PSYC 304 - Ch.5 - Chapter 5 Physical Development Birth...

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Chapter 5 : 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 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 babies. Three Stages of Labour (Fig. 5.1): 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. 2. 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. 3. The placenta is expelled. Brief stage, often referred to as the afterbirth in 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 Fetal Distress , a condition of abnormal stress in the fetus, reflected during the birth process in an abnormal fetal heart rate.
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In cases where the baby is unable to pass through the cervical opening, either because of its size or position, a doctor may elect to perform a Cesarean Section , the surgical delivery of the fetus directly from the uterus. While there is no clear evidence that cesarean birth has any long-term negative effects on the child’s development, it exposes the newborn to higher levels of pain- relieving medication and poses greater risk of infection. Cultural Attitudes toward Birth In Western countries, pregnancy, labour and delivery are typically treated almost as if they were symptoms of an illness; the woman is encouraged to visit the doctor regularly and the condition of the baby is closely monitored.
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