Birthing Environment, Labour Choices, Stages of Labour and the Role of the Midwife

Topics: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Midwifery Pages: 7 (1775 words) Published: May 25, 2015
Task1 - Birthing Environment and Labour Choices
In order to support woman through labour and birth, a choice of three birthing environments are provided. All of which are equipped with suitable birth facilities. NCT (2009) states that, women are entitled to choose where they give birth, with the support of their midwife- who are there as an aid to ensure a straightforward vaginal birth. Despite these options, in some cases- changes can be made at the last minute.

Home birth
A home birth proves to be the easiest option for women who are having a straightforward birth. This birthing environment promotes a natural delivery and birth and provides a minimal use of drugs that are used to support the mother during labour such as; Entonox and Pethidine (Homebirth, 2010) Some women are able to cope with pain more than others so having a home birth wouldn’t be as beneficial for women who are more pain sensitive as access to certain pain reliefs such as epidural would only be accessible in a hospital (Which, 2015). If the mother decides during the labour that she would like access to stronger pain reliefs, she would need to be transferred to the nearest hostpital. This is why it is important to plan the birth environment wisely in order to access different types of pain reliefs.

Birth center
Birth centers is another type of birthing environments where a mother may wish to deliver her baby. This is usually offered to women who are having a low risk pregnancy (Which, 2015). The birth centers give a “home-from-home” approach that allows the mother to feel more relaxed during labour and delivery. As there are not many medical facilities birthing pools and Entonx (gas and air) are usually offered as a form of pain relief (NHS, 2015)

The birthing environment and labour choices may be affected, If there are any complicating factors such as; previous C-sections, breech baby, medical history or twins (Which, 2015). Delivery on a labour ward is more favorable as there are more health care professionals such as an obstetricians who are able to assist with the care and there is more medical equipment such as the use of forceps (NHS, 2014).

Task 2 stages in labour and the midwifes’ role 600-700 words Start of labour
A woman will know when she is in labour as she will start to experience strong contractions and a ‘show’. A show is when mucus plugs from the cervix come out of the vagina. Although some women may have to be induced if: their baby is overdue

the water is taking long to break
the mother or baby has a health problem (NHS, 2014).

There a three stages of labour:
The first stage of labour is when the cervix becomes soft and starts to open (Thewomens, 2015). During this stage the midwife will check how dilated the mother is through an internal examination and will also check the baby’s heart beat with a hand held device (NCT, 2012). The second stage of labour is when the cervix is fully dilated which makes the mother experience more contractions and intense pressure- this will give her the urge to push. The midwife will support the mother in finding a comfortable position. With every contraction the mother will start to feel the baby’s head coming further down in her pelvis. The midwife will encourage the mother to push with each contraction. Once closer to the end of labour as the baby’s head is coming out, midwife will direct the mother to blow instead of push. With the baby heads out the rest of the body will follow with the next contraction. This is the stage the mother has delivered the baby (Bounty, 2001-2015). The third stage of labour begins after the baby has been delivered. The mother will then give birth to the placenta completing the third stage of labour. This can be done naturally or the midwife can give an injection to speed up the process. The midwife will then examine the placenta to ensure nothing has been left behind (Bounty, 2001-2015).

Acceleration (augmentation) of labour...
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