Pregnancy & Childbirth

Birth variants and complications – Lexicon for Medicine & Health

Birth variants and complications

For women, pregnancy means a complete change in their bodies over several months. The fetus matures in her womb , the breasts begin to produce milk, and the woman must not only support herself with a healthy lifestyle, but also the child in her expanding belly. This symbiosis between mother and baby is dissolved again within a few hours during the birth – an appointment that first mothers-to-be in particular long for, as they can then finally hold their child in their arms.

Medically, what is a natural birth?

But childbirth isn’t just about the labor and straining that follows until the baby is born – there can be complications that every mother should be aware of. There are also different ways of giving birth – some like to have their child in a familiar atmosphere at home, others find the carrying power of water pleasant and still others do not want to do without modern medical options, such as an epidural, under any circumstances.

Spontaneous birth is another expression of natural childbirth. The definition states that this includes any woman who is in labor for between three and eighteen hours and has carried the child in her womb for between 259 and 293 days.

Other features include the infant’s occipital position and the rupture of the amniotic sac during the dilatation period. The mother’s blood loss should not exceed 500ml and neither the woman nor the child are at significant risk during the process. The opening period is the first of four stages of a natural birth, according to dr-schwind.de ; the other three are: expulsion, placental , and postplacental periods.

What variants of this birth are there?

In films, women usually lie in the delivery room while they give birth. In reality, however, there is more than this one possibility. A standing birth, for example, can be found across all cultures and times – gravity helps mother and child with this process and can even accelerate it in some cases.

Normally, a mother-to-be only lies on the couch if measures such as a suction cup birth are used or if she is simply too exhausted to have the child standing up. In addition to the standing birth, there is the option of sitting on a birthing stool. This supports the mother-to-be in an upright position, the buttocks can rest, but the pelvic floor is still free.

In the case of a natural birth, the place of birth can also be chosen, the delivery room in the clinic is not the only option: With a home birth, the woman gives birth to the child in her own four walls. A free midwife supports you during the birth. The miracle can be fully enjoyed without unfamiliar people such as nurses in the room.

However , this is not recommended for high- risk pregnancies – in order to ensure optimal care even in the event of complications for mother and child, birth in the hospital is absolutely necessary. However, the parents can opt for an outpatient birth: They can go home with their offspring a few hours after the birth or directly the next morning.

If you don’t want to give birth at home or in the clinic, you can also choose the more familiar atmosphere of a birth center. Water birth is also beneficial for many expectant mothers .

What happens if complications arise?

Medicine has now progressed so far that in most cases complications are not life-threatening for either the woman giving birth or the child. If they do occur, depending on the doctor’s opinion, a caesarean section is performed or a suction cup or forceps are used.

A caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which the child is brought into the world through an incision in the abdominal wall. The suction cup and forceps transport the child through the birth canal to the world. This is done when the child has to get out of the womb immediately – for example due to a lack of oxygen or incorrect or non-existent heart sounds during birth.

Unlike this woman, however, the described consequences do not normally have to be expected – many women have undergone this procedure with forceps or the suction cup without complaining of pain afterwards. However, it remains a medical intervention with all the possible risks that may arise as a result, which an expectant mother must be informed about.

How and when is labor induced?

Sometimes it is necessary to artificially induce contractions so that the child is born. Opinions differ widely, as can be seen on this question portal .

In general, however, the opinion of the doctor treating you should be trusted. Otherwise, if the mother keeps the baby in the womb for too long and shows no signs of natural labor, there could be complications for both. An induction is also necessary if the amniotic sac bursts but the body is otherwise not adjusting to the approaching birth.

Does a PDA make sense?

PDA stands for epidural anesthesia . This is placed on pregnant women so that they no longer feel the contractions and can thus save their strength for the birth. It makes sense if there is a contraction spasm that completely debilitates the mother even before the actual birth process. In general, it is the decision of the pregnant woman whether she wants to have an epidural or not.

Despite severe pain, she can refuse this – as long as there is no caesarean section. If this is carried out without general anesthesia, the PDA is a way of numbing the relevant area of ​​the body so that the mother does not notice the procedure through pain .

Will the pain decrease with further births?

The perception of pain is purely subjective. For this reason, it cannot be said in general that pain is less severe in subsequent children. The woman’s pain memory is designed in such a way that she forgets the birth problems relatively quickly afterwards or at least perceives them as not so bad. A direct comparison is therefore hardly possible – the births of subsequent children differ only in length – on average, the women giving birth are in labor for a shorter time.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.