Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Holistic Midwifery: Basic Anatomy

Basic anatomy is important for midwives because the body is one massive machine made of many parts and systems that work together in quite an elaborate and delicate way. It behoves a midwife to gain a basic knowledge of the body in order to better serve her clients. For instance: understanding the workings of the digestive system allows the midwife to better understand the absorption of nutrients and vitamins that are so important before, during, and after pregnancy.

The Organ Systems
1. Integumentary System : A big word for Skin! This is how our body protects itself.

2. The Skeletal System : This is so important in understanding where the bones are and how the joints work in order to help the baby during delivery. It also assists us in determining what position the baby is in.

3. The Muscular System : Particularly the uterus and perineal muscles are important to us. The Uterus is the strongest muscle in a woman's body at the end of pregnancy. (And that would make the perineal the weakest! Or at least it fells as thought it is! LOL)

4. The Nervous System : Understanding pain...my thought on this is that all of those male OBGYN's have nervous systems and have studied them in great detail, but have no clue what pain is. :) My notes are rather caddy today.

5. The Endocrine System: Works in harmony with the nervous system and is our hormone control center. It is wise to understand hormones in the cycle of pregnancy and how the body secretes and reacts to them.

6. The Cardiovascular System : Blood and it's workings. Important to understand the clotting and circulation, both in mom and baby.

7. The Lymphatic System : This is our body's homeland defense system. It is important to understand how we fight off disease and illness.

8. The Respiratory System : Breathing is important. :) Also a knowledge of ph and oxygen saturation in newborns is important.

9. The Digestive system : The breaking down of food and how the nutrients are absorbed.

10. The Urinary System : Closely connected with blood volume and the effects of UTI on the pregnancy. I wish I had some better understanding of this while I was pregnant!

11. The Reproductive System : The baby making machine and all of it's workings are of great importance in midwifery. I did not know that I had gonads until today!

So that's it...the systems and why they are of importance to midwifery. Boring, but a great read with some classical music playing and a cup of coffee.

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