The term "maternal health" encompasses a woman's well-being before, during, and after childbirth. A mother's well-being depends on more than only the outcome of childbirth. Maternity and birthing have long-lasting effects on mothers, their children, and their future pregnancies. 

For many women, giving birth is an unforgettable and enlightening experience. A medical practitioner understands their patient's emotional, physical, and informational demands during labour and delivery.

Changes in Maternity 

The mother's body goes through dramatic physical and physiological changes to provide for and support the growing embryo. It is essential to know the regular changes during pregnancy because this will help you tell them apart from changes that aren't normal.

  1. Cardiovascular shifts

Profound and early circulatory changes occur during pregnancy, with an estimated 20% increase in cardiac output by eight weeks.

  1. Variations in respiration

A significant increase in oxygen consumption is usual during pregnancy. The metabolic rate and oxygen consumption increased by 15% and 20%, respectively.

  1. Adaptations in the digestive system

Nausea and vomiting are two of the most frequent pregnancy problems. The structural changes in the gut are affected by fluctuating amounts of estrogen and progesterone.

  1. Endocrine system

Iodine insufficiency is quite common during pregnancy. This is because there is an increase in the amount of iodine excreted in the urine.

  1. Metabolism of glucose

Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman's endocrine pancreas function is disrupted, making it impossible for her to overcome the insulin resistance that naturally occurs throughout pregnancy.

  1. Fat breakdown

In pregnant women, both total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise. The mother's energy needs are met by the increased triglyceride levels, while glucose is saved for the developing fetus.

  1. Protein metabolism

There is a need for a higher protein intake for pregnant women. These molecules are actively shuttled through the placenta to supply the developing foetus with the amino acids it needs. Protein catabolism slows as the body shifts its energy metabolism from fat to protein.

  1. Calcium metabolism

In the third trimester, the mother's ability to absorb calcium from her diet increases. Most of her body's calcium stores are then transferred to the developing foetus.

  1. Variations in bone and skeletal density

Bone turnover increases during the third trimester when the foetus has more significant calcium requirements. Calcium comes from stores in the bones. Exaggerated lordosis of the lower back, forward flexion of the neck, and downward movement of the shoulders are some other musculoskeletal alterations that occur during pregnancy. 

Birth Plan in Maternity

Having a written overview of your goals and priorities in labour and delivery is helpful. Include whatever you feel will help you through labour and delivery most comfortably. As soon as labour starts, you or your doctors may need adjustments. 

What should a birth plan include?

The birth plan includes the following:

  • your name
  • your doctor's name and contact info
  • the address of the facility where you intend to give birth
  • information about family or friends who will be there

It also includes:

  • Atmosphere: Do you want the lights turned down low? How loud music or silence do you require in your room? Do you want a friend or family member to document your labour and delivery with photos and video?
  • Medicines for labour pain: Talk to your doctor about your pain treatment options and any questions you may have as you develop your birth plan. Breathing exercises and massage are two examples.
  • Delivery preferences: Would you prefer a vaginal birth without an episiotomy unless medically necessary? Should your partner cut the umbilical lead? Do you want your newborn on your stomach immediately?
  • Feeding and Care at the Hospital: Do you wish to breastfeed immediately after delivery? Would you rather have your infant in the nursery sometimes or continuously in the hospital room? 

Birthing options for pregnant women

  1. Unassisted Vaginal Delivery/Natural Birth

When referring to vaginal delivery, "natural childbirth" often indicates the absence of pain relief or labour induction/prolongation drugs. 

  1. Medically-assisted vaginal birth
    • Delivery with forceps: The doctor may use forceps (resembling giant spoons) to cup your baby's head and assist in directing your baby's head through the delivery canal.
    • Extraction by vacuum: In this technique, the doctor places a plastic cup over the newborn's head and uses suction to remove the infant from the delivery canal.
    • Episiotomy: A surgical incision in the tissue that lines the area between the vagina and the anus. Many doctors only operate if they need to deliver your baby urgently.
    • Amniotomy: It is called "breaking your water." Your doctor makes an incision in the amniotic sac with a little plastic hook. A warm fluid may suddenly surge past your skin.
    • Induced Labor: Before labour begins naturally; the doctor will cause it by starting contractions. They may recommend this if they worry about your or the baby's health.
  2. C-section delivery

It may not always be possible to have a baby naturally. Suppose your or your baby's health is in danger during labour. A caesarean section (C-section) may be the only option for delivering the baby safely.

  1. Vaginal Birth After C-Section (VBAC)

Most women who have had a caesarean can give birth vaginally in the future if:

  • your doctor performed a C-section using a horizontal incision in your uterus
  • your pelvis fits an average-sized baby
  • you're expecting one child


Women should value a holistic approach to maternity care and birthing that considers physical and clinical issues and cultural and psychological ones. A medical professional can help you go through your pregnancy stronger. 

Most women will have a safe outcome to a happy delivery and motherhood experience if care is embraced at all levels of the maternity care system. 

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad - Kondapur. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. How do one-time contractions work?

Using a watch or clock, you can determine how often contractions occur by monitoring the time between the first and second contractions.

2. A typical pregnancy lasts how many months?

A typical pregnancy lasts between 38 and 42 weeks.

3. What makes giving birth in a hospital so crucial?

You must get the services of a professional (such as an obstetrician or a pediatrician) and benefit from improved surveillance.

4. Can one exercise during pregnancy?

Pregnant women can safely and even benefit from regular exercise. Constipation and back discomfort are two more symptoms it can treat.

5. How can one plan labour and delivery?

Most women need a birth plan. A birth plan covers how the baby will be delivered (vaginally or caesarean section), labour pain management, delivering position and other crucial elements.

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