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Childbirth

Childbirth is the process whereby an infant is born. It is considered by many to be the beginning of the infant's life, and age is defined relative to this event in most cultures.

A woman is considered to be in labour when she begins experiencing regular uterine contractions, accompanied by changes of her cervix primarily effacement and dilation. While childbirth is widely experienced as painful, some women do report painless labours, while others find that concentrating on the birth helps to quicken labour and lessen the sensations. Most births are successful vaginalbirths, but sometimes complications arise and a woman may undergo a cesarean section.
 

Pregnancy Overview
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Physiology of Pregnancy
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Diagnosis of Pregnancy
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Duration of Pregnancy
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Nutritional Care in Pregnancy
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Childbirth
 

During the time immediately after birth, both the mother and the baby are hormonally cued to bond, the mother through the release of oxytocin, a hormone also released during breastfeeding.

CESAREAN SECTION
A Caesarean section, (also C-section, Caesarian section, Cesarean section, Caesar, etc.) is a surgical procedure in which one or more incisions are made through a mother's abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more babies, or, rarely, to remove a dead fetus. A late-term abortion using Caesarean section procedures is termed a hysterotomy abortion and is very rarely performed. The first modern Caesarean section was performed by German gynecologist Ferdinand Adolf Kehrer in 1881.

A Caesarean section is usually performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby's or mother's life or health at risk, although in recent times it has been also performed upon request for childbirths that could otherwise have been natural.

BREAST-FEEDING
Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with breast milk directly from female human breasts (i.e., via lactation) rather than from a baby bottle or other container. Babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk. It is recommended that mothers breastfeed for six months or more, without the addition of infant formula or solid food. After the addition of solid food, mothers are advised to continue breast-feeding up to a year, and can continue until two years.

Human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for babies. There are few exceptions, such as when the mother is taking certain drugs or is infected with human T-lymphotropic virus, HIV, or has active untreated tuberculosis. Breastfeeding promotes health and helps to prevent disease. Artificial feeding is associated with more deaths from diarrhea in infants in both developing and developed countries. Experts agree that breastfeeding is beneficial, but have conflicting views about how long breastfeeding remains beneficial. They also express concerns about the risks of using artificial formulas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. Both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then supplemented breastfeeding for at least one year and up to two years or more. While recognizing the superiority of breastfeeding, regulating authorities also work to minimize the risks of artificial feeding.

Breast milk is made from nutrients in the mother's bloodstream and bodily stores. Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development. Because breastfeeding uses an average of 500 calories a day it helps the mother lose weight after giving birth. The composition of breast milk changes depending on how long the baby nurses at each session, as well as on the age of the child. The quality of a mother's breast milk may be compromised by smoking, alcoholic beverages or caffeinated drinks.

Breast-feeding has several benefits for the child. It provides immunity and thereby decreases the morbidity and mortality rates. Children those who are breastfed are likely to have higher intelligence, less childhood obesity, lesser tendency to develop allergic diseases, less overweight and other long term health benefits.

Mothers too benefit from breastfeeding as the process increases bonding between mother & child. Mother can shed off her extra kilos as the fat accumulated can be used for milk formation. It helps in reducing the chances of developing breast cancer. The hormones responsible for lactation process also helps the uterus and vagina to return to normalcy. Breastfeeding serves as a natural postpartum infertility measure thereby reducing the chances of consequent pregnancy.
 

 
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