New Dimensions In Women's Health
Health & Kinesiology
Quiz 6 :
Pregnancy and Childbirth
The advancement of the technology made child birth easier providing all necessary health care. Earlier the child birth was not treated as medical condition and traditional midwives used to deliver the fetus. Later physicians used to attend along with the midwives to take care of middle and upper class of urban women. Further the physicians replaced the midwives completely during child birth. Medical schools have started to teach pregnancy and child birth and certified men as birth attendance. At the end of 18 th century physicians alone could manage child birth in urban areas. The wide array of medical facilities improved the child birth as a medical condition with advancement in medication, anesthesia and child delivering instruments. New technologies have been invented to prevent birth accidents, tears and infections. Advanced technology provided a new way to examine the fetus and to detect abnormalities before the child birth. During the 20 th century additional medical facilities, hospitalization promised greater safety for child birth. Some scientists argue that the modern medical and hospital practices though made the child birth easier, have become expensive and over medicalized process. The excessive health costs, prolonged stay of mothers in hospitals is to be feared about the child birth rather experiencing it. Child birth is a natural process that requires a short term labor because several women give spontaneous vaginal birth. Natural child birth practice includes activity during the birth of the child, preparation before the birth and social support. This process creates active and supportive experience for a mother during delivering the baby. The advanced technologies are much useful to detect abnormalities and deliver baby in complex birth conditions such as prolapsed of uterus, breech and other unmanageable health conditions of the mother. In such conditions delivering the baby through C section or surgery is required. Post surgery care, medication and counseling need hospitalization and therefore, few complicated cases are suggested to have child birth under supervision of experts.
During pregnancy several chemicals, drugs and alcohol have detrimental effects on the developing fetus. Pregnant women abusing cigarettes, alcohol and drugs may have several complicated medical conditions. Healthy pregnancy requires absolutely no smoking. The centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) reported that smoking causes illness and death of pregnant mothers and infants. Smoking women may have late conception and can also become infertile. Smoking women may experience complications like premature rupture of membranes, early separation of placenta from uterus and blockage of cervix by placenta. Premature deliveries reported are 30% more in smoking women when compared to nonsmokers. Alcohol abuse is detrimental for both the mother and developing fetus. Excess alcohol consumption during pregnancy results in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) that causes growth retardation, facial malformation and dysfunction of central nervous system including mental retardation. Excess alcohol consumption affects the fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy. This may affect the developmental central nervous system. Drug abuse adversely affects the fetal development. No medication is advised during pregnancy unless suggested by clinician. Illicit drug use such as cocaine causes distress in fetus, impaired fetal growth and low birth weight. The consequences of drug abuse may be severe and even can damage brain and nervous system of fetus resulting in birth defects. Mother's smoking marijuana deliver sicker babies who are at high risk of still births. Drug use may cause disruption of normal development, mental development and learning disabilities. Therefore, pregnant women are restricted to use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
During pregnancy several chemicals, drugs and alcohol have detrimental effects on the developing fetus. Pregnant women abusing cigarettes, alcohol and drugs may have several complicated medical conditions. Healthy pregnancy requires absolutely no smoking. Young mothers who are nursing through breast feeding should avoid smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. They should have healthy diet with adequate intake of vitamins and minerals. The substances consumed by mother are passed to infants through breast milk. Therefore, harmful substances like caffeine, alcohol and some drugs should be avoided because they may affect the infant development. Breast feeding woman should consult physician or health care provider before any kind of medication. The breast feeding mothers should be careful while driving and remain fasten the seat belt. Counseling should be given to young mothers to get rid of habits like smoking, drinking of alcohol and carelessness.