You Don’t Have To Love It: Don’t Mention Oxytocin

Women are supposed to love childbirth, such an uplifting experience. That’s what people tell you. Not me. It hurt.

I was told I’d forget about the pain and look back euphorically at bringing life into the world. I didn’t.

I’m not saying I’d change anything, I love my kids like the next mom. But don’t tell me their exit from me/entrance to the world was wonderfully simple, as it’s just not true.

Now, I accept no-one said I’d forget about the pain and anxiety of the big day instantly, maybe I’ve not waited long enough. It’s only been twenty three years after all, and that’s since the last one.

There’s a clue in that last sentence about why it shouldn’t scare you if you’re pregnant. I’d hate to put anyone off, I’m just keen to squash the myth I swallowed hook line and sinker a quarter of a century or so ago.

I’ve had this conversation repeatedly over two decades or more, and what I can tell you is women fall into at least two camps on this. The first camp, which I’m very pleased about, are the moms that agree with me. Then there’s the second camp who felt no pain and tell lies.

Note that I did say at least two groups. There are women who haven’t had children. Let’s call them group three, and then promptly forget about them. If you’re in group three and have a problem with that, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. I warn you though, I’m rock hard, I’ve had a baby and lived to tell the tale.

Then we’ve got group four, who have multiple children, but only the first was a natural birth. I never saw through this in the early days, but now I wonder if those cesarean births were a little more elective than I was led to believe.

Of course, I’m saying all of this in a slightly tongue in cheek manner. That’s deliberate, because we all know that childbirth is significantly worse than man flu. Some men even admit that openly.

The point I’m trying to get across is that things are referred to as ‘worse than childbirth’ for a reason. Often those things aren’t worse than childbirth at all, in itself it’s designed to be a tongue in cheek comparison, so acting out this article might require multiple tongues.

What I’d like is for first time moms to get slightly less of a shock. Perhaps some young ladies will be terrified at the thought if they know the truth, but right now that might mean they stop at one child for fear of going through it all again – don’t they have the right to go into number one with their eyes open too?

As a final parting thought, I’d like to leave you with this. Next time you’re tempted to suggest that the oxytocin will help with labor and childbirth, whether that’s to manage the pain in real time or make the experience magically turn into a utopia in hindsight, just keep in mind that mom to be might be a mom already, and that same oxytocin might cause a little discomfort in the side of your face.

When Three Become Four: My 4th Baby’s Birth Story

People tell me that if you have a baby that needs to be induced, it will be the first. So the stories go, each additional child is ready for the world a little earlier. That’s what it is though, a story.

The story for me was different, very different. Forty weeks in and number four was showing no signs of greeting planet earth. At least not from outside of the pregnancy swamp. Kicks were plentiful, wiggles frequent.

The midwives came and went, becoming a daily visit to see is things were progressing. Speculation about the head engaging was the talk of one visit, but the next day a totally different opinion. “The little one isn’t quite ready to say hello yet” was the message. Patience is indeed a virtue.

A week passed. It passed slowly, very slowly. There’s the physical side of carting around a lump and all of the fluid that comes with pregnancy. Day by day you realize that things aren’t going to improve until your little one pops out, and day by day you also start to see the enormity of the task ahead as the belly grows faster than the days to go reduce. The physical side is the small half of the tale though.

The real impatience for me came from inside my head. The desperation to meet that little face was growing larger with each passing heartbeat. Early in pregnancy you can put it out of your head, but when you have to waddle around like a beached whale, it’s hard to avoid that constant not-so-little reminder.

I secretly wanted a girl, but only as a preference, as a baby is precious regardless of the perfect picture in your mind’s eye. Number one and three were girls, sandwiching themselves around my son. As a mom, the bond with an only boy is special. Why I don’t know, but it’s just different in a way that I don’t think would be the same with a single daughter and collection of her brothers.

I suppose for their Dad the opposite may be true, but in those final days the desire to care about that had somewhat waned. I just wanted to say hello.

Once Week 41 was complete, the reality dawned on me that the natural arrival might not be as sure as I’d imagined. I tried to hide from that fact, packing and unpacking the ‘birth bag’ several times to help pass the days.

When you’ve had three kids already, you start to consider yourself a dab hand as popping the babies out, without wanting to sound like one of those old folk referring to shelling peas. That’s the main reason I’d planned to have a home birth and stay out of the hectic labor ward.

On the next home visit, I nervously and reluctantly asked the burning question – could I still have that home birth if many more days ticked by?

The sharp intake of breath from the now familiar health visitor told me it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Her friendly tone suddenly reverted to the kind of professional one I remembered from the first time we met, like when a friend gets a sudden cellphone call from work.

The fact is, you have to do what’s safest, and there’s a reason we ask questions like this to doctors, not friends. In this case, the answer was already almost certain. We were already past term, and that means it was likely to be the biggest baby yet – the first three all arrived a little early.

And then, almost as if by magic, i felt a tightening around my belly, stretching around to my back and within half an hour, my waters had broken. The timing was perfect, with the medical help I needed right there.

I say the timing was perfect, I very much mean for me, the midwife was nearing the end of her day and suddenly had an unexpected appointment.

The time had come for a quick decision. I delegated. My heart wanted to stay home for the birth, my head said I’d been given the advice I’d asked for. My husband did the look he does when he means “Don’t be stupid”. The decision has been made for me.

So, the phone call was made, the car brought as near to the door as was possible, and the bag was grabbed for our new adventure. Just in time for a natural arrival, that’s exactly where we were heading.

Next time, we’ll see how well it went.

What are the Placenta and What Does it Do?

The question many couples ask is what is the placenta. Many people are intrigued by this “baby inside a baby” because they can’t help but wonder what it does or where it goes. In fact, the placenta has no organs of its own. It is only present due to the development of the fetus in the womb. The placenta continues to develop and fill with blood throughout the nine months of pregnancy.

The placenta itself is an extremely complex organ. It is not clear what it does at the very beginning of pregnancy, but it most definitely begins to develop. When a woman gives birth, the placenta separates from the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. The amniotic fluid provides nutrients and proteins needed by the newborn baby, but it is also rich in substances that prevent infection and can absorb excess nutrients from the placenta and infant.

In the second trimester of pregnancy, the placenta starts to slowly expand as the baby continues to develop. By the fourth trimester, the two uterine horns start to grow together and the placenta attaches to the right side of the uterus where the baby is now located. Throughout the last few months of pregnancy, the placenta will slowly and orderly separate itself from the remaining part of the uterus and the baby will emerge from the body.

The part of the placenta that is actually in the outside of the uterus is called the enterolith. This is the area where the baby’s nerve cords will connect with the muscles of the uterus and prepare it for birth. As the baby grows in size, the anterolite swells as more blood is pushed into it. It eventually falls off and the fetus drops to the abdomen.

The other major structure that makes up the placenta is the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is the jelly-like substance that is made up of a complex of connecting fibers. During pregnancy, the corpus luteum thickens and swells so that the placenta will be ready to be delivered. Once the delivery takes place, the uterus contracts in preparation for the next baby. When the first baby is born, the placenta develops into a capsule that seals the infant inside the uterus.

There are some occasions during pregnancy when the placenta develops abnormally and this will lead to what is commonly known as placental abruption. Abrupt placental abruption is the term given to when the baby’s head suddenly tilts to one side and it usually occurs during the second trimester or when the baby’s heart rate is extremely high. This can also happen at the end of the first trimester. The reason why this happens is because the position of the baby puts excessive pressure on the uterus. This will often cause it to twist and result in a placental abruption.

Another reason why the placenta develops abnormally and often gets twisted is due to what is called lachrymal bleeding. This happens when the placenta doesn’t make direct blood flow to the baby. Instead, it travels through the uterine walls and releases blood into the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. This blood flow is important so that the baby receives adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients.

Due to placenta abruption, low birth weight is common. The reason for this is because there is not enough nutrients in the amniotic fluid to facilitate a healthy development and growth of the baby inside the womb. This lack of nutrients greatly affects the growth and development of the baby inside the womb. It causes the baby’s brain to develop abnormally and may even lead to mental retardation if the baby is stillborn. Other conditions such as convulsions, breathing disorders and other abnormality in the central nervous system could also occur.

Understanding Midwifery

Midwifery refers to a certain area of medicine focused on pregnancy and child birth. It also deals with maternal health care and postpartum care. This field has been a part of the healthcare sector for quite a long time. Many women trust midwives to deliver their babies safely and with little pain. As a result, the demand for qualified midwives is on the rise.

Midwifery includes a variety of activities. There are no specific qualifications required for people who want to become midwives. However, most midwives have an average of at least a bachelor’s degree in midwifery, childbirth, or maternal health. Other related subjects may be taken into consideration as long as they relate to the specific area of midwifery.

Midwifery aims to improve the quality of life of pregnant women by delivering the baby safely and without any major problems. The focus of care in midwifery includes postpartum delivery care and postpartum recovery care, both for mothers and babies. The process of delivery begins after the woman has given birth. From the time of delivery, the midwife guides nurses and other professionals in caring for the mother and baby. Midwives also ensure that the mother’s health is monitored closely, especially during the postpartum period. For that, they attend frequent checkups and educate other healthcare professionals about the best way to provide nutrition to the new born.

Midwives are required to get accredited at a college or university near their home. Some states require them to have earned a university degree. Others prefer to see a university degree on a resume when applying for jobs in midwifery. A master’s degree is usually a preferred choice because it generally indicates that the individual has a long standing professional presence and is skilled at many things. In addition, a master’s degree is often required for employment within the hospital system. However, a degree from a college or university press releases intent to continue learning, which can help a student make valuable connections after graduation.

Courses in midwifery include anatomy, prenatal development, nutrition, childbirth, child development and child health. Courses are further divided into specialized areas. Specialized courses include Pediatric, Obstetrician and Gynecologist Midwives, Nurse Midwives, Menopause, Reproductive Health and Women’s Health. There are also classes on ethics in midwifery as well as religious perspectives on midwifery.

The goal of midwifery care is to reduce the chances of complications during childbirth. It is designed to increase the mother’s satisfaction and minimize the risk of adverse effects to both the mother and baby. During midwifery care, a team of healthcare practitioners and nurses will monitor pregnancy, prepare the mother for labor, perform the actual delivery and assist with postpartum recovery. It is recommended that all pregnant women be screened for any medical conditions that may affect their ability to have a healthy pregnancy and give birth safely.

The National Certification Board for Midwives (NCBM) offers a national exam for certified nurse-midwives (CNMs). The exam is available to current and retired midwives, regardless of specialty. The certification exam requires passing a written portion and a skills section. The exam measures midwives’ knowledge and skill in recognizing and treating pregnant women, providing primary and emergency care, preparing the mother for labor and communicating with patients about care options and birth complications. Applicants must successfully pass the exam in order to become certified nurse-midwives.

Many states require hospitals, communities and public agencies to be licensed and maintain adequate midwifery resources. As a result, certified professionals are in high demand throughout the nation. Certified neonatal midwives play an essential role in the care of neonatal babies and newborns. The care provided by these professionals ensures that healthy pregnancies are delivered and that premature births do not occur.