Posts Tagged ‘ labor ’

Study: Fear of Childbirth May Prolong Labor

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

A study published this week in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that women who fear childbirth may actually have to endure labors that are, on average, an hour and a half longer than women who are not fearful. From

Study author Dr. Samantha Salvesen Adams initially thought her team would find the prolonged labor could be explained by other factors – women who feared birth the most were first time mothers, who are known to have longer labors anyway, or obstetric interventions like epidurals. But when those factors were taken into consideration, the difference in time between the fearless and the fearful was still 47 minutes.

“Mental stress is associated with physiological arousal and release of stress hormones,” Adams wrote in an e-mail. “During labour, high levels of stress hormones may weaken uterine [contractions].”

In other words, the adrenaline released when a body is stressed stops the oxytocin hormone production that makes a woman’s uterus contract, slowing labor. It’s a natural, biological response to fear, [Dr. Stuart] Fischbein said.

Image: Pregnant woman with clock, via Shutterstock.

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Polish Woman Endures 75 Days’ Labor to Save Twins

Friday, March 9th, 2012

A Polish woman whose pregnancy was in grave danger of severely premature delivery spent 75 days in labor–during most of which she was nearly upside-down–in order to save her babies.

Joanna Krzysztonek was carrying triplets, but one of the fetuses was born prematurely and died.  In order to stop labor and allow the remaining two fetuses to grow, Krzysztonek remained in the unusual, uncomfortable position at the hospital for more than two more months.

Reuters reports that Krzysztonek gave birth February 15 to a girl, Iga, and a boy, Ignacy, at a gestational age of 32 weeks.  The twins remain in incubators at the hospital, but they are expected to return home soon.

Krzysztonek reportedly had balance problems after emerging from her bed, but is now able to visit and hold her babies daily.

Image: Small baby’s hand, via Shutterstock.

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Marathon Runner Crosses Finish Line, Delivers Baby

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Miller answers media questions with her husband, 19-month-old son, and newborn daughter.

The Chicago Marathon had a remarkable finish for runner Amber Miller.  Shortly after crossing the finish line this past Sunday, Miller says she felt a little “something,” which, 7 hours later, turned into her daughter, June Audra.

Miller was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant on marathon day, and she had been given clearance by her doctor to run two miles and then walk two miles throughout the race, the suburban Chicago newspaper  The Daily Herald reports.  She had run a marathon earlier in her pregnancy, but she had not planned to finish this one.

“I was having a conversation with my parents Saturday night and told them I had no plans of actually finishing. I have run marathons, while pregnant, but not at 38 weeks,” Miller said. “I was planning on maybe running half and skipping to the end and walking across the finish line.”

The Herald reports:

After crossing the finish line in 6 hours and 25 minutes, she felt a contraction.

“I did (feel contractions during the run) but I’ve been running the whole pregnancy and it’s very normal for me to have contractions when I run. So they weren’t anything out of the usual. I wasn’t concerned at all,” she said. “It was right after the race (around 3 p.m.) when they started coming regularly and I said ‘Oh, this is labor.’”

June was born about seven hours later at 10:29 p.m., weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds and 13 ounces.

“Baby is perfect and doing wonderful. I’m feeling as you would expect after giving birth,” Miller said. “I don’t feel anything from the marathon.”

Miller said she was “a little embarrassed” during the run but heard mostly positive comments from other runners and spectators. She could also feel the eyes of police and paramedics following her throughout the course.

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New York Artist to Give Birth Before a Live Audience

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Marni Kotak, a Brooklyn, New York performance artist, has announced plans to deliver her first child in front of an art gallery crowd, calling giving birth “the highest form of art.”

The New York Post reports that Kotak, who is due in five weeks, plans to have her baby at the Microscope Gallery as part of a larger art piece on childbirth, called “The Birth of Baby X.”  Other parts of the exhibit include videos of audience members at a summer festival, projected onto her pregnant belly.

Kotak says she is prepared for what lies ahead.

“I wouldn’t say that I am scared to do this, because I have a good support team: my midwife, doula and wonderful husband,” Kotak told the Post. “Of course, I am a bit nervous about the whole process of giving birth and having a child, and like every mother, I am hoping that everything goes smoothly. But I am no more worried than I would be if I were having the baby at home or in a hospital.”

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Study: Pitocin Doesn’t Lower Risk of Cesarean Section

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A British study of the medication pitocin, which is designed to speed up labor and help women avoid Cesarean sections, revealed that though the drug does shorten labor, it does not prevent Cesareans at all. The New York Times reports:

Researchers at Nottingham University Hospitals in England pooled data from eight randomized studies involving 1,338 low-risk women in the first stage of labor. Compared with no treatment, the use of Pitocin shortened labor by about two hours, but it did not reduce the number of Caesarean sections or increase the number of unassisted deliveries.

Giving Pitocin early or late in labor made no difference. It appeared to cause no harm to babies or mothers, but the sample was too small know if it has any effect on the death rates of newborns.

“We need better ways of managing slow progress in labor,” said Dr. George J. Bugg, the lead author and an obstetrician at Nottingham University Hospitals. “It’s a real problem, and the method we’ve relied on for so many years doesn’t actually work.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a Cesarean section rate of 32 percent in 2009.

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