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File:Eucharius Rößlin Rosgarten Childbirth.jpg

A woman giving birth on a birth chair, circa 1515

Birth is the process in animals by which an offspring is physiologically expelled from the body of its mother. Different forms of birth are oviparity, vivipary or ovovivipary.

Two words used to describe human offspring while in utero are embryo and fetus. Their meanings refer to earlier and later stages of development.

Medical meanings[]

  • Childbirth is the process at the end of a human pregnancy that results in a baby being born.
  • Natural childbirth is the technique of minimizing medical intervention, particularly anaesthetics, during childbirth.
  • Unassisted childbirth (UC) is birth without the aid of medical or professional birth attendants. Also known as Freebirth
  • Multiple birth is the birth of two (twins), three (triplets), four (quadruplets), etc., babies resulting from a single pregnancy.
  • Birth canal is the term used for the vagina during birth, as it is the route through which the infant passes during a vaginal birth.
  • Caesarean section or C-Section is surgical birth through the wall of the abdomen.
  • Birth pangs are the pains felt by the mother during labour, resulting from contractions of the uterus and pressure on nerves and organs.
  • Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut after birth so that the baby is left attached to its placenta until the cord naturally separates
  • Afterbirth is the delivery of the placenta following the delivery of the infant.
  • Birth control methods are devices, medications or behavior patterns to reduce the probability of pregnancy.

Newborn after typical hospital birth

Complications[]

  • Infertility treatments are devices, medications, or behavior patterns to increase the probability of pregnancy.
  • Premature birth is the birth of an infant before the full term of pregnancy.
  • Birth defect is a physical or mental abnormality present at the time of birth.
  • Stillbirth is the birth of a dead fetus or an infant.
  • Birth trauma is a theory in Pre & Perinatal psychology and natural medicine that the baby experiences extreme pain during the birthing process and that this pain influences the child later in life.
  • Obstetrical complications

Legal meanings[]

  • Birthday is a day to celebrate that the person has lived a certain number of years. It is an annual event based either on the anniversary of a person's date of birth, or on astrological birthtime calculations.
  • Birth certificate is a legal document describing details of a person's birth.
  • A nuclear family comprising the father, mother, brother or sister, is an institution where the members are related by birth.
  • In some countries a person is considered of illegitimate birth if the child is born of parents not legally married to each other.

Metaphorical meanings[]

The term birth is used metaphorically to refer to a beginning, especially of a natural phenomenon, one that is impressive in its scope or complexity, or one that is viewed favorably.

Fear of childbirth[]

In 2000, an article published in the British Journal of Psychiatry (2000, 176: 83-85) described the fear of childbirth as a psychological disorder, when it had previously received little to no attention as such, in addition to introducing the term tokophobia (from the Greek tokos, meaning childbirth and phobos, meaning fear).

Main article: Fear of childbirth

Associated difficulties[]

See also[]

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