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Chapter 10

PSYC 3480 Chapter 10: ch 10

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York University
PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 10 “Pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood” Pregnancy The Biology of Pregnancy — egg and sperm unite, plants on tissue that lines uterus. Placenta (organ connected to embryo and allows oxygen & nutrients & waste, even manufactures hormones, as estrogen and progesterone rises) begins to develop Physical reactions during pregnancy — weight gain, breast tenderness, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea (1st trimester, morning sickness) Emotional reactions during pregnancy POSITIVE: — married women > positive w planned preg and e/o approves bc she’s married — excitement, wonder, growing attachment, anticipated pleasure of motherhood NEGATIVE: — fear, anxiety, and concern about pain — self image declines Attitudes toward pregnant women Hostile sexism: blatant, idea that women should obey men and know their place — when doing s/t non tradition ex. applying for job Benevolent sexism: subtle, women’s special niceness & purity — when doing traditional ex. shopping for gift Employment during pregnancy — physically demanding job & non standard work hours are associated w higher risk of premature delivery Childbirth The biology of childbirth Labor begins when uterus starts to contract strongly. 3 stages 1. uterus contracts every 5 mins, dilation of cervix increases to 10cm, can last from few hours - 1 day 2. few minutes- several hours, contractions move baby further down vagina & are extremely painful and stressful, strong pressure & stretching, ends when baby is born 3. lasts < 20 mins, uterus contracts which separates placenta from uterine wall, progesterone & estrogen drop PRETERM BIRTH (premature birth): < 37 weeks gestation (normal birth is 40 weeks) — women w little education & overly thin are at greater risk — black women twice as likely to have preterm birth Cesarean births — 30% of all deliveries — incision through woman’s abdomen and into uterus to deliver baby — women who have c-sections have > negative perceptions of birth experiences and newborn infants Alternative approaches to childbirth Natural childhood includes: 1. empathic health care providers who can encourage sense of empowerment during pregnancy and childbirth 2. education about childbirth & pregnancy to reduce fear and dispel myths 3. relaxation techniques and exercises designed to strengthen muscles 4. controlled breathing and other focusing tec
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