Every woman dreams of becoming a mother. And when it’s finally coming true, even a slight hiccup can be worrisome. For some women, pregnancy and childbirth are a breeze. No nausea or labor room complications, and a healthy baby to show for it. But for others, it’s a different story.
For some, pregnancy and childbirth can be fraught with dangers, from low birth weight and preterm labor to more serious risks like placental abruption, uterine rupture, and postpartum hemorrhage.
Fortunately, most of these risks can be taken care of with proper prenatal care. While most women solely depend on their OB-GYN to take care of them during pregnancy, there are things that you can do to lower your risks even further. To help ensure your pregnancy is a time worth remembering for all the right reasons, we will fill you up on some details about the unwanted risks and how to avoid them.
Learn More About Child Birth Injuries:
A childbirth injury is defined as any damage that occurs to the baby or mother during labor and delivery. Childbirth injuries can be minor, like bruises, or more serious, like broken bones.
Many different types of childbirth injuries can occur. Some of the most common include:
- Shoulder dystocia – where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during delivery
- Cephalohematoma – a bruise on the baby’s scalp
- Brachial plexus injury – when the nerves in the baby’s shoulder are damaged
- Caput succedaneum – a swelling on the baby’s scalp
There are also more severe conditions like cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy that can result from childbirth injuries. If you want to learn more about them, childbirthinjuries.com is a good resource.
Here, we’d also like to mention that mothers are not immune to risks and injuries during childbirth.
Tearing of the perineum, hemorrhoids, episiotomy, and pelvic floor damage are all too common.
While some of these conditions are treatable with home remedies or over-the-counter medication, some may require more invasive procedures or surgery.
Knowledge is power, and being well-informed about the risks and dangers of childbirth is the best way to avoid them. So, when you start looking for ways to lead a healthy pregnancy, don’t forget to research different childbirth injuries and how to avoid them.
Know Your Ob-Gyn:
Your OB-GYN is your best ally during pregnancy. They will be with you every step of the way, from your first ultrasound to your baby’s first breath.
That being said, not all OB-GYNs are good at communicating risks and possible complications. Some may downplay the seriousness of certain conditions, while others may gloss over them completely.
Look for reviews online, ask your friends and family for recommendations, and interview multiple doctors before you settle on one.
Some factors that will assist you in determining if an OB-GYN is right for you are their bedside manner, how they make you feel, and if they are open to answering all your questions. Of course, their experience and credentials are also necessary.
You should also ensure they have privileges at a hospital that you are comfortable with in case you need to be admitted for any reason.
Never Miss Your Prenatal Appointments:
Prenatal appointments are important because they allow your OB-GYN to check on the progress of your pregnancy and your baby’s development.
They will also use this time to monitor your weight, blood pressure, and urine for protein levels. Based on these readings, your doctor can detect if you are at risk for complications.
Some conditions, like preeclampsia, can be managed by close monitoring and early intervention.
Similarly, if your baby is not growing at the expected rate, your doctor may recommend dietary changes or additional supplements. These prenatal vitamins, like folic acid, are important because they help prevent congenital disabilities like brain and spinal damage.
Your doctor will also brief you on what to expect during labor and delivery. It is your chance to ask any questions about the process.
Remember, no question is too silly. It is your first time giving birth, and, chances are, your OB-GYN has seen it all before.
Exercise is a Must:
As we mentioned, mothers are at risk of childbirth injuries too. Some of these are preventable with regular exercise.
For example, pelvic floor damage is a common problem that can lead to incontinence and prolapse. It happens when the muscles and tissues in the pelvic floor are weakened or torn.
Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You can do these exercises anywhere since they don’t require any special equipment.
Another benefit of exercise is that it helps you manage your weight. Being overweight during pregnancy increases your risk for complications like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.
It can also make breathing harder and more susceptible to injuries like pulled muscles and broken bones.
So, if you’re not used to exercising, now is the time to start. Always get your doctor’s permission before you begin any new workout routine.
Stay Away from Teratogenic Substances:
Many childbirth complications, like congenital disabilities and developmental disabilities, are caused by teratogenic substances.
These chemicals or drugs can interfere with the development of the fetus.
The most well-known teratogen is alcohol. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause various problems, from developmental delays to organ damage.
Smoking is also a big no-no. It increases your risk of complications like preeclampsia and can lead to low birth weight and preterm delivery.
Other substances to avoid include certain medications, illicit drugs, and even herbal supplements.
So, talk to your doctor before you take anything, even if it’s over-the-counter. You never know if it could be harmful to you or your baby.
Childbirth is an amazing and miraculous event. But it’s also one that comes with a lot of risks and dangers. That’s why it’s so important to be well-informed and take steps to reduce your risk of injury. Start with making small changes in your lifestyle, like eating healthy and exercising. Then, move on to handling tasks of bigger responsibility, like choosing the right OB-GYN. Every pregnancy is unique, so don’t blindly follow what worked for someone else. Instead, listen to your body and trust your instincts.