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Technology has been altering pregnancy with every medical advancement into labor and delivery. Over the past century, medical technology has made childbirth much safer for both mother and baby, resulting in fewer women dying in childbirth, and increased survival rates for the newborns. However, the abundance of knowledge and medical intervention available has not completely eased the worries of first-time mothers.

The most common type of childbirth is vaginal delivery, but sometimes intervention is required in about 3 percent of vaginal deliveries in the United States. During labor, the doctor might assist the mother in several ways; with an episiotomy to allow the baby’s head to pass through more easily; an amniotomy to induce labor; or forceps delivery. Ideally, nothing should go wrong with assisted vaginal delivery, but if preventable mistakes happen, birth injury lawyers like Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, could get involved. Fortunately, more often than not things do go smoothly, and vaginal delivery remains a common form of childbirth. Vaginal delivery results in short hospital stays, quicker recovery, lower infection rates, and a lower risk of respiratory problems for the baby.

However, according to an article in The Guardian in 2012, some mothers are fighting back against birth intervention because they feel bullied by their doctors. A mother, named in the article as Charlotte, complained about her treatment to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, who finally ruled that “[Charlotte] did not properly consent to the treatment administered and was wrongly put under extraordinary pressure during labour when she was in a very vulnerable situation.” But it still took two years for the hospital to apologise.

This could be why more mothers are taking their birth plan into their own hands. While cesarean delivery is usually not determined until unforeseen complications arise during labor, it is possible to schedule a C-Section a week prior to the due date. Mothers might require a C-Section when the ultrasound has revealed that the baby is in breach, or if it’s a multiple pregnancy. While C-Sections are safe, they are still major surgery, so there are several risks.

Despite the reduced risks of dying in childbirth in the United States, maternal mortality rates are still 21 per 100,000 live births. Mothers are still researching birth plans that will provide minimal risk to them and their baby, such as water births.

Since the baby has already been in the amniotic fluid sac for nine months, it’s believed birthing in a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother. Although there hasn’t been as much research into the risks of water births, it has become a popular birth plan in the past 30 years due to its benefits for both mother and baby. Being immersed in warm water also helps the mother to physically relax, and gives her a great ability to focus on the process.

These are just a few ways for women to safely deliver their babies, but full options should be discussed with their doctors or midwives.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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Culture and Lifestyle

Medicine: From The Study Of Gods To Healing Robots

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V0018149 An invocation to I-em-hetep, the Egyptian deity of medicine.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
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An invocation to I-em-hetep, the Egyptian deity of medicine. Oil painting by Ernest Board.
By: Ernest BoardPublished: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Throughout history, civilizations all over the world have sought to fight disease, postpone death and relieve suffering. After all, as being healthy is by far the best and only way to enjoy a longer life, it appears evident that doctors would have developed fascinating medical approaches and knowledge throughout time. The history of medicine, however, is a tale of mankind evolution, knowledge and, more often than not, a tale of beliefs. It is because today modern doctors believe that science has most answers — and will one day have all answers — that the role of the healer has changed from a holy figure to an experienced scientist. While there have been many eureka moments, the story of healing the body is not only a story of unsung medical heroes, but also a portrait of how human beings perceive their world.

The Gods made me sick

The earliest documented doctors that archaeology has revealed were Egyptian physicians 5,000 years ago. While there might have been doctors before that time in other countries, Egyptian papyri are for now the earliest evidence of medical knowledge. However, these writings attribute the responsibility of the health of the people to the pharaoh. In those times, healing methods were groups in sacred centres and consisted mainly of religious rites and ceremonies designed to ask the Gods for health. Another belief of the time was that diseases were the result of an angry deity. Consequently, the ceremonies needed to appeal to the Gods and offer a sacred apology for the offence. The belief that the divine could influence human health lasted for centuries, as even in the Middle Age, healing sacrifices were still encouraged in Pagan communities.

Studying the cure

Nowadays the approach to finding a cure has changed greatly. Scientists, and especially lab scientists, rely primarily on the observational study of patients in the retrospective of existing data as well as the investigation outside of clinical trials to find evidence of a cure’s success. This scientific process is relatively new in the world of medicine and dates back from the Industrial Revolution. In fact, people invented the steam engine before they understood how to diagnose and make more effective medications! But with the evolution of the observational field, more and more medical professions dive into the complex relations between the body and the mind, from a standard GP to a specialist neurologist.

Can robots heal us?

Finally, the evolution of medicine isn’t over yet. There is still a lot that doctors don’t understand, and a lot that they can’t treat. Consequently, new healing methods are discussed all over the world. Doctors have stopped waiting for a divine answer. Instead, they have been building nanobots, which will be able to navigate the body to repair internal damage locally. What sounds still like a sci-fi story is expected to happen by 2030. Will the human health be in the hands of robots? As surgeons already rely on robotic technology in the operating room, internal bots could be the next big heal!

In the end, the story of medicine is still to be continued. But it remains, for now, a story that highlights the resourcefulness of mankind and its desire to understand and manage the cause of all diseases and maybe, one day, defeat death too.

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Health

The Trends That’ll Guide the Future Of Health and Fitness

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woman running health

When it comes to fitness, we’ve taken many steps back when compared to our ancestors, who were, according to scientists, much stronger than we are today. However, we are beginning to fight back somewhat, and in recent decades we’ve learned a lot more about how we can best reach out fitness goals. The use of technology, science, and cultural factors will allow us to work more efficiently than we have in the past. Below, we take a look at the trends that’ll guide the future of life at the gym and beyond.

Working With Others

There’s more to working out than simply getting in shape. It affects our confidence, overall mood, and general mental wellbeing. The other thing that does this is being social. As such, we’re likely to see an even greater overlap between being social and exercise in the coming decades. Why work out alone, when you can do so in a group or with your friends? It’s common for gyms to now offer free classes as part of a gym membership. In the future, this will form an even greater chunk of the gym going experience.

Using Technology

Technology is touching just about every aspect of our lives, so it makes sense that it’ll form part of how we exercise, too. There are already plenty of available smartphone apps that allow you to work out more efficiently, or sometimes without any equipment whatsoever, as in the case of the many seven-minute apps on the app stores. There will also be a lot more wearable items available, which will push you to get your minimum amount of exercise each day, and allow you to track how much progress you’re making with your fitness goals.

Using Mathematics

We’re beginning to understand a lot more about how our body uses exercise to improve. As such, we’re on course to become much more efficient; instead of blindly working out for, say, an hour, you can use science to determine the most effective workout, cutting down the time you spend in the gym in the process. We’re also learning a lot more about how to build muscle, too. If you’re trying to bulk up, you can read up on macro ratios on aretheyonsteroids.com. It’s an equation that anybody can use to get bigger and stronger.

Virtual Reality Running

No matter how advanced our approach to fitness might be, it goes without saying that some people will never truly be on the exercise bandwagon, for one simple reason: they find it boring. But this might change in the future. Soon, there’ll be virtual reality machines that simulate running in beautiful destinations, and video games that allow you to compete in a sport as if you were playing outside. It’s a distraction that’ll lead many more people to get the exercise they need!

We’re approaching the golden age of fitness. With technology and better education by our side, we can start looking forward to new and innovative ways to reach our individual health goals.

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Health

The Major Players In The Vaping Game

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Vaping is big business, with health officials all over the world encouraging smokers to put down their cigarettes in favour of e-cigs. Vaping is commonly marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, so you may think that major tobacco companies are threatened by the ever-growing popularity of e-cigarettes. This would make sense unless you did a little digging online and discovered that many of the vaping game’s major players are actually leading tobacco companies. Research suggests that some of the best-selling vaping brands, including Blu and 10 Motives are owned by tobacco companies, many of which belong to the market monopolists, Big Tobacco. This infographic provides information about the parent companies that are profiting from vaping, and as you can see, some of the tobacco giants are heavily involved. Although 80 percent of brands were found to belong to independent firms, nine of the best-selling vaping brands belong to companies or subsidiaries of Big Tobacco (British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Brands plc and Philip Morris International), Huabao International Holdings and Stada Arzneimittel. Five brands belonged to parent companies that were not associated with tobacco. It’s often assumed that buying e-cigarettes takes money out of the pockets of tobacco giants, but this infographic raises an interesting point. With the market buoyant, it looks as though many of the major players in the tobacco game are also set to profit from e-cig sales. With this useful infographic, you can learn more about who is playing and winning and vaping game.


Infographic design by Go Smoke Free

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