THE 3 MAIN STAGES OF CHILDBIRTH: 1.)LABOR: This first stage is the longest stage of the delivery process and last for a mothers first child usually between 12-18 hrs and gets shorter for her second and third and so on. This is the stage when the water breaks, the Contractions begin, and dialate the cervix to about 10 cm (contractions-when the muscle on the top of the Uterus presses down on the Cervix and causes it to open, they will eventuallyget closer together and last longer, this causes the baby to move down the birth canal). There are some drugs that induces the labor process such as Petosin and Misoprostal, however they are not recommended. The end of stage one is called the Transition. It is the most uncomfortable time for the mother and the cervix is almost all the way dialated, it's when the labor becomes chaotic and the mother feel sick and is very angry. 2.)PUSHING- This stage lasts about 1/2 to 2 hrs for a first time mother and shorter for a mother of multiple children. The contractions become more intense and last about 1 min and occur about every min. The crown of the babies head begins to show(Crowning). Stage 2 ends with the delivery of the baby. 3.)AFTERBIRTH- This is the stage where the placenta is delivered from the Uterus. It lasts usually about one hour and is not often talked about and the mothers usually don't even remember it.
THE 4 MAIN DELIVERY METHODS: 1.)MEDICATED DELIVERY- The most common mediated method of delivery is an Epidural, which numbs the mother from the waist down, which makes her feel less pain and more pressure. However an Epidural is very common it is not usually in the doctors favor along with drugs such as Petosin and Misoprostal. 2.)NATURAL CHILDBIRTH- A type of childbirth that decreases the mothers fear of childbirth from learning about the process. A mother may talk to a doctor to learn about childbirth or even do some research into the topic in order to lessen her fear. This delivery method contains no medications it is completely natural, learing will help you. 3.)PREPARED CHILDBIRTH- This method includes Lamaze and Hypnosis. It is very much like Natural Childbirth but it requires going a class to help you learn how to push (Lamaze) or going to a class and learing how to relax during the childbirth process(Hypnosis). Both are highly recommended. 4.)CESAREAN DELIVERY- Due to a high risk of infection this method is usually used a last resort. An incision is made in the mothers abdomen and the doctor will reach in and pull the baby out of the Uterus. It is usually only done if the baby is in danger. Such as the baby being in a Breech Position(its feet are going to come out first), if it is in a Transverse Position(it is sideways), if the case of Placenta Abruptio(the Placenta is pulled away from the Uterus, which causes the baby to have no source of nutrition), or in the case of Placenta Previa(the Placenta blocks the babies way out). Another less common way of delivery but is increasing is Water birth. This is when mother gives birth in the water making the birth process less difficult on them and makes the process go a little bit smoother. This process is not dangerous to the baby.
BREATHING ON ITS OWN: After the long and tiring process of childbirth the infant must adjust to breathing on its own and take its first breath. When the infant is born its lungs are filled with fluid which quickly clears out. One common problem in infants is the underdevelopment of their lungs.
THE STRESS DUE TO CHILD BIRTH: Due to he contractions durng childbirth the infant is squeezed and this decreases the babies oxygen, and stops the blood from getting to the babies brain. Anoxia is the term used when the baby does not get enough oxygen during the birthing process, which can lead to brain damage. However a baby does have the capacity to withstand trauma, but if the delivery takes to long a baby may be exposed to Anoxia. Thus making the birthing process very stressful on the baby and the mother.
PRETERM BABIES: Babies that are born at 35 weeks before the actual due date. Although they may be under weight they are not considered low birth wieght babies. Some Preterm babies might need special medical attention to breath and eat, that is why they may be placed in an incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They are also at a higher risk of mental and Physical disabilites than regular born babies.
LOW BIRTH WEIGHT BABIES: These babies are born full term but they weigh less that 5 1/2 pounds, making them a "low birth weight baby." These babies usually end up having more health problems in their live than do normal weight babies, and it is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. Due to Poverty in the Southern states low birth weights are more common in the southern states rather than the northern states.
APGAR AND BRAZELTON, WHAT ARE THEY? An Apgar scale procedure is always done on newborns, it is used to see if a child may need immediate medical attention. It is rated on a a scale of 0 to 2 , and it measures the childs hearbeat, breathing, color, reflexes, and its flexation. With 0 being the lowest and 2 being the highest you would want to get a score 10 to have a healthy baby, if the score is 5 or below the child will need immediate medical attention, if it's 5-7 you might want to watch the infant very well, and if the score is 7 or above the infant will require no medical attention, and it would be classified as a healthy baby. A Brazeton Neonatal Behavioral Assesment Scale will focus more on the infants behavior and its ability to adapt rather than its health issues. It also tests the infants reaction to people. It may also detect Neurological and Sensory disorders in the infants. This test is not done as often as the Apgar Scale procedure.
COMMON BIRTH DEFECTS: One of the most common birth defects is Down Syndrome. Which is more likely to happen as a womens ages increase, putting the baby at greater risk. Some of the common abnormalities people with Down Syndrome have are Mental Retardation, characterisitic features, vision hearing and other health problems such as increased infections, and heart defects, these abnormalities all vary greatly in their severity. It is caused when the baby has a extra chromosome on the 21st chromosome pair, which is why it is also known as "Trisomy 21." Down Syndrome occurs in 800 out 1000 babies and most do not live past 55 years of age. Another common birth defect is Autism. Its cause is not known but research has given great attention to abnormalites in specific functions of the brain, in which the defect is classified as a biological disorder. Some patients suffer some degree of Mental Retardation, learning disabilities, communication problems, which makes it difficult to make friends, and they repeat movements greatly. It occurs in 2-4 out of 1000 babies and is 4 times more likely in boys as it is in girls. Another common birth defect is Cerebal Palsy in which the part of the brain is that controls movement is damaged. Making if difficult if not impossible to move muscles and control movement and posture. Some patients are mentally retarded, have learning disabilities, seizures, hearing, vision, and speech problems. With treatment patients can inprove their abilites. And as thechild gets older the symtoms do not get any worse, making this defect less severe. Some other common birth defects are Achondroplasia, Sickle Cell Disease, Fragile X Syndrome, Chromosomal Abnormalities and Cystic Fibrosis.
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