Pregnancy and its events

  • February 21, 2019

During pregnancy, several transformations occur in the body of the woman who prepares to receive a new life. We call pregnancy the period of growth and development of one or more embryos within the uterus. For pregnancy to occur, it is necessary that the egg, female gamete, be fertilized by the spermatozoon, male gamete. The result of this fertilization gives rise to the zygote, which after several mitoses becomes the embryo. When this embryo reaches the uterus, it attaches to the uterine wall in a process known as nidation , which usually occurs on the 7th day after fertilization. As soon as the nesting occurs, one begins the pregnancy , also called gestation. In the human species, the pregnancy lasts approximately nine months or about thirty-nine weeks.

During the first few weeks after fertilization, the expectant mother still does not feel the effects of pregnancy, but that does not mean that her baby is not developing, on the contrary, it keeps growing every second. As the woman’s body is preparing to house a new being, it will also undergo various transformations. The first one is the absence of menstruation, which occurs by the production of certain hormones that prevent the peeling of the endometrium. From the fourth week after fertilization, the embryo begins to produce the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin beta or beta-HCG, which causes symptoms such as nausea, tiredness and pain in the breasts. During this period, pregnancy tests marketed in pharmacies may not be able to detect the hormone present in the urine, but a blood test will certainly be able to detect pregnancy. As soon as the woman learns that she is pregnant, it is extremely important that she initiates the prenatal care with a doctor she trusts. This monitoring is important for both the mother’s health and the baby’s health. The future mother should also worry about the food she eats, because raw or undercooked foods can transmit diseases such as toxoplasmosis, which can reach the embryo causing serious damage and even death of the baby.

Approximately in the seventh week of gestation, a mucus plug intended to prevent contact of the uterus with the external environment will develop in the cervix, giving the baby greater protection. The pregnant woman is likely to experience mild cramping as the embryo is implanted in the uterus. It is very important to remember that severe cramps and bleeding are not normal and that if any of these symptoms occur, the woman should contact her doctor immediately. The human pregnancy occurs as a consequence of the fertilization of the secondary oocyte (female gamete) with the spermatozoon (male gamete); usually between 24 and 36 hours after the oocyte has been released by the ovary. This is a period that presents several essential, and quite specific, events, gradually forming a new living being, with characteristics of its kind, and significant similarities with its parents. For this, successive mitoses occur, in addition to processes related to cell differentiation. Human gestation usually lasts for nine months, its beginning usually counting from the first day of the last menstrual period; if the exact date of conception is not known to the pregnant woman. To facilitate the accounts, considering that there are months of 31, 30 or even 28 days, it is also common to adopt the weekly calculation, instead of monthly. Thus, it can be said more punctually that the pregnancy lasts on average 280 days, or 40 weeks.

Knowing each of these steps is interesting because it allows you to know what your typical symptoms are and also helps to identify at what stage of development the baby is. It is worth remembering that more important than this, is to do prenatal follow-up. The sooner, the better, that is: from the suspicion of pregnancy, the woman can already seek this care; and the interval between two queries should not exceed 8 weeks. Prenatal care allows future mothers to receive the appropriate guidelines regarding the care they must take with their pregnancies, from feeding to prevention or early treatment of diseases, mainly due to a range of tests that are required. In addition, prenatal care guides them about childbirth and the care that should be taken after the child is born. It is worth remembering that the Unified Health System (SUS) guarantees free care for all pregnant women. In this section you will find the main events and care related to the human gestational process. It is worth remembering that here are considered lunar months, that is: 28 days, 4 weeks and, therefore, there is also the 10th month. The pregnancy is an extremely remarkable period and dreamed of a large number of women. There are nine months of anguish, doubts and also happiness and new discoveries. The gestation ends with the delivery, an extremely delicate moment characterized by the expulsion of the fetus and also the embryonic attachments.

The delivery, being the most important moment of all pregnancy, must be preceded by a very meticulous prenatal. Knowing the baby’s developmental conditions is essential to know how birth can be conducted. There are two main types of delivery: the normal one , in which we have the natural way of giving birth, and the cesarean section, where a cut is made in the abdomen for the withdrawal of the baby. The first type, despite being the healthiest mode of delivery for not involving surgical procedure, is not always the first option of the pregnant woman. This is due to the fact that, when scheduling the delivery, doctors and mothers ensure greater convenience, in addition to avoiding the long hours of waiting for a normal delivery. However, although it seems the most adequate way to perform the delivery, the scheduling of the cesarean section is discouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO), mainly because it often causes premature birth. It is estimated that 40% of all deliveries in our country are Caesarean. If we analyze only the private network, the cesarean section represents 80% of deliveries. It is important to note that the WHO recommends that cesarean sections should not represent more than 15% of birth forms in a country.

According to the WHO, cesarean section is an emergency surgery and should be treated as such , so it is unnecessary to perform this procedure when the pregnancy is not at risk or the woman does not present serious health problems. Several studies report that normal delivery is much safer than cesareans, which have a relatively high number of maternal and infant deaths. Among the main risks, we can mention the infections, hemorrhages and complications from anesthesia. In addition, children born with normal labor usually have fewer cases of respiratory, autoimmune and even obesity.  However, it is not always possible to perform a normal delivery, at which time a surgical intervention is necessary. Among the main problems that may indicate a cesarean section, we can highlight the baby “seated”, placenta previa, rupture uterine and early detachment of the placenta. A childbirth model that is gaining momentum throughout the world is the humanized one . This type of delivery makes the time of birth as welcoming as possible, allowing the woman to choose the position at the time of delivery and the people who will be with her at that time. In addition, the minimum possible medical intervention is prioritized. Through this way of giving birth, the mother’s first contact with the newborn occurs more quickly.

In humanized childbirth, the presence of the doula, a person responsible for indicating ways to alleviate pain, is also common, as well as ensuring greater emotional support for the pregnant woman and the father of the child. Although the presence of this person is very important for some pregnant women, it is not all maternities that allow them to enter. Another important point about humanized childbirth concerns the presence of doctors. This measure is necessary, although there are few interventions, to guarantee a safe and uncomplicated delivery for the mother. Childbirth is a special moment in the life of a couple and therefore must be carried out respecting the needs and wants of each individual. Listening to the mother at this time ensures that experience is as traumatic as possible and that is why there is a growing demand for humanized deliveries. With the texts that are set out below, you will know a little more about births, when each type should be performed and why caesarean is still indicated, despite its risks. You will also know the different positions of labor and places that guarantee a less painful experience, such as water birth .

Cesarian in History

Before they invented cesarean delivery, all women had their babies through normal delivery. Sometimes complications occurred during childbirth, and as there were no techniques for withdrawing the baby, one could expect the death of the mother, the child, or both. Many claim to be a myth that the name “Caesarean” originated in the way the emperor Julius Caesar would have come into the world, since following a law that existed in Ancient Rome, this type of operation was only done after the death of the mother, in order to save the fetus still alive, which did not happen to Julius Caesar, because his mother, Aurelia, survived after childbirth, having five more children after him. All babies that survived after being removed from the womb of the deceased mother were called caesareans or caesars , hence the name of this type of delivery. The earliest cesarean delivery was reported in 1500, in a small Swiss town called Sigershaufen, and was performed by a man named Jacob Nufer, in his own wife. Jacob was a simple man, accustomed to castrating sows, and seeing the suffering of his wife at the time of childbirth he decided, with the help of two more midwives, to deliver the baby from an incision in the abdomen of the woman in labor. After the baby’s withdrawal, Jacob closed the cut, just as he did with the sows he castrated. The mother recovered well and the delivery did not cause any problem to the baby who had normal development. After this fact, Jacob’s wife gave birth to five more babies, all of them in normal birth.

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