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Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery: Somehow, It’s all Worth It
by admin on: July 25th, 2011

The process of bringing a baby into the world is not for the faint of heart. It is a major endurance contest, one that is driven by a woman’s innate desire to bring a new person into the world.

Conceiving a baby “the old fashioned” way is the easy part as long as a couple is fertile and the woman is in her child bearing years. Women’s fertility begins with the onset of her menstrual periods, somewhere between ages 11 to 16. In her early childbearing years, (the teens and 20s) many women become pregnant easily, which is why it is so important for young women who want to control their fertility to use reliable birth control.

Though it’s often been thought that the odds of conceiving a baby begin to lessen once she reaches age 35, researchers are now saying that this stage actually becomes much earlier. A report conducted by an Italian-American research group found that women’s fertility (the odds of her becoming pregnant during her menstrual cycle) actually starts to lessen by her late 20s. What this means is though it is still possible for women to become pregnant in their later years (their 30s and early 40s), it will take longer. The later in life a woman tries to become pregnant, the less chance she will have of achieving a successful pregnancy.

Finally, once a woman and her unborn child have made it through the first trimester (which is when miscarriage most frequently occur and when some women experience morning sickness), she will begin preparing for the delivery of her baby.

It is during this final run-up to the delivery that the mother must consider how she wants the baby to be delivered and if she is going to use painkillers.

The pain of labor is formidable and mothers-to-be get bombarded with advice about how to deal with it. Some women opt for a natural delivery, using breathing techniques to help manage pain and sometimes having a midwife or other “coach” with them during the birth to offer emotional support. At the same time, the pain of labor can be so overwhelming; many women opt for some pain relief.

The options available today range from tranquilizers to epidural and spinal blocks. Tranquilizers are used rarely these days, as while they do relieve anxiety in the mother, they also make the newborn baby less active and have an impact on the baby’s muscle tone.

Epidurals or spinal blocks are the most frequently used pain relief today, as these pain relievers are regional and block pain without affecting the mother’s consciousness. These pain relievers are injected into the area around the spine and block pain temporarily. The epidural usually lasts about two hours before another injection is needed. The spinal block will usually last for two hours but will only be given once.

Why does a woman go through all of this? The end result of this endurance contest is a baby ???????? a living miracle of nature who makes it all worthwhile.

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