Pregnancy and Childbirth

Childbirth, also known as giving birth , is the moment when the baby is born after about 40 weeks of gestation.

If it happens ahead of time, delivery will be premature and this can pose risks to the life of the mother and baby.

Every pregnant woman should do prenatal care, to monitor the development of her baby through various tests, being able to detect any abnormalities and ensure a smooth delivery.

Couple on a prenatal visit. 4D ultrasound allows to see details of the baby still inside the mother’s belly.

Prenatal Care

During pregnancy, prenatal examinations guide doctors and parturients about the baby’s development.

Ultrasounds are performed in each trimester of pregnancy to find out the weight and size of the fetus and identify malformations; in addition, blood tests and other specific tests are performed for pregnant women.

Ultrasound of fetus around the 4th month of pregnancy.

The medical team must guide and clarify the doubts of the pregnant woman and her partner, who must decide the best way for the birth of their baby.

WHO recommendations

According to the World Health Report of WHO (World Health Organization) released in 2005, prenatal consultations are essential to plan delivery and prepare the mother for motherhood.

In addition, this can be an important time to start family planning , advising on the choice of having more children and the right time to do so, contraceptive methods, and also on sexually transmitted disease (STD) control programs and on child malnutrition.

Fear of Childbirth

Childbirth is a very important moment in anyone’s life, the birth of a new being marks the beginning of many responsibilities for parents and a lot of happiness for the whole family.

Despite being a natural phenomenon, childbirth is surrounded by taboos and myths that are passed on from generation to generation and stimulated in the media.

This generates many doubts and fears in women: fear of pain, fear of the baby dying, fear of not being able to. Every woman should know her own body and receive support (from the medical team, partner, family, etc.) to choose the best way to give birth to her baby .

There are several types of delivery , the main ones being: normal, squatting, in water, cesarean section, induced, using forceps, among others.

Normal birth

Stages of normal delivery: from the beginning of contractions until the delivery of the placenta.

Normal delivery, as its name implies, happens naturally respecting the physiological process.

There is no need for medication, but many women receive anesthesia to control pain, relax and dilate more quickly.

The labor contractions and starts with the neck of the uterus expands until it allows the passage of the fetus through the vaginal canal after the placenta is expelled.

Cesarean delivery

Cesarean or cesarean delivery is a surgical procedure in which the fetus is removed by an abdominal cut.

It is indicated for situations where there is a risk of life for the mother or baby.

This applies in serious situations, such as: eclampsia that causes seizures in the mother, placenta previa that prevents the baby from passing through or even when the baby shows signs of fetal distress.

Doctor removing a baby during a caesarean section.

Elective cesarean sections, that is, performed at the option of the parturient and not in situations of risk, can have complications such as hemorrhages and infections.

They are often performed before labor begins, based on the expected date of birth, so that in some cases it is a premature birth.

Induced Birth

Childbirth can be induced through the administration of substances, with synthetic oxytocin being used, similar to the hormone naturally produced by the maternal body during childbirth.

It is usually performed when labor does not progress and the woman has no dilation, for example, in cases of pregnancies that exceed 40 weeks, and specific conditions.

It is used as an attempt to perform a normal delivery and to avoid having a cesarean section, and the excessive use of oxytocin and the delay in carrying out the delivery can cause problems in the uterus and fetal distress.

Forceps Delivery

Delivery can be performed using specific instruments such as forceps.

It is introduced into the vagina and positioned on the sides of the fetus’ head in order to pull it out and facilitate its exit.

There are several reports of injuries to the mother and baby caused by the use of forceps, however, doctors guarantee that it is a safe way.

Humanized birth

In humanized delivery, the health professionals involved respect the moment of the baby being born and avoid unnecessary interventions, such as cutting the perineum called an episiotomy, doing intestinal washes, using synthetic oxytocin to accelerate delivery, among others.

It is a process that involves different types of delivery, and can be performed at the hospital, in delivery houses or at the parturient’s home (home delivery).

 

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