2618 Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting

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Physical reactions to pregnancy. Nausea is an especially common symptom during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. 50 to 70% of all pregnant women will experience nausea at some point in their pregnancy.Other physical symptoms include weight gain, protrusion of the abdomen, breast tenderness, urinatio

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2618 Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting

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1. 2618 Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting It is a myth that the sperm penetrates the egg. Instead, the egg reaches out and draws the sperm into the inner area. Shortly after the egg has implanted itself into the uterus, the placenta begins to develop. Pregnancy lasts 37 to 42 weeks.

2. Physical reactions to pregnancy Nausea is an especially common symptom during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. 50 to 70% of all pregnant women will experience nausea at some point in their pregnancy. Other physical symptoms include weight gain, protrusion of the abdomen, breast tenderness, urination, and fatigue. Variability in women’s sexual interest: 60% reported less interest 20% reported no change 20% reported more interest

3. Emotional reactions to pregnancy Positive emotions Many women feel excitement, anticipation, approval, transitioning into adulthood, and an attachment to the new baby. Negative emotions Many women report that their emotions are fragile & continuously changing; they have depressive feelings, fear, and anxiety. Some may be concerned about their physical appearance.

4. Reactions to pregnancy A woman’s reaction to pregnancy is influenced by: physical reaction whether the pregnancy was planned her relationship to the baby’s father her employment status

5. Attitudes toward pregnant women Often strangers will invade the privacy of a pregnant woman. In the study by Taylor & Langer (1977), people tended to avoid standing close to a pregnant woman. People are likely to help a pregnant woman.

6. Pregnant women and employment Discrimination against pregnant worker is illegal, but they may still be treated differently in the workplace. However, most women with challenging jobs feel comfortable about combining work with pregnancy, and employment during pregnancy does not endanger the health of the pregnant woman or the baby.

7. Childbirth The biology of childbirth Labor is divided into 3 stages. During the first stage, the cervix dilates In the second stage, contractions and the woman pushing, move the baby farther down the vagina. Progesterone levels drop. The second stage ends with the birth of the baby. The third stage is the delivery of the placenta. Estrogen levels drop

8. About 20 to 25% of women in the U.S. and Canada, deliver by cesarean section; many health care critics argue this is too high. Expectations about childbirth Most women do not have realistic expectations about the amount of pain experienced during labor and delivery.

9. Emotional reactions to childbirth Some women focus on the joy, others focus on the pain, and finally, others focus on coping with the pain.

10. Alternative methods of childbirth Prepared childbirth involves these elements: Reduce fear through education. Control pain through controlled breathing. Providing social support and relaxation from someone close to the mother. Mothers report positive attitudes, less anxiety, and reduced pain from involvement in prepared childbirth.

11. Cont. Family-centered approach Differences from prepared childbirth: Labor should not be artificially induced for convenience. Women should be encouraged to move around during labor. No requirements for enemas, shaving. No anesthetics unless required Supportive family/friends present Health care providers who encourage a woman’s sense of empowerment during childbirth.

12. Motherhood The reality of motherhood Negative factors Fathers help less than mothers expected. Childcare is exhausting. Many women report feeling incompetent. Some mothers expect a happy, cuddly baby but many babies are fussy, and resist cuddling. Mother’s partner may feel neglected. Women struggle with the ideal mother syndrome.

13. Positive factors Sense of strength. Closeness with children. Fun and interesting.

14. Motherhood and women of color For Af-A, two stereotypes: Welfare mother Superwoman For Latina mothers Submissive but truthfully they are an active, powerful force within the family. For As-A, there are special customs: In Cambodia, new mothers sleep in a bed over a warm fire for a month. In contrast, in India, a new mother is considered unclean for two months.

15. Lesbian mothers Many studies show that the children raised in lesbian households and heterosexual households are similar in characteristics such as intelligence, development, self-esteem, psychological well-being, and popularity. Stacey & Biblarz (2001) state, “We argued instead that despite the limitations, there is suggestive evidence and good reason to believe that contemporary children and young adults with lesbian or gay parents do differ in modest and interesting ways from children with heterosexual parents.”

16. Postpartum disturbances Postpartum blues Affects about 50% of new mothers. Postpartum depression 10%-15% More severe Social factors implicated Low-income Lack of social support Probably not due to hormone levels.

17. Breast feeding 60% of new mothers breast-feed 15% nurse their babies for a whole year. More likely among better educated and higher income Af-A less likely to breast-feed. Mothers who bottle feed emphasize the convenience.

18. Returning to work Return to work more quickly if employer has guaranteed their jobs and if they have relatively nontraditional attitudes toward parenting. Children do not experience problems if they are cared for by someone other than their mother.

19. Deciding to have children 20% of women will never have children. Family size is not correlated with couples’ satisfaction. 16% of couples are infertile. Women who are infertile show higher levels of distress and anxiety than fertile women. About half of couples who seek medical attention will eventually become parents.

20. Work and Play Women spend more time with infants but in the time that men spend with children, they play more than women. Primary activity is custodial; secondary activity is interactional. Reasons Making up for their absence. Play is cleaner and more desirable. Play requires less attention and less time.

21. Can men “mother” 141 passive receptor fathers were surveyed. (90% white) Results 80% + took care of the house Fathers tried to make their houses child centered. 92% had first aid supplies. 83% had emergency number posted.

22. They report spending considerable time in housekeeping chores and recreational time with their children. They believe their children share their feelings with them. Most fathers reported satisfaction.

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