Medical intervention during childbirth

Sometimes it is necessary to medically intervene before or during the delivery. Childbirth can be induced by medication, for example because you are already over 2 weeks overdue. Also the use of a vacuum or cesarean section are examples of this medical intervention during childbirth. Read here what it exactly means and whether medical intervention affects the health of the child.

Medical intervention during childbirth, what does that mean?

Of course, we all hope that our delivery will go smoothly without the need to intervene medically. Unfortunately, medical interventions in childbirth are sometimes necessary because otherwise the health of the mother or the baby is at risk. There are several reasons why a medical intervention is necessary. Below you can find an overview:

  • The heartbeat of the baby becomes too weak

    Sometimes your baby's heart can not handle the delivery, especially the pressing and the pressure on the body. The heartbeat then drops. If it remains low and does not recover after a few contractions, the obstetrician must intervene. This can be done in various ways. When the baby is already far in the birth canal, the baby can be born faster with the help of cutting in and pushing the belly.

    If the baby is not yet far enough through the birth canal then you will probably have to go to the hospital. Here the heartbeat is checked again. If it is still weak, the baby is taken with a vacuum or in the worst case by a caesarean section. Your baby will probably need to be oxygenated.

  • Your baby has pooped into the amniotic fluid

    The amniotic fluid is clear in color. If it is green or brown in color, that is probably a sign that your baby has pooped into the amniotic fluid. There is meconium in the amniotic fluid and that does not belong. Your baby can, for example, get it into the lungs, causing it to seal. Usually you have to go to the hospital so that they can monitor the baby well. You may still be able to give birth naturally. After birth, the mouth must be immediately aspirated to remove the meconium.

  • Your baby sticks to the shoulder

    In some cases the head is born, but the baby continues to hook with the shoulder. Usually this is the case with a large child. This can be a reason to go to the hospital quickly. But first, the midwife will try to release the child if you adopt other attitudes.

  • Start childbirth

    In some cases, medical intervention during childbirth starts before delivery. In this case, intervention means that childbirth is generated. This happens, for example, when your membranes have been broken for 24 hours and the delivery still has not started. Or you are (almost) 2 weeks overdue. If your access does not get underway, you can also choose to induce labor. You can induce contractions by means of a gel on the cervix or by an infusion in which contractions are induced.

  • Vacuum pump or forceps

    A vacuum pump or forceps is used if the pressing fails or the expulsion of your baby takes too long, so your baby is at risk. This medical intervention during the delivery is done in the hospital. A vacuum pump is a suction cup placed on the head of your baby. Then your baby can be "pulled out".

  • A pliers is an alternative to the vacuum. This looks like two spoons. The spoons are pressed against the ears of your baby in order to pull your baby out. The choice of method is a bit of a concern to the doctor.

  • Cesarean section

    Caesarean section is also a medical procedure. An emergency Cesarean section is medical intervention in the delivery that is used when the life of you or your baby is at risk. There can be several reasons for choosing an emergency Cesarean section. It is in any case used if vaginal delivery is not possible.

  • Blood loss after birth

    After the birth of your baby, the placenta must still be born. This must first come off the uterine wall. A wound is created by this loosening. This can sometimes cause large blood loss. Large blood loss can also be caused by a tear in the cervix or vagina. The midwife will intervene medically during the delivery of the placenta, by first finding out where the bleeding comes from. If it is serious, you have to go to the hospital.

  • No afterbirth starts

    After delivery the placenta must also be removed, but sometimes this afterbirth does not naturally occur. You will then receive medication or it will be printed on your stomach. If this does not help, you have to go to the hospital where the placenta is removed by surgery.

Medical intervention affects the health of the child

The big question is actually: does medical intervention on delivery have an effect on your baby? Some researchers claim that they do and therefore think that it must always be considered whether medical intervention is really necessary.

Researchers from VUmc, UMCG, Obstetrics Academy AVAG and their colleagues from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland published their findings about medical intervention during delivery in the scientific journal Birth.

Among other things, their research showed that more and more medical interventions are being carried out in the Netherlands during childbirth. More children are being born by means of a Caesarean section and the number of children who are brought into the world with the help of a vacuum or forceps has also increased. In addition, more use is made of contractions or other medication during the delivery.

Research into medical intervention during delivery

During the study 500,000 healthy women were studied who gave birth to their child with a medical procedure. The children were followed for 5 years. The research shows that the risk of health problems in these children was higher than in children who were born without a medical intervention.

The more interventions are done, the greater the health problems. The health problems that arose were dependent on the form of medical intervention during the delivery. The results are as follows:

  • After Caesarean section: children born with cesarean sections are more likely to have hypothermia. The other health problems often only occurred in the longer term. For example, these children were 3 times more likely to suffer from diabetes and obesity. The risk of gastrointestinal disorders also seems to have been slightly increased.
  • Weepers, art redemption or initiation of childbirth: babies born through these medical procedures have three times as often a form of jaundice just after birth.
  • After induction and emergency cesarean delivery: these babies are about 4 times more likely to suffer from eczema in their first 5 years, than children born through the natural pathway.
  • Generally speaking, children who have not been born along the natural path are more likely to have various infections and in particular infections of the airways.

Why influence on health after medical intervention?

Why is it that children who are born through medical intervention during childbirth have a higher risk of health problems? The researchers suspect that this has to do with the birth stress. This is sometimes too high or too low. A little bit of birth stress is needed to program the immune system. But too much of course is not good either.

Your baby has to deal with too little birth stress if he or she is born by means of a caesarean section. If your childbirth is initiated or when there are used inducers, the stress for your baby is much greater. This makes mistakes during the programming of the immune system which can cause problems. More research needs to be done here.

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