3 Birth and the Newborn

After this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast different methods of childbirth preparation.

  • Describe the stages of vaginal delivery.

  • Explain why induction or Caesarean section may be necessary.

  • Differentiate the common procedures for assessing the condition of the newborn.

  • Examine problems newborns experience before, during, and after birth.

After around 266 days of developing inside the womb (for a full-term pregnancy), comes the arduous process of childbirth. After birth, newborns have to regulate their own body temperature, breathe for themselves, and take in all of their nutrition through feeding. Let’s look at both the process of birth and some attributes of the newborn.