Birth and Labour 

Birth and Labour  . After nine months of pregnancy, the mother will go into labour and produce a child.

This is called giving birth or parturition (child birth).

Labour refers to the effort of child birth shown by contractions of the uterus.

What makes a baby after birth cry?

It is due to sudden change in temperature (environment change). Crying helps to start the normal functioning of the

lungs i.e. breathing starts at birth.

Diagram of a baby crying

Birth and Labour 

Note: in case a baby fails to cry/breathe artificial breathing should be done immediately.

Single child birth: this is when one child is normally born to mother.

Multiple birth: this is when two or more babies are born at the same time.

Twin: when two babies are born at the same time by the mother.


Identical twins

This is when one fertilized ovum divides normally and grows into two separate babies.

Identical twins are usually same sex

All their physical aspects are the same.

Siamese twins

These are twins whose body remained joined /fused at one point.

Fraternal twins

This is when two ova are released and fertilized and then develop into twins fraternal twins are not always the same sex.

Multiple birth

If there are three or more ova released and fertilized it results into multiple birth.

Examples of multiple births

Triplets: Three children are born

Quadruplets: Four children are born.

Birth Control Contraception

This is a method of avoiding getting many children you can not care for properly i.e. having the number of children you want and when you want them.

Family planning

This is the use of birth control methods to get the number of children you want and when to have them in family.

Child spacing

This is the provision of enough time between the birth of the different children in family.

Functions of family planning association

  • It educates people about child spacing
  • Educates people about quality of life when children are few
  • Provides people with family planning contraceptives.

Reasons why people have many children

  • Ignorance of family planning methods.
  • High infant mortality rare
  • Traditional practices and values (customs)
  • Prestige or fame and security.

Problems of having many children

If a family has too many children, there will be;

  • Inadequate financial resources.
  • Lack of enough food for the children
  • Poor education for children
  • Lack of proper medical care
  • High infant mortality rare
  • Mothers sickness as a result of having too many children e.g. miscarriage, maternal anemia, fatigue, low birth etc.

How to avoid infant mortality rate (death)

  • Immunization against infant killer diseases.
  • Participating in health care services e.g. health education
  • Practice family planning.

Advantages of family planning

  • Immunization against infant killer diseases
  • It reduces risk of serious disease and maternal death.
  • It reduces cases of abortion/miscarriages
  • It improves the health and well being of the family.
  • Controls population growth.

Methods of birth control

There are two methods used for birth control namely;

  1. Natural Methods
  2. Artificial methods

Natural methods

  • Abstaining from sex
  • Withdrawal/pulling out before releasing sperms during sex
  • Bed separation by couples
  • Prolonged breast feeding
  • The mucus method (testing Jell)
  • Using calendar or moon beads.

Artificial methods

  • Use of condoms
  • Use of contraceptive pills
  • Birth control injections e.g. injecta plan,
  • Intra uterine devices e.g. coils, spirals, diaphragm.
  • Use of jellies and foams
  • Sterilization by vasectomy in men and tube ligation
  • Using norplant

Myths and Misconception about Adolescence and Reproduction Health                                                            

  • A myth  is a traditional belief that is not true
  •  Misconceptions are false ideas or beliefs
Myths and misconceptionsTruth
Family planning contraceptive make women permanently barrenWhen a woman feels she should become pregnant , she just stops using the contraceptives and become pregnant again
Family planning increases teenage pregnancyInstead  teenagers are protected against unwanted pregnancies and STDs  / STIs
Use of contraceptive causes high blood pressure and kills women during birthOnce the women use  the right drugs as advised by the trained worker. Complications are reduced
Use of contraceptive leads to producing babies with abnormalities such as having one eye , ear being blind or lameThis is not true
Family planning is against the teaching of the churchAtleast the church supports the natural family planning method.
Contraceptives make women to loose hair on the head and grow beardsThere is no scientific proof about this

Changes during adolescence and puberty


Adolescence is a period of development changes between child hood and adult hood.

A person at this stage is called an adolescent.


This is the period of physical mental and sexual maturity i.e. when becomes a young adult capable of producing.

Changes in adolescents at puberty are called sex characteristics

There are three types namely;

  1. Primary sex characteristics
  2. Secondary sex characteristics
  3. Emotional /psychological sex characteristics

Primary sex education (Basic)

This involves the development of sexual organs for reproduction.

Primary sex characteristics in boys

Penis and testicles enlarge (increase in size)

The testicles start producing sperms (boys begin experiencing wet dreams.

Internal organs begin producing fluid like semen.

Primary sex characteristics in girls

Thickening of uterus walls

Menstruation begins

Ovaries develop and start releasing eggs (ovulation starts)

Secondary sex characteristics (physical)

These involve the physical development of the body parts.

Secondary sex characteristics in boys

  • Voice breaks and deepens
  • Hair grows on different parts of the body e.g. penis, armpits, chest, around the mouth and anus.
  • Bones and muscles enlarge i.e. a boy becomes muscular.
  • Sweat glands become more active.

Secondary sex characteristics in girls

  • Breasts enlarge and looks tender and attractive
  • Sweat glands become active making the face look smooth
  • The hip (pelvis) enlarge and a girl puts on a lot of weight.