia. Natural childbirth arose in opposition to the techno-medical model of childbirth that has recently gained popularity in industrialized societies. Natural childbirth attempts to minimize medical intervention, particularly the use of anesthetic medications and surgical interventions such as episiotomies, forceps and ventouse deliveries and caesarean sections. Natural childbirth may occur during a physician or midwife attended hospital birth, a midwife attended homebirth, or an unassisted birth. The term "natural childbirth" was coined by obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read upon publication of his book Natural Childbirth in the 1930s, which was followed by the 1942 Childbirth Without Fear.

Contents

Early life

Bing was born on 8 July 1914, in a suburb of Berlin. [1] [3] Hers was a home birth, and she was delivered before the doctor could arrive. [3] Her family were of Jewish descent, but converted to Protestantism years before her birth, and on sensing danger with the rise of Nazi Germany, they decided to leave the country. Elisabeth left Germany for England in September 1933. She was the first of the family to leave. [3]

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Protestantism division within Christianity, originating from the Reformation in the 16th century against the Roman Catholic Church, that rejects the Roman Catholic doctrines of papal supremacy and sacraments

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

Career

In England, Bing trained as a physical therapist. [4] At first she took a job as a student nurse, as physical therapy training was cheaper after one year of student nursing, and it was difficult to get money abroad from Germany at that time. However, she was forced to quit halfway through after falling ill and having to have surgery. [3] After she moved to London, her family managed to get enough money to her to pay for her training. She trained for three years and became a member of the Chartered Society of Physical Therapy. [3]

Her interest in obstetrics began after working with new mothers in hospital. At the time, standard childbirth procedures involved giving mothers large amounts of medication, and keeping them in hospital for ten days after they gave birth. Bing's job was to give physical therapy to these postpartum mothers. [3] After talking about her experiences at the hospital with one of her part-time private patients, she learned of Grantly Dick-Read's book Natural Childbirth. She was unable to meet Read or other like-minded individuals because of the outbreak of World War II, so she taught herself as much as she could about obstetrics. [3]

Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. As a medical specialty, obstetrics is combined with gynecology under the discipline known as obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) which is a surgical field.

Grantly Dick-Read British obstetrician

Grantly Dick-Read was a British obstetrician and a leading advocate of natural childbirth.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

In 1949, Bing moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, in the United States, at the invitation of her sister. It was here that she first got the chance to teach natural childbirth methods, after being invited by an obstetrician she met at a house party. She coached all of the obstetrician's patients in natural childbirth, learning while she taught. [3] After a year of this, she decided to go back to England. However, as she passed through New York, she met her husband, Fred Max Bing, and decided to remain there. They married in 1951. [2]

Jacksonville, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Jacksonville is a city in Morgan County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,446 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Morgan County. It is home to Illinois College, MacMurray College, Illinois School for the Deaf, and the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Bing continued to teach natural childbirth methods in New York, and in 1951 she was invited by Dr. Alan Guttmacher to teach at Mount Sinai Hospital, which had just opened its first maternity ward. [3] It was here that she heard about the psychoprophylactic method of childbirth developed by Dr. Fernand Lamaze. Lamaze's method incorporated breathing techniques as well as the natural childbirth techniques developed by Read. [2] Mount Sinai Hospital cound not afford to send Bing to France to learn the method from Lamaze, [3] but she met Marjorie Karmel, who had published the book Thank You, Dr. Lamaze, in 1959. Karmel had learned the method directly from Lamaze in Paris, and she in turn taught it to Bing. [3] In 1960, the two went on to found the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, now known as Lamaze International. [2] [5]

Alan Frank Guttmacher, was an American obstetrician/gynecologist. He served as president of Planned Parenthood and vice-president of the American Eugenics Society. Dr. Guttmacher founded the American Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians, now known as the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, as a forum for physicians to discuss the birth control pill and other advances in the field. He founded the Association for the Study of Abortion in 1964. He was a member of the Association for Voluntary Sterilization. The Guttmacher Institute is named after him.

Mount Sinai Hospital (Manhattan) Hospital in New York, United States

Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States. It is located in Upper East Side in the New York City borough of Manhattan, on the eastern border of Central Park stretching along Fifth Avenue, between East 98th Street and East 103rd Street. The entire Mount Sinai health system has over 7,400 physicians, as well as 3,815 beds, and delivers over 16,000 babies a year. In 2018–19, the hospital was ranked 18th among the nearly 5,000 hospitals in the US by the U.S. News & World Report.

Fernand Lamaze (1891–1957) was a French obstetrician, most famous as the popularizer of psychoprophylaxis, a method of childbirth preparation and pain management that has come to bear his name.

Bing was an advocate for the importance of mothers making informed childbirth decisions. As well as educating parents about childbirth, she worked with obstetricians to introduce them to natural childbirth methods. [2] She also wrote articles; appeared on television and radio shows, including shows hosted by Barbara Walters and Phil Donahue; and wrote several books, including Six Practical Lessons for an Easier Childbirth. [2] [3] She became known as the "mother" of Lamaze among the American public. [2] [3]

Bing died at the age of 100 in her New York apartment in May 2015. She was survived by her son, Peter. [2]

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References

  1. 1 2 "Natural childbirth pioneer Elisabeth Bing dies at 100". Associated Press. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Elisabeth Bing, 'Mother of Lamaze,' Dies at 100". The New York Times. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Zwelling, Elaine (2000). "The History of Lamaze Continues: An Interview with Elisabeth Bing". Journal of Perinatal Education. 9 (1): 15–21. doi:10.1624/105812400X87464. PMC   1595002 .
  4. "Therapist popularized natural childbirth techniques". Toronto Star, 18 May 2015, page A3.
  5. "Childbirth pioneer Elisabeth Bing dies". AAP. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.