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SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported September 4, 2013

Dr. Lynch: Delivering Babies at the Hospital and the Zoo

BIRTH IN THE UNITED STATES

Around four million children were born in the United States in 2010.  Here are some interesting things you may not know about pregnancy and childbirth in the United States. (Source: www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/delivery.htm)

Labor: What to Expect: When a woman goes into labor, it signals that the baby is ready to be born. While certain aspects of labor can differ between individuals, there are some signs and stages every woman can expect. These include:

  • Ruptured Membranes – Called “water breaking,” fluid gushes or leaks from the vagina signaling that the amniotic sac surrounding the baby has ruptured and labor should begin in the next 24 hours.
  • Contractions – Contractions are uterine muscle spasms which can begin before labor. However, labor begins once the contractions are occurring less than 10 minutes apart and they help the woman to push the baby out.
  • Cervical Dilation – As labor begins, the cervix will start to dilate so that the baby can move through it. Once the cervix is completely open, a woman can push the baby out. (Source: www.webmd.com/baby/guide/normal-labor-and-delivery-process)

Childbirth Options: Today, women have a variety of childbirth options including where they would like to give birth, what kind of care provider they want to use to deliver, and whether or not the choose to use drugs during delivery. Three traditional care providers women can choose are an obstetrician (full medical doctor specializing in pregnancy), a family practitioner (physicians who treat the whole family), and midwives (which use the least amount of medical intervention). Women can also decide between a hospital, birthing center, and home birth as to where they want to deliver. (Source: www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/birthingchoices.html)

 

SMART WOMAN CONTACT:

Anne DeLotto Baier,
Director of Public Affairs
University of South Florida
(813) 974-3303
abaier@health.usf.edu

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