: Physical Development: Birth, Motor Skills, and Growth
Advocating for Themselves
The OCTC, Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, helps children with birth defects
like cerebral palsy and spina bifida to integrate themselves, particularly socially,
into the regular school system.
The Centre teaches disabled children to accept and understand how their bodies
work and to use help appropriately. If a student at the centre falls or drops
something no one rushes to their aid, instead they ask the child whether or not they
need help, and if so, how they would like to be helped.
Birth and the Perinatal Period
: The events and environment surrounding the birth process
Though this process usually runs smoothly, and has for millions of years,
occasionally modern medicine needs to intervene.
Labour and Delivery
Labor, the first step in the birth process, usually occurs 38 weeks after fertilization.
Apparently initiated by changes in the fetal brain, chemicals are released to signal
the muscles of the mother’s uterus to begin rhythmic contractions. Initially every 15-
20 minutes, and continue at increasingly shorter intervals.
The birth process takes about 8-16 hrs for the first baby, and half as long for later
Three Stages of Labour (Fig. 5.1):
The neck of the uterus dilates. This is the longest stage; it begins with
contractions, which narrow the uterus and dilate the cervical opening, and
ends when the cervix is fully dilated, usually 10cm, and contractions, 2-3
mins apart, are very intense.
The baby is delivered. Contractions are long, closely spaced and the mother is
encouraged to assist by pushing with each contraction, passing the fetus
through the cervix.
The placenta is expelled. Brief stage, often referred to as the
which the placenta and other membranes delivered.
Technology including electric monitors and ultrasounds, allow physicians to monitor
the state of the fetus during birth to determine if there is danger of strangulation or
, a condition of abnormal stress in the fetus, reflected during the
birth process in an abnormal fetal heart rate.