Pregnancy and Preparing for BirthQUOTE:“PREGNANCY AND BIRTH ARE ASORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY ASBREATHING, THINKING, OR LOVING.”
Preparing for safe & healthy birth Understanding maternity care in the U.S How to choose caregivers Choosing your birthing environment
Physicalbody changes Normal fetal development Coping with pregnancy discomforts Symptoms and treatment of pregnancy complications Youcan find more information on these topics in some of the following books: Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn or; The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book
Many physical and hormonal changes both in the mother and child prepare the body for birth over several months. During pregnancy some women feel: Heightened perception Increased energy Feeling of being in love Special Fertile Potent & creative Some women even get stronger negative feelings.
Anxiety and fear is normal it is best to find support groups, classes and other activities for expectant parents to help share your concerns with those going through pregnancy as well. Fear is natural with pregnancy due to many unknown and uncontrollable outcomes.
GOOD PROVIDER & BIRTH SETTING WILLOFFER: Care that is up to date on the latest research on safety & effectiveness Environment and treatments that support or enhance the natural process of pregnancy and birth Individualized care that considers not only the baby’s needs but yours as well, including personal preferences and values. Plenty of support, comfort, and information. Fast and accurate streamlining of referrals for complications.
Types of Providers: Midwives: Four types of midwives: Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM Educated in nursing & midwifery Certified Midwives (CM) Educated in only midwifery Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) Specialize in healthy pregnancy & natural childbirth Nationally recognized Licensed but varies with each state Non-certified/self proclaimed Trained Midwives provide women with: Prenatal Care Care during labor and birth Follow-up care after birth
Assist with gynecological check-ups, pelvic & breast exams, pap-test and family planning. Physicians: Attend 90% of all births in the U.S Commonly provide care to pregnant women3 Types of Physicians: Family Physicians Normally concentrate on comprehensive care Some provide maternity care Obstetrician-Gynecologist (ob-gyns) Most common provider chosen Most trained to manage complications of pregnancy & birth Usually present during birth and oversees labor
Maternal-Fetal Medicine Physician Subspecialistin obstetrics field Work with pregnant patient who have serious health conditions like heart disease & diabetes Expertise in genetics Being able to find a provider is based solely on you preferences and healthcare needs. Asking a family doctor or friend for a referral can help. Some people interview doctors, midwives, and etc. before deciding.
Depending on the atmosphere you prefer for birth there are a few options. Home: Good option for healthy women Choose your own attendants Birth Centers: Freestanding Birth Center: Homelike place Used during pregnancy, childbirth and time following birth Systems are in place to deal with complications Screenings are usually done in order to be eligible to use a birth center Birth Centers in Hospitals: Philosophies range from freestanding centers-hospitals Advantage is emergency care is close
Hospitals: Standard setting for most births Easy access to emergency care and pain medication Disadvantages can be the interruption of natural birthing process to follow hospital policies
United States is known for having several problems with their Maternity Care system Problems listed area: Few women get adequate prenatal care Too many women are exposed to the risks of high-tech procedures, even when they are healthy and unlikely to benefit from them Too many women are subjected to these potentially harmful procedures without giving informed consent. Too few women have the benefit of low-tech supportive care practices that help them safely cope with the demands of pregnancy, labor and birth. Too many women end up with physical and emotional health problems after giving birth.
Three elements of prenatal care: Regular visits with your provider (midwife, doctor) Taking care of yourself Care received from support systems (friends, family, others) What to expect from prenatal care: Health assessments from providers Making plan of labor, birth and postpartum recovery and adjustment to mother-hood Not all prenatal care is the same it depends on your provider During regular prenatal visits you can expect: Measuring of your weight and blood pressure, listening to the baby’s heartbeat and growth of the baby
Prenatal testing gives information about a mothers health Some tests that are done are: Regular blood tests to determine: Anemia, HIV, Keep track of sugar levels Vaginal Culture (approx 1 month before due date): GBS a naturally bacteria formed by women can make some babies ill Tests for Fetal Impairments: 3 types of tests: Genetic Carrier testing Blood test to see if you or your partner carrier genetic diseases Screening tests: Like ultrasounds, “maternal marker” blood tests Diagnostic tests: Yes or no answers. (Examples amniocentesis)
High risk pregnancies: People with these conditions can be considered high risk: Diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, autoimmune disorders, HIV, or heart or kidney diseases Pregnant and parenting teens Pregnancy in your late thirties or forties Overweight or obese individuals Experience abuse of violence during pregnancy This happens to 1 in 6 women during pregnancy Having physical, intellectual or psychiatric disabilities Addictions: Drugs, alcohol, tobacco Having a previous cesarean section
Plan for pain management Medication Doulas: give continuous support during labor, usually reduces the need for medication Know where your support team will come from and who they may be Prepare for breastfeeding if you have chosen to Question: Why does the United States have the most problems with Maternity care? Should we make providers spend more time during prenatal visits?
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