Many of us are fans of romantic comedies and all those mushy shows and easy births on Netflix. The downside is when moms watch these shows, nothing prepares them for what to expect in labor. When you watch those movies all they depict is a superwoman grinning through the pain, in a well-lit room and an anxious husband who is gently rubbing her hand. One is bound to get a rude shock on baby’s birthday because your expectations are going to be shattered big time. Labor is one of the most painful, challenging and freakiest experiences you ever have to go through.
The truth is, that swanky hospital gown on the movies is an illusion, you will be given a gown with an opening on the back, no idea why it has to be that way, but you may not even notice it because the pain just makes you go cuckoo. With the pain, you will find that you will willingly expose yourself more than that robe ever could. Some women throw up, your body may make the kind of noise that you would prefer not to make, even in your own company, and worse you may even poop while screaming and cursing worse than a sailor.
Then you hear that first cry and it’s all worth it. But just when you think it’s over, you have to push again and give birth to the placenta. If you thought that was bad, hold on to your seat because there is a detailed list of 15 decisions doctors make the day the baby is born.
15 A C-Section Or V-Birth? The Doctor Will Decide
For most of us, the reason to have a C-section is purely a choice. We have a phobia of pain and an even bigger phobia for those embarrassing moments that may or may not be caught on camera and we are scared of the after-delivery looks and jokes. Apart from those of us who are too posh to push, there are those whose doctor has to make the difficult decision whether a vaginal birth is viable or they are headed for a C-section.
According to Web MD, some C-sections are scheduled long before you show up in the hospital in labor. There are, however, some C-sections that are snap decisions that the doctor has to make to either save your life, the babies life or both. These are C-sections that are advised due to some complication during birth, such as placenta abruption or maybe the child is tired or if you have labored for too long. Whatever the reason, how a doctor makes this decision determines whether you live or die and what fate the child will have.
14 Will Mom Push On Her Back Or In The Squat Position?
Traditionally, women are expected to labor on their back. It's only recently that a few ‘new’ methods for labor have made an appearance. These days you do not have to go to the hospital and lie on your back. You can choose to squat, or even cooler, have a water birth. Whatever your preferred choice, your doctor holds the final say on what method to use. Sometimes, when the pain is too much, some women have been known to squeeze their legs together, which hurts the unborn child.
This is the reason most doctors choose the lying back method. It's considered safer since the doctor is able to control and see what is going on.
When the patient squats there are chances of the doctor not being in the know if something untoward is about to happen or if the baby is coming out feet first instead of the other way around.
13 When Should The Cord Be Cut?
Cutting the cord, in most cases these days, is usually a family affair for those brave family partners who accompany the mother into the labor room, according to Metro.co.uk. It appears that 40 percent of newborn babies have their cords cut at the wrong time. It is recommended that there is an optimal cord clamping or (OCC) time, which allows blood from the placenta to transfer to the baby.
In this case, the doctor chooses whether to use OCC or not. Often times, even though the mother has portrayed her desire to do so, doctors may disregard her desires and do it faster. Cutting the code earlier has been shown to deprive the newborn of up to a 1/3 of their blood volume. If this can be remedied, it can only be beneficial to the newborn. This decision that doctors make tends to be advised by the urgency in the labor room.
12 Will The Overhead Lights Be Dimmed?
This one is not a big deal, but for those of us who squirm at the idea of anyone invading our privacy in this way, this is a big big deal. When you go into the labor room, you are put on a bed and on that bed, there are strong overhead lights.
These lights are supposed to help the doctor see while he/she is assisting you, especially if forceps have to be used.
Low visibility during birth is what brings about those freaky accidents like stabbing with forceps or clamping wrong. The thought of these lights gives some women goosebumps and it is enough to turn you off completely. The doctor who understands your predicament may recommend the use of natural light with the lights placed at a different position facing a different angle for your privacy area.
11 Which Medicine Will The Newborn Get?
Immediately after the baby is born, the doctor has to suction the baby’s nose and mouth to clear his airwaves and ensure he is breathing properly. This is done because the amniotic fluid he was living in is still everywhere and needs to be removed now that he no longer has to depend on it. It is also at this time that the doctor will put an antibiotic ointment in his eyes to prevent eye infections.
This should not be skipped, as these are fairly new eyes that have not encountered any of the pollutants around and having had amniotic fluid in and out of them, they require protection. It is also during this time that the newborn receives a vitamin K shot to prevent clotting issues. This shot is delivered to the thigh. Talk about a rude welcome. With all the preventative measures that are taken immediately after birth, one has to wonder how the human race managed to survive without it all that.
10 Should Mom Be Induced?
When one is pregnant, you expect to go through the whole nine months and have the baby normally (not that a C-section is abnormal). On most occasions though, this rosy dream never comes true and there are those days when you go to the hospital for a routine checkup and the doctor advises an induction. For those who have gone through this process, we all know that the process is horribly painful.
According to BabyCenter, the decision by the doctor to induce is usually made based on your health status.
If the risks involved in waiting for the onset of labor are higher than those of an induction, then the doctor will recommend it.There are also those cases where the water breaks and labor does not kick in. Since we know the baby requires the amniotic fluid to survive, in this case, induction becomes an emergency.
9 Will Mom's Downstairs Be Cut?
Contrary to popular belief, popping a baby does not literally mean popping a baby. Babies don’t just pop, as depicted by one popular meme; they sometimes want a few more minutes to tweet their status. Here you are fully dilated and the baby is stuck, somehow unable to get out, his heart rate has dropped and it is necessary to have an expedited labor. This is the time when the doctor has to make a hasty decision to perform an episiotomy or not.
An episiotomy is a situation where the doctor makes a cut along the perineum, that area between your va-jaja and anus. Even though this is an old-fashioned way of dealing with birth, most doctors still insist on it and the worse thing is that some medical practitioners do a botched job of it so that you may wind up with months of pain. According to Belly Belly, it has emerged that episiotomies are not really of any benefit. Natural tears heal much better and faster than an episiotomy, but for the sake of your child, it is wise to go with the doctor’s decision.
8 Will Fetal Monitoring Be Used?
This decision can be rescinded by the mother but to do this, one is required to sign a consent form relieving the staff of any liability in case of any issues with the baby. When you are on a fetal monitor, you can hear the baby’s heartbeat. According to FamilyEducation, the benefits associated with continuous fetal monitoring are universally agreed on.
Babies who were monitored continuously have reduced chances of getting after-birth seizures associated with low oxygen.
There is a downside though, this is that babies who are monitored too much are born through a C-section or an assisted forceps birth. This is because in most cases, the doctor is bound to panic more than she would if there was no electronic monitor. The decision to use the fetal monitor, if made by the doctor, has been seen to reduce issues during birth as opposed to no monitoring.
7 V-Birth After A C-Section?
Not long ago, C-sections used to be crude and unrefined. Those are the days when the scar would go through the stomach and it would take weeks before it would heal, turning you into a total invalid. These days, the scar is small and dainty and it goes over the panty line making it possible for you to be up on your feet in a day or two. After one cesarean section, it was understood that the subsequent births would be caesarian.
No doctor dared attempt a vaginal birth after this. These days though, it is possible to have a V bath with the right kind of preparation. The only recommendation here is that you space out your pregnancies to at least a year. After this, you should have an epidural to reduce the chances of a uterine rupture. In case an emergency occurs during the process, it makes the move to a C-section easier.
6 Will Mom Get An Epidural?
For those of us who are afraid of pain, choosing an epidural is always a no-brainer. Doctors may be forced to recommend an epidural to laboring mothers who have high blood pressure. An epidural can be a bad idea for mothers who have low blood pressure as it tends to bring the blood pressure down. While having an epidural will give you resting time in between your labor pain and you can even be tweeting as you wait, the pleasure comes with a downside as it can take longer for you to recover according to Metropolitan Momma.
Unfortunately, an epidural also interferes with the letdown of breastmilk which means if you were planning to exclusively breastfeed your child, this dream may be cut short.
The worst thing that happens to a woman after birth is incontinence. Some woman just can't hold it in and you find yourself going through more diapers than the baby. An epidural prevents this.
5 Resuscitate Or Not?
After a low Apgar test, the doctor has some decisions to make, resuscitate only or put in place some life-saving techniques, as well as resuscitation, to save a newborn. This split second may determine whether the child will live or die. It is also what determines whether you get to take your bundle of joy home or go straight to ER.
A doctor who is quick on his feet always comes out of the labor room with a smile as he is able to make the right decision, even under the pressure of labor. By the time a baby is born everyone is tired, from the mother to the child, and including the doctor and nurses. Doctors are, however, trained to be proactive and able to know the difference between needing resuscitation or not.
4 Will Medicine Be Needed To Speed Up Labor?
There are women who have busy lifestyles and they want to go into the labor room and come out like a flash. This is not usually possible as every labor is different and each baby nests in there for as long as he desires and takes his time to come out. There are medical interventions to ensure that you do not spend the whole day in the hospital with some nurse shoving their hands where the sun don't shine to see how far you have dilated.
While it is not advisable to rush labor, there are some benefits in doing so.
One of them being is that you will not get as tired as you would if you were to go through the regular process that is involved in active labor. With speeded up labor, the pain is also reduced as prolonged labor can be something else. There are also fewer chances of there being a necessity for medical interventions as the baby will also not get tired.
3 To Snip Or Not To Sip?
While this is primarily the parent's decision, the doctor may make the decision not to circumcise, especially if the baby has some medical issues or is premature. While most people consider circumcision at birth to be less painful to the child, as well as the fact that babies tend to heal faster, the procedure is still considered controversial and some doctors refuse to take a part in it.
Many make the decision to circumcise based on religious beliefs, while others feel that it is ultimately more sanitary to remove the extra bit of skin on the penis. It is known that it can harbor bacteria that can cause problems and it is often hard to keep clean. If parents don’t have a religious reason to have it done or not done, it is a good idea that they educate themselves on the risks and benefits and make an informed decision. If your OB is against it, you can have it done later by an agreeable pediatrician.
2 When To Do The Apgar Test?
When a baby is born, there are various assessments carried out on him immediately after birth. To do this test, the doctors use something called the Apgar test, which was named after doctor Virginia Apgar, who is an anesthesiologist.
This test helps to evaluate the newborn's condition at one minute and then again at five minutes after birth.
To do this, they check the pulse rate, the muscle tone activity, the reflex irritability; which is the grimace, the skin color appearance, and the respiration. For a newborn to be considered normal, he is expected to score between 7 and 10. If the baby scores between four and six, then he requires some form of resuscitation, probably to supply oxygen and if he gets a score of below three on the Apgar test it is an indication that he requires emergency resuscitation, as well as life-saving measures.
1 When Should Visitors Be Allowed In?
Baby is here and the cord has been clamped and she has been wiped to make her look presentable. It is now time to do the meet and greet. The emotional aspect of this first meeting requires that a mother who has had a particularly laborious labor is allowed to meet her baby quickly in order to lift her spirit up, as well as make the whole ordeal seem worthwhile. The meet and greet are advisable for the mother, but the other members of the family should be requested to wait to do so until after all the tests have been carried out. The baby should also receive the after birth vaccines to give him some form of immunity from communicable diseases. Remember, up to now the baby has been in a bubble and all the opportunistic diseases in the world are something he is susceptible to, even with immunity from the mother, it is advisable to take some precautionary measures.