Childbirth – all about the birth of a baby
What is the birth of a baby
Childbirth is a natural continuation of the process of pregnancy termination. It begins with the appearance of characteristic symptoms and consists of several phases. As a result, the fetus comes out of its mother’s body. It is pushed out by so-called birth forces – the contractions of the uterus and of the abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
Childbirth is accompanied by pain, which gradually becomes more and more intense. It is due to the stretching of the ligaments and the squeezing of the birth canal.
Types of birth
Nowadays, medicine offers 3 types of childbirth: normal/natural childbirth, cesarean birth and water birth. Each has its medical indications, advantages and disadvantages.
Normal /natural/ birth
You may also encounter this mode of birth with the terminology “vaginal birth”. In it, the mother takes an active part in the process. It is conventionally divided into three stages. In a first birth, the whole birthing process usually takes 10-12 hours but this can vary from a few minutes to a few days. Modern labour standards reduce this time to 7-9 hours. Throughout the process, heart tones and uterine contractions are monitored by doctors.
The very name suggests that this is the normal and natural way of childbirth. Unfortunately, however, more and more mothers prefer to give birth surgically and escape natural childbirth.
This mode of childbirth is also known as Caesarean section. In recent years, it has been preferred by many women. It can be appointed on the advice of a doctor or be chosen by the pregnant woman. It is suitable for women who are afraid of labour pains and are not mentally prepared enough.
Caesarean section is a major abdominal operation. It is defined as a riskier birth compared to natural birth. It usually requires a longer recovery period and hospital stay.
Opting for a cesarean birth reduces the chance of a vaginal birth in the future.
Nowadays, water birth takes place in specially equipped delivery rooms. It avoids the use of painkillers and medical interventions are minimal.
It has a lower stress level, less risk of tearing and stimulates the natural release of the hormone endorphin, which has a calming effect. Recovery after childbirth is faster.
Types of pain relief at birth
Modern medicine offers different medication options for pain relief at each stage of labour. Some are administered at the very onset of labour pains, while others bring relief just before the baby comes into the world.
The most commonly used anaesthetic in labour is the epidural. It is inserted using a small catheter in the back and allows small amounts of pain medication to be distributed along the nerves of the spine.
Epidural anaesthesia acts quickly, eliminating the sensation of pain but preserving touch. Usually the laboring woman feels numbness in the legs.
This anaesthetic differs from the epidural in that it is a single puncture. An anaesthetic is injected into the sacral area in the spine. As a result, the whole body under the puncture loses sensation. The sensation of pressure that remains with epidural anaesthesia also disappears.
ТThis analgesic is a cocktail of medications. It is infused intravenously or placed muscularly. There is no danger of negatively affecting the baby’s body. Usually provoke a feeling of drowsiness, less often nausea.
Here, an anaesthetic is injected into the area between the vagina and the rectum. It is done just before an episiotomy or before the baby comes out.
It is also used by doctors as a local anaesthetic to suture the lacerations without causing additional pain to the parturient.
It is characterised by its use in emergencies. This is necessary because of the risk of the anaesthetic penetrating the placenta and affecting the baby.
Symptoms and signs of birth
There are several symptoms that clearly indicate that the process of childbirth has begun. Among them are: the baby’s “descent” (the feeling is that your abdomen is slightly lower than usual), more frequent and stronger Braxton Hicks contractions, the so-called plug falls out (a redisplays a mucous formation that “seals” the entrance to the uterus), leakage of the waters, diarrhea, etc.
It is not excluded that you feel severe pain in the lower back and spine, get tired faster and complain of nausea and vomiting.
Disclosure in childbirth
It is key when you give birth naturally. The vaginal opening must be wide enough for the baby to pass through. Contractions stimulate the process of dilation of the opening and of the uterus itself. It is accompanied by an increase in pain intensity.
At a 10 cm opening, the pregnant woman is ready for delivery.
When labour occurs between the 29th and 37th gestational week, it is considered to be preterm labour.
Induction of birth
When term has arrived but labour has not yet started, obstetricians usually wait 7 days. During this period, the condition of the pregnant woman and the baby is monitored daily. In the absence of signs of the onset of labor, it is passed to its induction. This is necessary in order to prevent complications and deterioration of health.
Induction of labour can be done by tried and tested natural methods (sex, prolonged walking, nipple stimulation, etc.) or by the obstetrician’s administration of prostaglandins, bursting of the amniotic bladder, etc.
The birth certificate of the baby is drawn up in the municipality. If the permanent address of one of the parents coincides with that of the hospital where the child was born, the birth certificate will be prepared in the municipality of permanent address.
In the event of a mismatch, the parents may collect the birth certificate from the municipality to which the hospital is attached.
Menstruation after childbirth
The first menstruation after childbirth occurs after about 40 days. You can distinguish it from so-called lochia by the fact that it is usually accompanied by painful sensations.
Keep in mind that each case is individual. In some parturients, the recovery of the uterus requires more time and the first menstruation begins several months after birth.
Weight loss after childbirth
Weight regain before pregnancy is a major goal for most women after childbirth. To a large extent, the weight loss process is determined by how you gave birth – normally or by section, and whether you breastfeed.
Experts recommend that in the months after childbirth, the main way to lose weight is through active movement. Do not starve yourself in any case. Lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, meat and legumes should be on the menu. Eliminate bread, fizzy drinks, fried and fatty foods. Consume food at least 4 times a day in moderation.
It is a kind of underwear and its function is to help a woman regain the shape of the abdomen and retract the abdominal muscles after childbirth. Before proceeding to its use, consult a doctor.
Sex after childbirth
You can return to your usual sex life after the third week of childbirth. It is accepted that during this period the uterus has almost completely recovered. Bleeding also stops, though you may notice faint hemorrhages.
Remember that the birthing process turns the uterus into a wound. Doctors advise you to be patient and wait at least a month for her full recovery.
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