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Delivery Tips

Normal Delivery Vs C-Section - Which One Is Better?

Normal Delivery Vs C-Section - Which One Is Better?

Normal delivery or vaginal delivery is when childbirth takes place without the use of any vacuum extraction or forceps. It is basically when a woman goes into labour without the use of any other external drugs which induce labour. C-Section or rather caesarean section is basically when a baby is delivered surgically via an incision in the mother’s abdomen. This is usually performed when a normal delivery can put the child’s or the mother’s health at risk. It is also performed when you are expecting twins or rather multiples.

Why Normal Delivery is preferred over C-Section Delivery?

  1. One of the major benefits of having a normal delivery over a C-Section is that the former leads to a shorter hospital stay as there is no major surgery involved. If there is no surgery involved then obviously the risks associated with it, such as, permanent scarring, severe bleeding, septic infection, are completely eliminated.
  2. Reaction to anaesthesia is another thing that one must consider and it is the most crucial difference between a normal and a C-Section delivery. As C-Section is basically a surgery, the mother is administered an anaesthetic to numb the pain. Sometimes, even spinal anaesthesia is used and the side effects of it include: back pain, prolonged numbness or weakness, shortness of breath and in extreme cases, even maternal morbidity (death during pregnancy).
  3. After C-Section delivery, there can be a severe loss of blood leading to hysterectomy (permanent removal of the uterus).
  4. The best reason to avoid a non-planned C-Section is because, once a C-Section has been done then there is a potential risk of having all your future deliveries done via C-Section.
  5. A research has shown that women who deliver via C-Section are less likely to start early breastfeeding as the recovery time from a surgery is pretty high.

Placenta Previa - Know Everything About It!

Placenta Previa - Know Everything About It!

The placenta is a rich vascular tissue seen in the inner wall of the uterus. It provides nutrition to the growing baby through the umbilical cord. It also helps in removal of wastes from the developing baby. The placenta is usually present on the upper part of the uterus and grows during pregnancy in size and vascularity.

However, if this placenta is towards the lower portion near the cervix, it is known as previa, meaning prolapse. This could happen during the third trimester of pregnancy. There are chances that it will block the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus into the birth canal. This may hinder normal delivery and can be one of the reasons necessitating cesarean section. As the baby tries to push through the placenta, the highly vascular placenta can tear and cause significant bleeding. It can be a big risk to both the mother and the baby.

Occurrence
Placenta previa is quite common and can happen for every 1 in 200 pregnancies. Though what causes it is not very clear, some of the predisposing factors include the following:

  1. Advanced maternal age (35 or more)
  2. Smoking mothers
  3. Have had children
  4. History of C-section
  5. Carrying twins or triplets
  6. History of uterine surgeries

Types
There could be complete previa or total previa.

  1. If the placenta is in the lower portion of the uterus, but not close to the cervix, with about 2 cm distance between the cervix and the placenta tip, it is termed as low-lying placenta.
  2. If the placenta sits on the border of the cervix, but does not cover the opening, it is partial or marginal previa.
  3. When it is in the lower portion and completely covers the cervix, it is complete previa.

Testing
Placental position is monitored throughout pregnancy, and by the second trimester, the doctor can suspect potential previa. Though the placenta may be in the lower half of the uterus during the first trimester, it usually moves up towards the end of the second trimester. If it does not, then the doctor might request for periodic testing to ensure it is in place.

Management

  1. Fresh bleeding during the third trimester is indicative of previa. Managing previa depends on how far you are into the pregnancy and how severe the bleeding is.
  2. If it is minimal, then only observation will suffice. Bed rest with no intercourse, no pelvic exams, and limited travelling is recommended.
  3. If the previa is confirmed and there is no bleeding, a C-section will be scheduled at 37 weeks.
  4. If delivery cannot wait, then the baby will be immediately delivered at the end of 34 weeks, post which the baby and mother will be kept under observation.
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Stretch Marks & Itching - How To Manage It While You Are Pregnant?

Stretch Marks & Itching - How To Manage It While You Are Pregnant?

While pregnancy is a wonderful time as you are anticipating the arrival of your child, it can bring many skin problems along with it. While these are nothing major, you do need to take care of these problems as they may either leave marks on your skin post-pregnancy and even cause discomfort during it. Some of these problems are discussed here.

  • Stretch Marks: Pregnancy stretch marks are minute thin lines, which occur during the later stages of pregnancy on the abdomen. These stretch marks develop when the belly tries to adjust rapidly to the increasing weight of the fetus in the stomach, but the skin cannot withstand the pressure. The elastic fibers under the skin rupture and produce stretch marks.
  • Affected areas: Although not common, the stretch marks can also be found in thighs, buttocks, breasts, upper arm region and the hips in some cases. During pregnancy, the marks look reddish, which gradually transform into white after pregnancy. The marks depend on how quickly you gain weight and how much you gain during pregnancy.

What can be done?
After pregnancy, the stretch marks usually disappear but only a laser surgery can eliminate them. In order to prevent them from appearing at all, the doctors suggest a healthy & balanced diet full of anti-oxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, lots of vegetables & water from the early pregnancy stages. Doctors also suggest exercises like yoga, which will retain the elasticity of the skin.

As your pregnancy develops, you might experience severe (at times recurrent) itching around your growing belly. In order to get rid of the itching, the doctors will recommend the usage of cold moisturizers. You should avoid bathing in hot water and try keeping your skin as moist as possible to get rid of the itching. If the itching tends to be extreme, you should seek the help of a doctor.

Skin Changes
There might be other significant skin changes due to pregnancy. Doctors suspect that an elevated level of pregnancy hormones causes the melanocytes (melanin producing skin cells) to produce an excessive amount of pigments. To avoid the skin changes, the doctors might recommend a prescribed application of sunscreen lotion. Most of the skin changes tend to disappear after delivery. The skin changes that might affect you during pregnancy are:

  1. There might be appearances of several dark patches around your face (melasma or the pregnancy mask).
  2. Development of a dark patch in the adjoining skin between the navel and the pubic region known as linea nigra
  3. There might be a significant darkening of the skin around the nipple regions from the thirteenth to the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy.
  4. During pregnancy, you might also develop numerous pimples in your body.
  5. Some women might experience a certain redness on their hands that tends to be itchy.

Natural & Cesarean Delivery - Which One To Opt For?

Natural & Cesarean Delivery - Which One To Opt For?

Child deliveries during pregnancies are of two types. If you are pregnant or have someone in your family who is then you can either go for caesarean section (or C-section) delivery or normal delivery, which is also known as vaginal delivery. In some case, C-section delivery is chosen by your doctor as it may be a safer option in case you have some health complications. Diabetes, high blood pressure or herpes can cause complication that may in advance let you know whether the delivery procedure would be C-section or the normal one. Here are the pro and cons of both the procedure.

Natural Delivery: Benefits and Disadvantages

  1. Shorter stay in the hospital and time for recovery can help you in case of normal delivery.
  2. It may be physically painful but at the end of the day as it is a natural delivery method and you will experience less postpartum pain.
  3. There would be lesser chances of respiratory problems in your baby.
  4. Normal delivery may cause fear and anxiety which may lead to huge complications. Even your baby may face the risk of being deprived of oxygen from cord compression. 
  5. It is also more painful and unpredictable.
  6. There may be increased chances of pelvic organ prolapses in normal section deliveries.

C-section: Benefits and Disadvantages

  1. You will be well in advance told about the delivery date by your doctor and hence planning is made easy. 2. If you have any infection like herpes chances of your baby being is reduced by c section delivery.
  2. There will be lesser risk of pelvic floor injury and few cases of urinary continence.
  3. There will be no risk of birth-related trauma like bruises and swelling.
  4. There are surgical risks of anesthesia which can cause severe adverse side effects like headache, nausea and vomiting
  5. There are also chances of heart attacks and blood clotting in veins. You may also have chances of postpartum infection in c section delivery.
  6. Numbness around the area of operation and bleeding may require a hysterectomy which is a surgery to remove the uterus.

There are many other pro and cons of the two methods of delivery and you should always consult your doctor and follow proper medications for better delivery of the newborn.

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10 Things You Must Prepare For Natural Delivery!

10 Things You Must Prepare For Natural Delivery!

Are you pregnant and planning on having a natural childbirth? There are several things to keep in mind when considering a natural childbirth. Natural birth involves no interventions and drugs and you need to prepare well for it. Here are some important tips you should follow, if you want to have a natural childbirth:

  1. Choose a birth environment of your choice: You should choose a safe place for giving birth. Many women feel more secure at home and prefer it as the place for giving birth, while some choose a hospital.
  2. Choose a care provider you trust: It is important for you to choose a trustworthy care provider, who will make you feel at ease and will pay respect to your wishes. In the case of giving birth in a hospital, you can opt for hiring a doula.
  3. Prepare your body: It is important to prepare your body physically before natural childbirth. Pregnancy is quite exhausting and makes you want to refrain from activities, but you should walk for some time every day to keep fit. Keeping your body in good shape will help you with stamina during delivery.
  4. Ice Game: You can play the ice game with your partner. It is a game designed to give you a glimpse of how to handle labor pain. This is more of an assessment, meant for giving you an idea about coping with pain of contractions. This method is also ideal for learning to deal with pain.
  5. Educate yourself: It is important for you to read a lot about pregnancy. You should read from the Internet and also from books and stories related to natural childbirth.
  6. Be positive: It is very important for you to maintain a positive state of mind, prior to your natural childbirth. You need to be determined and strong and reiterate to yourself that you are strong and will be able to cope with the process.
  7. Coping strategies: Learn about various coping strategies. Keeping your jaw relaxed, horse lips, and low moaning are some strategies you can try.
  8. Avoid cervical checks: Try avoiding cervical checks as much as possible, as they are not always a progressive measure. You do not have to be too much focused on dilation numbers.
  9. Prepare your partner: Your partner also has to play an important role during your childbirth. You should make him learn all the major facts regarding natural childbirth and let him know about your expectations and hopes for labor.
  10. Change positions during labor: You should try different positions during labor, and not think of being silly.

It is also important for you to get rid of preconceived ideas of natural childbirth from your mind. The process is different in different women, and you must embrace it.

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Normal Delivery - Know More About It!

Normal Delivery - Know More About It!

Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most important functions of a woman’s life, and they have a life long bearing on how her body functions as well. Normal delivery or vaginal delivery is something that a majority of women prefer because it is one of the most normal ways of delivering a baby without having to go through an invasive or surgically induced method that will also include the aid of medication. So what all can you expect when you are going through a normal or vaginal delivery? Here is a quick list.

  1. Birth plan: During the final trimmest of your pregnancy and especially during the ninth month, it is important to have a birthing plan in place. By this time, it will be clear that you are going through your pregnancy in a normal manner without any problems or complications that may have a bearing on the way you will deliver the child. It will be pretty clear that you are going to have a normal delivery, in which case it is important to talk to your doctor and your partner about who will be with you when you deliver the child, and at what point you may ask for an epidural. Also, remember to include the complications that can lead to the employment of other delivery methods like forceps or a caesarean section.
  2. Early phase of delivery: During the early phase of your delivery, the amniotic sac, which is a fluid-filled protective sac, will burst. This sac usually protects the baby. Once this water breaks, you will be in active labour. For many women, the contractions and labour pains begin before the water actually breaks, in which case, the doctor may have to rupture the sac manually or with the help of medication.
  3. Contractions: The tightening and releasing of your uterus is known as a contraction. These contractions will start to come in lesser intervals as the delivery progresses. It is important to keep track of the number of minutes between each contraction as this will help the doctor monitor the delivery. These may not be the most reliable indicator of the progression of your labour and delivery, because sometimes, these contractions may also be false alarms like Braxton Hicks contractions, which may happen at various points during your third trimester.
  4. Opening of the Cervix: The opening or dilation of the cervix will usually take place eventually along with the contractions. Usually, cervix is about 3 to 4 centimeters in length with a passage connecting the vagina with the uterine cavity. When this dilation reaches 10 centimeters, it means that the baby is ready to start crowning. At this point, the contractions will also be closer and you will be urged to begin pushing so that the baby may enjoy safe passage.
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C-Section - How To Recover From It?

C-Section - How To Recover From It?

Babies can enter this world in one of two ways: Pregnant women can have either a vaginal birth or a surgical delivery by Caesarean section, but the ultimate goal is to safely give birth to a healthy baby.

A C-section or Caesarean section is a surgical procedure to remove the baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and then a second incision in the uterus.

A C-section may be a necessity in certain situations, such as delivering a very large baby in a mother with a small pelvis, or if the baby is not in a head-down position and efforts to turn the baby before a woman gives birth have been unsuccessful.

Sometimes the decision by an obstetrician to perform a C-section is unplanned, and it is done for emergency reasons because the health of the mother, the baby, or both of them is in jeopardy. This may occur because of a problem during pregnancy or after a woman has gone into labor, such as if labor is happening too slowly or if the baby is not getting enough oxygen.

Some C-sections are considered elective, meaning they are requested by the mother for non-medical reasons before she goes into labor. A woman may choose to have a C-section if she wants to plan when she delivers or if she previously had a complicated vaginal delivery.

Reasons for a C-section may include-

  1. Health problems in the mother
  2. The mother carrying more than one baby
  3. The size or position of the baby
  4. The baby’s health is in danger
  5. Labor is not moving along as it should

The surgery is relatively safe for mother and baby. Still, it is major surgery and carries risks. It also takes longer to recover from a C-section than from vaginal birth. It can raise the risk of having difficulties with future pregnancies. Some women may have problems attempting a vaginal birth later. Still, many women are able to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

How You Might Feel-

You won’t feel any pain during the C-section, although you may feel sensations like pulling and pressure. Most women are awake and simply numbed from the waist down using regional anesthesia during a C-section.

That way, they are awake to see and hear their baby being born. A curtain will be over your abdomen during the surgery, but you may be able to take a peek as your baby is being delivered from your belly.

However, women who need to have an emergency C-section occasionally require general anaesthesia, so they’re unconscious during the delivery and won’t remember anything or feel any pain.

Recovering from a C-section-

After a C-section, a woman may spend two to four days in the hospital, but it may take her up to six weeks to feel more like herself again.

Her abdomen will feel sore from the surgery and the skin and nerves in this area will need time to heal. Women will be given narcotic pain medications to take the edge off any post-surgery pain, and most women use them for about two weeks afterwards.

A woman may also experience bleeding for about four to six weeks after a surgical birth. She is also advised to not have sex for a few weeks after her C-section and to also avoid strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects.

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Labour Induction - Know Modes Of It!

Labour Induction - Know Modes Of It!

Pregnancy is usually one of the most important times in a woman’s life. Pregnancies are divided into four terms. These include the early term where the delivery happens after 37 weeks, the full term where delivery happens after 39 weeks, the later term where the delivery takes place after 41 weeks and the fourth or post-term stage where the delivery happens after 42 weeks.

If a pregnancy lasts for two weeks longer than the expected due date, a woman is more likely to experience complications. In such situations, it is recommended that a woman induce the labour or has it done by a doctor.

The medical ways to induce labour are as follows:
1. Cervical ripening helps in making the unborn baby anxious and come out of the womb.
2. Breaking or bursting of the amniotic sac that covers the baby within the uterus. This gets the labour started and is also known as amniotomy.
3. Using oxytocin to induce labour as it tends to ripen the cervix and making more space for the delivery around the uterus by lubricating it further.
4. Naturally occurring chemicals like prostaglandins might be used. These tend to soften the cervix to allow cervical stretching. These can either be delivered to the vagina or taken as an oral medication.

It is highly important that women speak with their doctors or specialists to talk about methods of inducing labor since some of the methods mentioned above might turn out to work for some, whereas for the others, they may not be as useful or could also turn out to be harmful. There are chances that a woman might get highly annoyed because of the delay during the post-term stage. However, one should always give different relaxation techniques a try.

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Pre & Post Conception Care - Know Merits Of Them!

Pre & Post Conception Care - Know Merits Of Them!

Conceiving a baby is one of the most joyous experiences for a couple and it can be a healthy one as well if the couple is aware of pre- and post-conception care. While it is true that these days couples are more aware of family planning and pregnancy than they were in the earlier days, it still makes sense to make pre- and post-conception care a part of life when going for a baby.

It is important because:

  • It helps one get pregnant faster – Many times, couples looking to get pregnant think that getting off the pill is sufficient to get pregnant but this is not true. Getting off the pill is just the first step towards conceiving and it has to be supplemented with other steps such as keeping a tab on the ovulation cycle, having intercourse at the most favorable time and with the right technique, eating a nutritious diet, saying no to unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking and much more. It is only when a couple follows these other steps that the woman can get pregnant and this is why it is important to be aware of these pre-conception care steps as they ensure quicker pregnancy.
  • It ensures healthy pregnancy – The nine months of pregnancy are a delicate time for the mother-to-be and she needs to take care of her health to make sure that her baby is also fine. She needs to eat healthily and abstain from harmful lifestyle activities, before as well as after conceiving. Pre-conception care makes sure that the fetus is healthy right from the beginning. The practice of healthy habits and lifestyle prior to and after conception makes the uterus fit to carry the fetus. It ensures that the mother-to-be is also in the right state of mind and body to sail through the pregnancy.
  • It minimizes the chance of miscarriage and post-delivery complications – Miscarriage is something that creates fear in the minds of women and if they have had a history of abortion then they are even more concerned. However, if they know the necessary things about pre - and post-conception care and follow it, they can minimize the chances of miscarriage and also deliver the baby safely. Also, proper care makes sure there are no birth defects in the child and the mother and the baby are healthy after the delivery.

Basic few blood tests need to be done prior to planning pregnancy so that if any variation found, it can be corrected. Also, those women who are already on certain pills, need to reassure that medications that they are taking are safe.

Pre-conception care is vital not just for women but also for men. The latter also need to follow a healthy lifestyle in order to make conception a reality. Healthy lifestyle results in increased sperm count and healthier sperm, which when fertilizes with the eggs, results in a healthy embryo. As for post-conception care, it rests with the woman but being the father-to-be, the man also needs to be educated and mentally prepared for the pregnancy.

He needs to give emotional support to the mother of his child and look after her during the nine months. So, pre- and post-conception care is for the man as well as the woman and therefore, both should learn and get themselves educated about the same.

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Deliver & Post Delivery Pain - How Homeopathy Can Subdue It?

Deliver & Post Delivery Pain - How Homeopathy Can Subdue It?

On a pain scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe, labour pain is one of the most severe pain forms. Most women would agree that life after childbirth feels like a second lease of life. Life takes a complete turn after childbirth, with the added responsibility of having to care for the newborn. In addition, the mother herself has a lot to recuperate from, including the stress of pregnancy and the pain that was endured during delivery. The uterus, which expands to accommodate the growing baby shrinks back to its size which causes severe pain.

While there are chemical medications to the rescue, homoeopathy also offers an effective remedy to manage this phase of life. As with all conditions, homoeopathy believes in treating the individual as a whole and not just provide symptomatic relief. Your homoeopath will ask you a number of questions to arrive at a diagnosis and base treatment on that, which is highly customised.

While the following four products are commonly used, it is always advised to not self-medicate in homoeopathy.

  1. Caulophyllum: Made of Blue Cohosh, this is commonly used during pregnancy and post labour. During labour, it is helpful if the labour is not progressing with the lack of cervical dilation and irregular contractions. Post labour, it is used if the patient has erratic, shooting, or wandering pains that are unbearable. These pains are also coupled with nausea and vomiting. The pain is, however, intermittent and sharp. The patient will be very hungry, chilly, thirsty, weak, exhausted. The woman will also be nervous and excitable.
  2. Cimicifuga [Cimic]: This is useful in women who have postpartum pains that are intense in the groin area, thighs, hips and back. It helps in cervical dilation and reducing rigidity during examination postpartum. The woman is apprehensive, confused, and paranoid.
  3. Pulsatilla: Made from the windflower, it is useful in women who are tearful, sensitive, shy, affection, and requires reassurance. When this reassurance is lacking, she might feel sad, alone, anxious, fearful, or abandoned. There is also an expectation of hugs, consolation, and self-pity. The pain worsens around dusk, the patient craves fatty foods and wishes to be out in the open. There could be other symptoms including varicose veins, nausea, chronic chest congestion, runny nose, and headaches.
  4. Sepia: There is a severe, bearing down pain as if the uterus and everything along with it would just pop out. The patient would have severe depression, indifference to the baby, might have never wanted the baby in the first place. She would be sad, offended easily, and irritable. She might have had children with short intervals.

Talk to your homoeopath and there are definitely ways to relieve the postpartum pains completely.

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