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Word Search - (more) What People Are Askin'

Folks coming to my site from Google use the most interesting keywords. In the interest of answering the keywords, here is the search criteria and then my answer.

- does vernix have a smell

It shouldn't. Well, it smells like the baby. Hmmm. What does a baby smell like? Do babies smell differently if they have had the vernix washed off? Not to me, but I am not the mother smelling the difference, either. My own kids smell exactly the same as adults as they did newborns in my arms (including with the vernix). When I hug them, I am transported back to their first moments of life.

Some babies come out with smelling foul and that is almost always because of sour meconium - the mec might have been sitting in there for awhile. The worst smelling meconium, to me, is golden meconium... the oldest. Once that is washed off, the baby smells sweet.

Babies of smoking mothers also tend to come out smelling somewhat gross. It isn't uncommon for them to smell like tobacco. I don't know how it happens, but the amniotic fluid is so contaminated by the nicotine the mom smokes (or someone else in the house smokes), the babies tend to reek. Once they are washed, they smell better, too.

It's an interesting concept, not wanting to wash vernix off. I kept it on my second and third babies, but the more I know, I wonder if I would have done the same thing again. Probably, but definitely not if there was meconium. Meconium is a medium for bacteria once it is on the outside - and is nothing but waste the baby ingested inside - fetal cells, lanugo... blech.

- does crowning of the baby hurt

Hurt mom? Sometimes. Baby? Maybe (we'll never know!).

Crowning can give an amazingly intense sensation to women. The old stand-by phrase is the "ring of fire," but it isn't one of my favorite to use. Some women describe it as burning, but not all do. It does tend to be a B I G feeling, though... goodness, our body is birthing a child! It can be the largest feeling ever to come through our vaginas.

But, it's important to remember we are made to do this. Our vaginas/labia/vulvas know exactly what to do to allow a baby to be born. Even if there are tears, who's to say those aren't normal, too? Tears can be repaired and should be repaired nearly painlessly.

Babies, too, are made to come through. Most believe that coming through the pelvis would be much more uncomfortable to a baby than crowning since the pelvis is bones and crowning is tissue. Babies who have bruising, receive that from the pelvic bones.

I can imagine, however, that a baby working through a shoulder dystocia would hurt tremendously, but that is after crowning. Some babies who were shoulder dystocia babies cry for hours after the birth... some scream. Does their head hurt? Are they releasing the emotions of terror of dying? It's hard to say.

- when do you go into labor after having your membranes stripped

No one knows. Each woman would be different depending on her own circumstances. It would be so great if we did know, though.

Don't you have answers like, "it depends?"

I wish I had a better answer, but it does depend on your own cervical maturity, ripeness, dilation, effacement, etc.

- where do I start a IV on laboring mother

My quick answer? If you have to ask, the answer is "a hospital!"

Depending on the reason, IVs can be placed in the wrist, hand or in the inner bend of the elbow (antecubital). An IV that will need to remain in place should allow a mom to move around throughout her labor. An IV that is for an emergency can go into the antecubital because that vein is easily accessible and large, allowing for some quick administration of meds or fluids.

- can water break without being dilated


- what does G2P1 stand for

G = Gravida... how many times a woman has been pregnant EVER, including the pregnancy right at the moment.

If a woman has had 2 miscarriages and an abortion, is pregnant right now and hasn't ever had a baby, she is a G4P0.

P = Para... a woman who has had a baby that was over 20 weeks gestation or 500 grams. The baby does not have to have been born alive.

Some designations add

T = Term, how many pregnancies were after 36 or 37 weeks (depending on definition of "term")

A = Abortions (sometimes with the separation between spontaneous [miscarriage] and therapeudic [induced])

L = Children living now

So, a pregnant woman who had one abortion, one miscarriage, bore a set of twins at 32 weeks, had one baby born at 24 weeks that didn't survive and is pregnant now would be a G5 (the twins are one pregnancy) P1 ; T0 ; A2 ; L2

Isn't that fun? Some even add another designation... Pre-term. Yikes! It gets complicated sometimes.

More word searches soon!

Reader Comments (1)

Hmm. This give me some ideas. Maybe I'll do a pregnancy word search puzzle. What words should I use?

January 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda, VP Puzzles

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