Labour and childbirth

Flashcards by kerensa.clark, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by kerensa.clark almost 6 years ago


These flashcards focus on supporting a woman during the labour, birth and post-birth stages

Resource summary

Question Answer
What is the Apgar Test? A test devised by Victoria Apgar in 1953 to assess the immediate wellbeing of the new-born baby
What is the other term used for "jaundice?" Hyperbilirubinaemia
What is the cause of jaundice in the new-born? Some new-born infants are born with a high haematocrit level meaning they are then unable to break down bilirubin fast enough in the liver, meaning it builds up creating the characteristic yellow tinge
What is the treatment for jaundice? Jaundice will naturally pass over the first few weeks of a baby's life as it is excreted through urine and faeces.
Why do new-born babies require a Vitamin K injection after they are born? Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting in the blood. New-borns do not have adequate levels of this until they are on milk products therefore impairing their clotting mechanisms putting the baby at risk of haemorrhagic disease
What is the significance of a new-born (neonatal) assessment? To determine a baseline for the new-born's wellbeing. This establishes a starting point for the development of the neonate and is also important to determine there are no health issues from birth that could impact on the neonates development.
Why is the hormone "oxytocin" so vital for a labouring woman? There is evidence that suggests oxytocin is involved in uterine contractions, and it is released in response to cervical ripening
Name a hormone that is commonly given to induce labour `Oxytocin is the hormone most commonly used to induce labour and is also used as a cervical ripening agent.
What is a "lochia discharge"? This is the discharge from the vagina that continues over the 3-6 weeks following birth. It contains mainly blood and pieces of chorionic villi from the placental site and various other cells.
What is the "moro" reflex? Also known as a startle reflex, this is usually in response to a loud noise and is characterised by extension outwards of arms and fingers with the arms slowly returning to the chest in a "hug" position.
What is the grasp reflex? This occurs when an item is touched to the palm or sole of a new-born. The fingers and toes will curl inwards.
Explain the stepping reflex. This occurs as an indication of mature extension/flexion mechanisms in the new-born and looks as if the baby is "walking". When supported in a standing position with the soles of bare feet on a flat surface, the baby will lift his or her feet.
What are the main hormones responsible for milk production in a breastfeeding woman? Oxytocin stimulates the ejection of milk during lactation and prolactin maintains milk production
Is breastfeeding an effective method to deter pregnancy? Breastfeeding generally delays the resumption of the reproductive cycle. The length of time varies between women, but it could be as little as a month to until after a woman has ceased breastfeeding all together. Therefore it cannot be used reliably as a birth control method.
Explain why menstruation may be delayed in some breastfeeding women. Prolactin is released in response to breastfeeding which inhibits the release of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus. This in turn inhibits the ovarian cycle.
Name some benefits of water birth for a labouring woman Relaxes woman during labour, less operative deliveries, less perineal trauma, provides a medium of support, reduces need for pain relief drugs, encourages instinctive birthing behaviour,
Name some benefits of water birth for the baby Reduced need for pain relief means baby is more alert at birth, smooth trauma-free passage into the world, gentle first breath into humidified warm air.
What is "effacement"? Shortening and thinning of the cervix as the internal os dilates and becomes part of the lower uterus
Explain dilation This occurs when the external os increasingly dilates as a result of uterine contractions causing a retraction of the uterus
What is "amniotomy"? This is artificial rupture of the membranes, often used to accelerate labour
Vaginal examinations (VE) are used during labour to assess progress in labour. Explain what it is a midwife is assessing in a VE. The midwife will note the cervix level of effacement and dilation; identify the presenting part (head v buttocks); position of the presenting part; membranes -intact or ruptured; spines and presenting part in relation to them (stations)
We hear a lot about "transition" in labour. What is this exactly? Transition can be described as the stage where typically women may become agitated and restless, have feelings of panic and may feel quite ill. It is a time when the active maternal efforts of pushing can begin and it can vary in length for women from a few contractions to several hours.
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