2. The Physiology of Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth
- Melissa D. Avery PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
Published Online: 24 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Supporting a Physiologic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth
How to Cite
Anderson, C. M. (2013) The Physiology of Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth, in Supporting a Physiologic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth (ed M. D. Avery), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118783320.ch2
- Published Online: 24 JUN 2013
- Published Print: 3 JUN 2013
Print ISBN: 9780470962862
Online ISBN: 9781118783320
- endocrine adaptations;
- pregnancy adaptations;
- respiratory adaptations;
- uterine adaptation
This chapter presents a detailed discussion of maternal physiologic adaptations in pregnancy as well as labor and birth and the known and postulated mechanisms surrounding the intrapartum events of labor and delivery. Pregnancy adaptations are essential foundations for the unique adjustments required to support the processes of labor and to support the increased demands placed on the maternal-placental-fetal unit during the intrapartum period. The physiology of labor induces responses among women that reflect the physical, psychological, social, and environmental context of the birth experience. Pregnancy adaptations prime the maternal-placental-fetal systems for labor and birth, prompted in large part by placenta-induced changes in endocrine regulation. While direct actions on reproductive organs provided the primary focus of the chapter review, the endocrine milieu of pregnancy impacts responsive cells throughout the system. A clear understanding of the physiologic basis for pregnancy, labor, birth, and recovery provides the rationale basis for therapeutic management.