After the vagina receives the male penis, the semen is discharged into the upper
recess opposite the opening of the cervix. At parturition, the vagina forms the birth
canal through which the newborn passes to the outside.
The openings of the vagina and urethra are covered by the external genitalia.
The secondary sexual characteristics of the female are those features designed
When the female bony pelvis "relaxes" for childbirth, the ligaments of the bony
pelvis and perineum become quite stretchable. This increases the diameters of the
The mammary glands respond to the estrogens and progesterone with additional
growth. Towards the end of the pregnancy, the breasts begin to form a fluid substance,
colostrum. Within 2 to 3 days after the birth, the breasts begin to secrete large
quantities of milk.
Human milk is the natural food of the newborn infant.
Accompanying nursing, for both the child and the mother, are strong
Initially after childbirth, the mammary gland secretes colostrum, consisting most
importantly of antibodies, which protect the infant during the first 6 months of life.
Later, the mother's milk contains antibodies for specific infections of the child.
It is important for a woman to be able to examine her own breasts. (para 9-18)
The placenta is the specific area of exchange between the maternal blood and
the fetal blood. By this exchange, the fetus gets rid of waste materials and acquires
food, oxygen, and other needed substances from the mother. (para 9-20)
Parturition is the process of childbirth.
The initial phase includes stretching of the uterine cervix. At the appropriate
moment, the amniotic membranes rupture and release the amniotic fluid.
During its passage through the birth canal, the newborn makes two partial
rotations to accommodate the diameters of the relaxed bony pelvis.
In natural childbirth, there are several reflexes occurring normally at appropriate