FEATURE ARTICLE: Gentle Births - BINAIFER LALKAKA
How can the beginning of a life be COMFORTABLE and HAPPY? How can the transition from almost a subconscious state to consciousness be SMOOTH? The answer is ‘GENTLE BIRTHS’!! But, what are ‘gentle births’? To answer this, let us look at the baby in the womb! The unborn baby is floating in a bubble of wonderfully warm amniotic fluid. His delicate velvet skin is covered in fine hair called lanugo and protected with a waxy substance called vernix. All the baby ever touches is soft slippery tissue of the insides of a thick protective womb. The baby gulps amiotic fluid which tastes like the first translucent drops the mother’s breasts secrete. The baby hears muffled sounds...like what a swimmer might hear under water. Sonography pictures show babies smiling, sucking their thumb and blinking in the dark, soothing environment of the uterus!
The baby passes through a tight passage, the birth canal, at birth. He turns and flexes his neck. Moves his knees, his legs. Each contraction of the uterus puts some pressure on the baby. This is so evident with the fetal heart rate visible with the CTG. How do we make birth less stressful? How do we make it less traumatic to the baby?
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