Physiology in Childbearing

with Anatomy and Related Biosciences


  • Jean Rankin, BSc(Hons) MSc PhD PGCE RM RGN RSCN , Lead Midwife for Education, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley; Supervisor of Midwives – Ayrshire and Arran, UK

This ISBN is now out of print. A new edition with e-book is available under ISBN 9780702044762.

The third edition of this popular textbook gives a clear, easy-to-read account of anatomy and physiology at all stages of pregnancy and childbirth. Each chapter covers normal physiology, changes to the physiology in pregnancy, and application to practice. The physiology of childbearing is placed within a total biological context, drawing on evolution, ecology, biochemistry and cell biology.

View full description


Book information

  • Published: April 2010
  • ISBN: 978-0-7020-3106-9

Table of Contents

SECTION 1 Preconception

1 Basic biochemistry

2 The cell - its structures and functions

3 Structure, organisation and regulation of genes

4 The female reproductive system

5 The male reproductive system

6 Fertility control

7 Infertility

8 Preconception matters

Section 2A Pregnancy - the fetus

9 General embryology

10 Embryological systems 1 - trunk, head and limbs

11 Embryological systems 2 - internal organs

12 The placenta, membranes and amniotic fluid

13 Fetal growth and development

14 Common fetal problems

15 Congenital defects

Section 2B Pregnancy - the mother

16 The haematological system - physiology of the blood

17 The cardiovascular system

18 Respiration

19 The renal tract

20 Fluid, electrolyte and acid-base balance

21 The gastrointestinal tract

22 The accessory digestive organs

23 Nutrition and metabolism during pregnancy

24 The nature of bone - the female pelvis and fetal skull

25 Muscle - the pelvic floor and the uterus

26 The central nervous system

27 The peripheral and autonomic nervous systems

28 The endocrine system

29 The immune system

Section 2C Pregnancy - the problems

30 Minor disorders of pregnancy

31 Bleeding in pregnancy

32 Cardiac and hypertensive disorders

33 Anaemia and clotting disorders

34 Respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and neurological problems

35 Diabetes mellitus and other metabolic disorders in pregnancy

Section 3A Labour - normal

36 The onset of labour

37 The first stage of labour

38 Pain relief in labour

39 The second stage of labour

40 The third stage of labour

Section 3B Labour problems

41 Abnormalities of uterine action and onset of labour

42 Breech presentation

43 Malposition and cephalic malpresentations

44 Cephalopelvic disproportion, obstructed labour and other obstetric emergencies

45 Postpartum haemorrhage and other third-stage problems

46 Perinatal fetal asphyxia

47 Operative delivery

Section 4A Puerperium - the baby as a neonate

48 Adaptation to extrauterine life 1 - haematological,

cardiovascular, respiratory and genitourinary considerations

49 Adaptation to extrauterine life 2 - gastro-intestinal, metabolic, neural, and immunological considerations

50 Health challenges and problems in neonates of low birth weight

51 Developmental anatomy: related cardiovascular and respiratory disorders

52 Jaundice and common metabolic problems in neonates

53 Risks of infections and trauma in neonates

Section 4B Puerperium - the mother

54 The breasts and lactation

55 Breastfeeding practice and problems

56 The puerperium

57 Biobehavioural aspects of parenting