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 The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth

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Join date : 2008-03-09

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PostSubject: The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth   The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth EmptyMon Aug 04, 2008 12:48 am

Following is evidence of the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, which will include
common complications, discomforts, as well as risks to the life and health of pregnant women.

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Fully 42 percent of all pregnancies suffer complications –in rich and poor countries alike –and in 15 percent of all pregnancies, the complications are life-threatening.1

Here are COMMON complications that can arise just from being pregnant:
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Common Complications
Gestational diabetes
Extreme thirst, hunger, or fatigue (but usually no symptoms). Also, a blood sugar value of 140 mg/DL or greater on a diabetes test. This is a form of diabetes that usually occurs in the second half of pregnancy.

High-blood Pressure/Pre-eclampsia
High-blood pressure (usually around 140/90); protein in the urine; swelling of the hands and face; sudden weight gain (1 pound a day or more); blurred vision; severe headaches, dizziness; intense stomach pain.

High-blood Pressure/Pre-eclampsia:
This is pregnancy-related high blood pressure. It can also be called toxemia. Pre-eclampsia usually occurs after about 30 weeks of pregnancy.
Blood pressure test; urine test; evaluation by a doctor. The only cure is delivery, which may not be best for the baby. Labor will probably be induced if condition is mild and woman is near term (37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy). If a woman is not yet ready for labor, her doctor may monitor her and her baby closely. May require bed rest at home or in hospital, until blood pressure stabilizes or until delivery.

Hyperemesis gravidarum
Severe constant nausea and/or vomiting several times every day for the first three or four months of pregnancy. This is severe nausea in the first trimester that can cause malnourishment and dehydration in some women. HG keeps pregnant women from drinking enough fluids and eating enough food to stay healthy. Many women with HG lose more than 5 percent of their pre-pregnancy weight, have nutritional problems, and have problems with the balance of electrolytes in their bodies. If you think you might be vomiting excessively, call your doctor. Your doctor will check you to see if you are dehydrated, which can be dangerous for you and the baby. Many women with HG have to be hospitalized so they can be fed fluids and nutrients through a tube in their veins. Usually, women with HG begin to feel better by the 20th week of pregnancy. But some women vomit and feel nauseated throughout all three trimesters.

Placental Abruption
Vaginal bleeding during the second half of pregnancy; cramping, abdominal pain, and uterine tenderness. This is a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall before delivery. This can deprive the fetus of oxygen. Severe cases (when more than half of the placenta separates) can require immediate medical attention and delivery of the baby.

Placenta Previa
In this condition, the placenta (temporary organ joining mother and fetus) covers part or the entire cervix. Placental previa can cause severe bleeding usually at the end of the second trimester or later.
If diagnosed after the 20th week of pregnancy, but with no bleeding, requires to cut back on activity level and increase bed rest. If bleeding is heavy, requires hospitalization until mother and baby are stable. If the bleeding stops or is light, requires continued bed rest until baby is ready for delivery. If bleeding doesn't stop or if pre-term labor starts, baby will be delivered by cesarean.

Premature or Pre-term Labor
Contractions, either painful or painless, anytime during pregnancy, that occur more than four times an hour, or are less than 15 minutes apart; menstrual like cramps that come and go; abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea; dull backache that may radiate around to the abdomen; increase in or change in color in vaginal discharge; constant or intermittent pelvic pressure.
This is when a woman goes into labor after 20 weeks, but before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

This is a parasitic infection that can be passed on to the baby. The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is sometimes found in cat feces, soil, and raw or undercooked meat.

Flu-like illness with fever, muscle aches, chills, and sometimes diarrhea or nausea that can progress to severe headache and stiff neck.
This infection is cause by the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium can be found in soft cheeses and ready-to-eat deli meats.

Urinary Tract Infection
Pain or burning when urinating; pain in lower pelvis, lower back, stomach or side; shaking, chills; fever; sweats; nausea, vomiting; frequent or uncontrollable urge to urinate; strong-smelling urine; change in amount of urine; blood or pus in urine; pain during sex.
If this infection is left untreated it can spread to the kidneys. This can cause premature, or early, labor.

Ectopic Pregnancy
Slight, irregular vaginal bleeding that often is brownish; pain in the lower abdomen, often on one side, and can be followed by severe pelvic pain; shoulder pain; faintness or dizziness; nausea or vomiting.
In this condition, the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.
Because the embryo of an ectopic pregnancy cannot survive, it is removed surgically; or the woman is treated with a cancer drug, methotrexate, which dissolves the pregnancy.

Post-partum Depression:
Intense feelings of sadness, guilt, despair, helplessness, anxiety, irritability, which may disrupt your ability to function; appetite changes; thoughts of self-harm or harming your baby; "baby blues" haven't gone away after 2 weeks.
This is when women become depressed in the first year after giving birth. This serious problem needs medical attention and treatment.

Soreness or a lump in the breast accompanied by a fever and/or flu-like symptoms; possibly nausea and vomiting; yellowish discharge from the nipple; breasts feel warm or hot to the touch; pus or blood in the milk; red streaks near the area; symptoms could come on severely and suddenly.
This is an infection in the breast.

Fifth Disease:
A low-grade fever and tiredness followed by a facial rash that looks like "slapped cheeks." The rash also can look lace-like and be on the trunk, legs, and arms. Some adults do not have the rash, but may have painful and swollen joints.
This is a viral infection caused by the human parvovirus B19. Most pregnant women who are infected with this virus do not have serious problems. But, there is a small danger that the virus can infect the fetus. This raises the risk of miscarriage during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fifth Disease can cause severe anemia in women who have red blood cell disorders like sickle-cell disease or immune system problems.

Following are common discomforts and more disorders of pregnancy and childbirth. Follow the link at the end to find out more about each one:
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Discomforts During Pregnancy

* The Basics

* Aches and Pains

* Back Pain

* Breast Changes

* Constipation

* Cravings

* Fatigue

* Headaches

* Hemorrhoids

* Incontinence

* Mood Swings

* Morning Sickness

* Mouth / Dental Issues

* Nosebleeds

* Shortness of Breath

* Skin and Hair Changes

* Sleep Issues

* Swelling (Edema), Varicose Veins and Leg Cramps

* Urination Problems

Disorders During Pregnancy

* The Basics


* Amniotic Fluid Disorders

* Bed Rest

* Bleeding

* Blighted Ovum

* Chickenpox (Varicella)

* Cholestasis of Pregnancy

* Deep Vein Thrombosis

* Fibroids of the Uterus

* Group B Strep Infection

* Incompetent Cervix

* Infectious Diseases

* Intrauterine Growth Restriction

* Molar Pregnancy

* Multiples Pregnancy Issues

* Pica

* Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)

* Rubella

Risks Do Not Stop With Birth
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There are many complications that can occur in the six to eight weeks — or even up to a year or more — following a birth. For instance, thyroid disease occurs in 5% of women in the year after giving birth. Other common problems are urinary and fecal incontinence, postpartum depression, pelvic pain, and dental problems.

The CDC has also reported that most maternal deaths occur following birth, during the postpartum period. It is clear that doctors and hospital staff, especially emergency room personnel, need to focus more effort and understanding on women during the postpartum period.

Here is a list of some complications many women suffer during the postpartum period:

Autoimmune Conditions
Back Pain
Blood Transfusion
Breast Mastitis (JAMA April 2003)
Cesarean Complications
Dental Problems
Fecal Incontinence
Gallbladder problems
Heart Problems
Inability to Breastfeed
Painful Intercourse
Pelvic Trauma
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Prolapsed uterus
Retained Placenta
Skin Disorders
Thyroid Problems
Traumatic Birth
Urinary Incontinence
Urinary Retention
Vaginal Reconstruction
Vulva Pain

Every day in the United States, between 2 and 3 women die of maternal complications. For every death there are thousands of other women who suffer serious postpartum complications.

Quantifying Occurrences and A Real Life Story

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So Many US Women Die During Pregnancy -- Many Poor Countries Do Better
The United States has a sharply higher rate of women dying during or just after pregnancy than European countries, even some relatively poor countries such as Macedonia and Bosnia, according to the first estimates in five years on maternal deaths worldwide.

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U.S. women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show.
The U.S. maternal mortality rate rose to 13 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004, according to statistics released this week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The rate was 12 per 100,000 live births in 2003 — the first time the maternal death rate rose above 10 since 1977.
[T]he fact that maternal deaths are rising at all these days is shocking, said Tim Davis, a Virginia man whose wife Elizabeth died after childbirth in 2000.
“The hardest thing to understand is how in this day and age, in a modern hospital with doctors and nurses, that somebody can just die like that,” he said.

No explanation
Sometimes, there is no clear explanation for a woman’s death.

Valerie Scythes, a 35-year-old elementary schoolteacher, died in March at a hospital in New Jersey — the state with the highest Caesarean section rate. She had had a C-section, as did another teacher at the same school who died after giving birth at the same hospital two weeks later.

However, Scythes died of a blocked blood vessel and the other woman died from bleeding, said John Baldante, a Philadelphia attorney investigating the death for Scythes’ family.

“I’m not sure there was any connection between the two deaths,” Baldante said.

Also mysterious was the death of Tim Davis’ 37-year-old wife, Elizabeth, who died a day after a vaginal delivery at a Danville, Va., hospital in September 2000.

She had a heart attack after a massive blood loss, Davis said. It’s not clearly known what caused the heavy bleeding. There was no autopsy, he said, a decision he now regrets.

Two previous births had gone well.

“Nothing led us to believe anything was wrong with this pregnancy. She was like a picture of health,” he continued, noting she had been a YMCA fitness instructor.

A lawsuit against the hospital ended in a settlement. Davis also sued the obstetrician, but a jury ruled in the doctor’s favor.

The child born that day, Ethan, starts second grade next week. “He’s a happy kid,” Davis said. “He’s just never had a mom.”

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PostSubject: Re: The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth   The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth EmptyThu Aug 07, 2008 2:40 am

oopoopoop wrote:
We often hear from the anit-choice so-called "pro-life" contingent that "pregnancy and childbirth are natural" and abortion is "unnatural", and that women should just suck it up, do what nature intended and give the kid up for adoption after birthing it...But just because it is "natural" doesn't mean it's a good thing. This was an interesting article in The Guardian recently:

It says, "While midwives, and the government, advocate natural birth, many female obstetricians opt for a caesarean when they have their own children. Do they know something we don't?" Apparently in the UK around a third of obstetricians choice a caesarian delivery -- and in the US it's 50%!

Why? I think it boil down to two main word: "fecal incontinence".

Quote :
Vaginal delivery is a major factor in womb prolapse, urinary and faecal incontinence. If the woman's perineum or sphincter is damaged during childbirth, she will not necessarily be affected straight after the birth. But when she hits the menopause and the pelvic floor muscles begin to atrophy, problems can arise.

Michelle Thornton, a colorectal surgeon, sees around 100 women a year suffering from faecal incontinence. "I'm seeing the end result of a traumatic birth," she says. "Very few of my colleagues would opt for a vaginal delivery and, if any of them asked me, then it's an elective C-section."

Some 42% of women show some symptoms of urinary incontinence, 4%-12% of women suffer from faecal incontinence. According to Thornton, "If you have a forceps delivery the chance of having faecal incontinence increases to 40% or 45%. If you have an elective caesarean you shouldn't have any issues."

Not all experts agree that the risks of a surgical birth outweigh the benefit of protecting the pelvic floor. But calibrating clinical percentages is different from witnessing the lives of women with faecal incontinence, says Thornton. "It's definitely altered the way I think about childbirth. The thought of being faecally incontinent - to have a life like my patients - I don't think I'm strong enough."

Thornton feels the stigma attached to incontinence is as bad, if not worse than the physical symptoms. "Most are too embarrassed to go out," says Thornton. "They will not go anywhere unless they know there is going to be a toilet. They can't use public transport; they don't go out for meals . . . Only two of them have managed to keep a job, the rest don't because they think they smell all the time. If they cough or sneeze or laugh they know they are going to leak."

Among her patients, Thornton has half a dozen women in their early 30s. They have "bonding issues with their babies . . . as well as young partners expecting to resume a normal sexual relationship. Two of the couples have split up because of the traumas." She counsels patients both psychologically and physically. "Emotionally it is tough," she says. "Having those patients with you when they get upset is tough." When treatments fail, "it's terrible, because the patient is absolutely gutted". Her patients know a permanent colostomy is the only solution. Imparting this news always makes Thornton anxious. "It's a terrible feeling. It's like giving them a cancer diagnosis."


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PostSubject: Re: The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth   The Reality of the Risks and Dangers of Pregnancy and Childbirth EmptyWed Sep 29, 2010 2:24 pm

Well, during the duration of the pregnancy there is require to check out the below factors routinely:

(1) You Should Get Regular Medical Exams
(2) You Should Take Prenatal Vitamins
(3) You Should Eat Plenty of Protein
(4) You Should Eat Well and Get Plenty of Exercise.
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