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Childbirth - Essay Example

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Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy period with the delivery of one or more new born babies. It is an experience that most women will remember and is one of the most important events of the life of a family.
The natural process of childbirth occurs by a vaginal delivery…
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Childbirth
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Running Head: CHILDBIRTH Childbirth (The should be a single paragraph double-spaced of less than 120 words.)
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy period with the delivery of one or more new born babies. It is an experience that most women will remember and is one of the most important events of the life of a family.
The natural process of childbirth occurs by a vaginal delivery. However, if a vaginal delivery poses an imminent threat to the health of the mother or the child, or if the pregnant woman requests for a cesarean delivery, the baby is delivered through a cesarean section. The total and primary cesarean rate showed a decrease between 1989 and 1996 and an increase between 1996 and 2003 in the United States. The rate of vaginal birth after previous cesarean increased from1989 till 1996 and declined between 1996 and 2003. In the year 2003, 27.6% of all births in the United States resulted from cesarean deliveries. (MMWR, 54(02), 46)
An institutional culture that views childbirth as pathological might have contributed to an extent for the increase in cesarean deliveries in the United States. The number of voices urging to make childbirth a human and social, rather than a medical, event signifies this. However, the institutional culture is not the sole reason for these undesirable results. The safety issues of mother and child and medico legal considerations appear to have contributed to the rise. A doctor is more likely to be sued for not doing a cesarean than for doing one. In addition, a high rate of malpractice by the midwives and the insurance costs favored the pregnant women to seek the services of an obstetrician.
Childbirth is either by means of a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section. Cesarean sections are carried out by obstetricians. A few alternatives to a normal natural vaginal delivery are there for women in US. They are natural birth with pain medication, aromatherapy at birth, home birth, midwife delivery, birthing centers, water birth and Doula assistance.
In a natural birth with pain medication, medication is given to alleviate the labor pain. At some places, aromatherapy using essential oils is practiced during labor, to relieve tension and promote relaxation. Home births take place at home under the supervision of a midwife, or sometimes by family members. This method of delivery is the least acceptable to the medical establishment and has drastically declined. A midwife is a healthcare professional that provides a number of healthcare services including deliveries for women. They practice at birthing centers and at home. Birthing centers provide the medical assistance required for childbirth. Water birth, a process of giving birth in a tub of warm water, is also widely practiced. Doulas are professionals trained in childbirth. They provide emotional reassurance and comfort for the laboring mother and her partner during pregnancy, labor and postpartum period.
The rising rate of cesarean sections is a cause for alarm. There is no doubt that technology has spurred the revolution in childbirth from home to hospital, which increasingly has turned it into a surgical procedure. This could probably be minimized without significant untoward effects on the health of the mother and child by adopting slightly less stringent guidelines for a cesarean section. In addition, implementation of a more normal delivery friendly approach, by both medical staff and the pregnant women will be helpful. While a pregnant woman's right to choose to deliver by cesarean instead of undergoing a trial of labor should be respected, when this choice is given, she should be educated of the risks and benefits of both normal labor and cesarean section, before she makes a decision. Educating the pregnant mothers and guiding them properly will reduce the requested cesareans.
For the pregnant women in US a number of alternatives to childbirth do exist and if explored enough, the institutional deliveries could be safely minimized thereby reducing the number of undesirable surgical interventions.
References
Total and primary cesarean rate and vaginal birth after previous cesarean (VBAC) rate --- United States, 1989-2003. (2005, January) MMWR, 54(02), 46. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from Website: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5402a5.htm Read More
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