Childbirth is an amazing feat for most women. If adequately prepared for it, it will be one of the most beautiful events a mother ever experiences in her lifetime. Whether medicated or natural, birth is life-altering. It takes life to a whole new playing field. The women who are able to endure birth without any medical intervention, like drugs, often experience an even stronger high-inducing experience.
That being said, there are also births that don’t go as planned. There are women who are blindsided by the reality of hospitals as profit-making systems and doctors who want to get home for dinner on time. There are women who slip through the cracks of the system and find themselves grieving for the birth they had dreamt of but weren’t able to have.
Labor and delivery wards are full of complications, but we know that these hiccups are least likely to occur the less we mess with the process. What all of that boils down to is trusting the female body and understand what it has to go through to bring new life into the world. Think you’re up to snuff on the birthing process? Just because you’ve been through it won’t necessarily make you an expert. Let’s see what you actually do — or don’t — know about childbirth.
How many centimeters must the cervix be dilated to give birth?
Most of the time, the mother's body starts to prepare for labor before labor ever really starts. For first-time mothers, they will typically experience the baby dropping into this pelvic region. This is known as lightening, and it may bring with it immense pressure for Momma. The pressure the baby places on the cervix then causes it to begin to thin out and dilate. Before a woman can actually give birth, though, her cervix must dilate to a certain width. Just how big does that thing have to open wide?
What is the reason that some babies need erythromycin eye ointment after birth?
Erythromycin eye ointment is an antibiotic. It is routinely placed in the eyes of newborn babies. This is known to temporarily blur their vision. Until recently, many parents assumed that this blurring was the only negative effect, but unnecessary exposure to antibiotics can actually hinder the baby's gut flora, which can lead to multiple illnesses and developmental disorders. In other words, only babies who truly need the ointment should get it, despite it being recommended to all. What is the real reason some babies need this eye ointment?
Thinning out of the cervix is called what?
Dilation isn't the only important aspect of labor. For a vaginal birth to occur, the mother's cervix also needs to thin out. Most often, this process occurs more rapidly than dilation does. As it takes place, the thickness of the cervix seems to disappear within itself. Like a stretchy rubber band, the cervix gives way to the pressure of the baby descending through the birth canal, and soon, a baby is born. What is this process that allows the cervix to thin out called in the medical world?
What part of the body does a provider perform an episiotomy on?
More and more, we are seeing women entering the labor and delivery ward armed with a birth plan that includes the words "No episiotomy". These women are typically well-educated on the matter. They know that their nether regions may experience some kind of trauma during delivery. They can either tear naturally or allow the doctor to make an incision that helps the baby to pass out of the vagina. Tearing heals far better and generally causes less nerve damage. Post providers don't do episiotomies anymore for this reason. What part of the body does the provider perform this procedure on?
What happens if a woman doesn't push during labor?
Even the novice birth junkie knows that pushing comes at the end of labor. We've seen enough films depicting the event to understand that birth can't happen without pushing, right? Still, some women don't push. Are they scared? Are they choosing not to push? What gives? The body primes itself for labor. The cervix dilates and effaces on purpose. The baby descends down the birth canal, and then Mom says "no thanks" and doesn't push at all. What happens next?
How many layers are there to the amniotic sac?
We've all heard stories of the pregnant mother-to-be whose water suddenly broke in a gush at her favorite restaurant. Alright, maybe we saw that in a movie. While some women do experience a spontaneous gush of amniotic fluid escaping their bodies, most won't incur this event until they are in active labor. Some babies are even born still in the sac. This is called being born en caul. That protective sac must be made of Teflon to keep the baby safe and secure through the birth canal without rupturing. Just how many layers are there to it?
During what week of pregnancy do most women give birth spontaneously?
In the United States and many other nations, there is a growing problem with inductions and Cesarean sections. Far too many doctors are recommending these procedures to their patients when they aren't actually medically warranted. For that reason, more and more babies are being born before their due dates even roll around. When we look at the medical research, it shows us that there are great risks that come with these non-evidence-based practices. When left to go into labor spontaneously on their own, when do most women go into labor?
When do new mothers get their milk?
Breastfeeding is said to come naturally for many women. They get pregnant, have the baby, and everything falls in line. But it doesn't always work out that way. Many women have trouble producing enough milk, and sadly, it's often a makeshift reason doctors and nurses will encourage women to supplement with formula. Most of the time, a hindered supply is the result of hormonal issues or a poor latch that can be remedied. It is very rare not to develop a supply at all, which suggests bigger issues. When do most women experience their milk come in?
What percent of babies are born via C-section in America?
The United States is notorious for plenty, and C-sections that aren't necessary are no exception. While overseeing organizations agree that the true need for Cesarean sections should be more aligned with a 19 percent statistic, it has encroached far beyond that. Today, women are being encouraged to opt for surgery if their babies are over eight or nine pounds — which is still well within the limits of an average fetal weight. They're discouraged from attempting vaginal births and many doctors encourage their patients not to trust their own bodies. How many babies are born via C-section now?
What is it called when a mother experiences mild labor for days or weeks on end?
Most of the time, women expect that when they do have children, they will know what to look for and expect merely based on what their friends have relayed to them or what they've seen in movies. As sad as it is, most women have grown up with very incorrect portrayals of birth and pregnancy in the media, and they believed them to be accurate. So, it's not a wonder that many women have never heard that they could be in labor for days before their contractions are regular enough to call it active labor. What is this called?
What drug is commonly used to induce labor?
In some cases, labor does need to happen before it decides to on its own. While many women are incorrectly told they need to be induced based on medical situations that don't actually warrant it, a few cases indeed do. Babies who are in distress or mothers whose lives and wellbeing are at greater risk if they remain pregnant warrant induction. This process can be carried out in a few ways, and one of them includes the administration of what drug?
Which of the following has Pitocin NOT been linked to causing?
Pitocin is a drug that has garnered quite the reputation for itself. Women are fearful of it, and for good reason. This tool for induction comes with a long laundry list of side effects. It significantly increases the risk for many other interventions to occur. It makes labor far more painful for the mother, and harder on the baby. Long-term side effects continue to be studied, but there have been preliminary studies that have linked Pitocin to several conditions. What has Pitocin NOT been linked to?
How long is the average birth for a first-time mother?
Childbirth is a ceremonial practice in many cultures. While there's been no term defined for it, some women even claim to be addicted to it. They love the practice of preparing for and giving birth. This is most common among women who endure labor without medications for the pain. It is possible that there may be a link between the hormonal high these women experience post-birth and a predisposal to wanting to do it again and again. They aren't afraid of enduring a long labor. Luckily, it tends to get shorter each time. How long is the average first-time labor?
How long is the average birth for a woman who has already given birth before?
As previously mentioned, labor is usually a little shorter for women who have already given birth before. It's a perk for having more than one. This trend in labor lengths appears to only apply to women who have already had a vaginal birth. Women who have had C-sections that did not experience labor first seem to still have lengthier labors for their first vaginal birth after Cesarean. For the women who have given birth vaginally before, how long are they in labor on average?
What is the average age that most women have their first child?
Motherhood is an exciting time. Whether the mom-to-be is in her teens or her forties, it's a time that no woman forgets. Pregnancy may make her feel older or younger, and her actual age usually has very little to do with that. Sure, it's a bit tougher to get around with a burgeoning belly the older we are, but that hasn't deterred any woman who wants a baby at an advanced age. Once upon a time, it was 'the norm' to get pregnant at 14! Today, women are pursuing other ventures first. How old is the average first-time mom?
What percentage of women suffer with postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression is debilitating. It creeps up on women during the most vulnerable times in their lives. They're overwhelmed with new emotions and the burden — albeit a welcomed one — of having to care for a new human being. They suddenly have no time for themselves. Their relationships may become strained. Self-care seems to come last, and we don't advocate for much more than that for new mothers in America. Around 80 percent of new moms experience the baby blues — which is much milder and fleeting. How many suffer from full blown postpartum depression?
Which of the following is NOT a benefit of placenta consumption?
Despite what the mainstream media might present to you, placenta consumption is not some new, crazy fad. It's almost disrespectful to call it a trend at all, because women have been eating their placenta for years. Other mammals do it. Why wouldn't we? There are benefits to be had. Still, here in the states, women are gawked and sneered at for even mentioning digesting it in pill form, let alone as a side dish to their liver and onions. Which of the following is NOT a benefit of placenta consumption?
What supplement is thought to help ripen the cervix for labor?
Pregnant women have used a variety of supplements for years to assist the body. We take prenatal vitamins to cover all of our bases when our diets may not necessarily give us the full scope of nutrition that we need. We encourage extra iron for fetal development. We strongly recommend that pregnant women consume vitamins with methylfolate in them and avoid folic acid — something we once thought was essential for pregnancy. Sometimes, women will go the extra mile and use additional supplements to prepare for labor. Which is thought to help ripe the cervix for labor?
What do pregnant women drink to help tone the uterus for contraction preparation?
During pregnancy, most women belong to one of two camps: the women who are looking forward to labor, and the women who are dreading it. Either way, both groups seem to have a genuine interest in making sure their labors are swift and without any bumps in the road. Sometimes, there may be preemptive activities they can engage in to help them with labor down the road. When consumed, there is a liquid that is said to help prepare the muscles in the uterus to make labor run more smoothly. What is it?
At what week are a baby’s lungs considered mature by the medical industry?
Medical professionals insist that fetal lung maturity is reached at a certain stage during pregnancy. This week-based guideline is used to assess for timing for many procedures, such as elective Cesarean sections and inductions. The likelihood of premature fetal development is still possible even beyond this point, though. When true lung maturity is reached, the lungs secrete a protein called surfactant. This protein signals the body to produce oxytocin, which thereby triggers labor to start in the mother. In other words, if labor hasn't begun, the lungs are not yet mature. Nonetheless, doctors continue saying they are by what week?
How many weeks “off” can a woman's due date commonly be?
As soon as a woman gets pregnant, her friends and family often ask, "so, when are you due?" It's the benchmark date that everyone waits for. When it comes and passes — as it does for the majority of pregnant women — people get impatient and wonder why the baby isn't here yet. The truth is, due dates are just guesses. Only 5 percent of women deliver on their guess date,. They can be off in either direction, but by how many weeks?
What is a VBAC?
The birthing industry comes with quite a few acronyms. If you've ever spent any time in a birthing group on Facebook or parenting websites, you're well aware of them, perhaps. TTC = Trying to Conceive. AF = Aunt Flow. FTM = First Time Mom. NTNP= Not Trying Not Preventing. DS/DD= Dear Son/Dear Daughter. CIO= Cry It Out. AIO = All In One cloth diaper. You get the picture. Any mom worth her salt surely knows what VBAC means. Do you?
Which process is NOT used to turn a breech baby?
Breech babies terrify most of us. It's alright to be worried, but don't let that fear of the what if's persuade you not to go after the vaginal birth that you want. After all, breech really is just another version of a normal birth. It's not impossible to birth a breech baby, given you have a provider that is trained and experienced in such. If not, there are many ways to try to turn a baby first. Which of the following is NOT a method used to turn a breech baby?
Approximately what percentage of women in labor opt for the epidural?
Childbirth is one of the most painful experiences any woman will ever have to endure. While there are a select few out there that feel minimal pain even when going natural, most women agree that labor contractions are indeed brutal. Some women prepare mentally for the pain and conquer a drug-free birth. Others know well in advance that they are interested in one thing only: the epidural. While it does come with side effects, many women still opt for it. Just how many women though?
What percent of labors are induced in America?
Once upon a time, there were very few interventions to employ to help a woman go into labor. Rather, the female body was more respected and medical practitioners trusted the process of allowing it to go into labor when it was time. Today, we are crazy about interventions. We know that every time we mess with a laboring mother's body, we increase the risk of needing more interventions — which means more money in the doctor's and the hospital's pocket. What percent of labors are induced in America?