Pregnancy is hard work and it doesn’t get any easier when it comes to labor.
It’s not a surprise that many women, exhausted from hormonal, physical, emotional changes, and every person asking them “How are you feeling?”, are ready for the end!
Unfortunately many women are choosing to end their pregnancy early due to convenience rather than medical necessity. From 1990 to 2006,the rate of induction doubled, with nearly 2/3rds of women having c-sections, according to NPR.org.
A full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks or longer, especially in first pregnancies. While babies born at 37 weeks are considered full-term, there’s a substantial difference in those 3 weeks. The last trimester is mostly dedicated to the growth and development of the brain, heart, lungs, immune system, and other organ systems. The risk of required intensive care and even infant death increases when the baby is born early – even 2 weeks before the due date.
Doctors across the country have been trying to educate women (and other doctors) not to schedule deliveries before 39 weeks. In 15 months of effort, they’ve successfully reduced pre-term deliveries from 15% to 5%, and reduced the number of children admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.
Pregnancy is natural. Occasionally there are complications that require medical intervention, and that’s what medicine is for – emergencies! But those events are few and far between compared to the rate of c-sections (1/3rd of pregnancies in the US). Here are a few tips to avoid the need for emergency intervention:
- Prepare – Research different birth options as you plan on getting pregnant or find out that you’re expecting. Mothering Magazine is a great resource. Choose an option that works for you. Create a birth plan so your provider knows exactly what you want and that will support you in your effort. Think outside the box like having a midwife or doula.
- Wait it out – There’s a chiropractic expression “The body needs no help, just no interference.” The baby will come when he/she is ready. What would happen if you took the turkey out early on Thanksgiving? Unfortunately we’re told baby has a “due date”, like a credit card bill. The reality is unless the date of conception is clearly known, it should be considered a “due month” – ultrasound is notoriously unreliable in determining age of the fetus. Take your time, baby will come.
- Don’t cut the cord – Blood (and the oxygen it carries) will continue to pump into the baby through the umbilical cord for several minutes after birth. It is estimated that one-third of the baby’s blood is still in the placenta. Leave the cord attached until it stops pulsating and your baby will get all the blood it deserves!
- Get adjusted! – Chiropractic adjustments help pregnant women experience a safer, healthier, and more comfortable pregnancy and birth. Subluxations (misaligned vertebra putting tension on the nervous system) distort the pelvis and uterus and can interrupt the normal progression of labor. Getting adjusted helps labor progress naturally and facilitate a healthy birthing experience for both mother and baby.
For more information on natural pregnancy and childbirth, contact our office to set up a workshop for you and a group of friends.