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When you are ready to have your baby, you'll go through labor. Contractions let you know labor is starting. When contractions are five minutes apart, your body is ready to push the baby out.

During the first stage of labor, your cervix slowly opens, or dilates, to about 4 inches wide. At the same time, it becomes thinner. This is called effacement. You shouldn't push until your uterus is fully effaced and dilated. When it is, the baby delivery stage starts. Crowning is when your baby's scalp comes into view. Shortly afterward, your baby is born. The placenta that nourished the baby follows.

Mothers and babies are monitored closely during labor. Most women are healthy enough to have a baby through normal vaginal delivery, meaning that the baby comes down the birth canal without surgery. If there are complications, the baby may need to be delivered surgically by a Cesarean section.
Liverpool-led research consortium aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Liverpool-led research consortium aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV

Researchers from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine have been awarded a grant of up to US$ 8.9 million (GBP £5.8m) to lead a multinational research consortium that aims to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. [More]
Older first-time mothers may have increased chances of living longer

Older first-time mothers may have increased chances of living longer

The average age of a woman giving birth for the first time has risen dramatically in the United States over the past 40 years, driven by factors like education or career. [More]
Gaumard to exhibit new OMNI 2 touch-screen wireless interface at AHA’s Scientific Sessions

Gaumard to exhibit new OMNI 2 touch-screen wireless interface at AHA’s Scientific Sessions

Gaumard Scientific Company will demonstrate how it is transforming CPR training with value-priced simulators and skills trainers into an intuitive tap-and-go experience when the new OMNI 2 touch-screen wireless interface is demonstrated at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, November 13-15 in booth 2045 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. [More]
Women who have not given birth also experience urinary incontinence, study finds

Women who have not given birth also experience urinary incontinence, study finds

Women who have not given birth often end up under the radar for research on urinary incontinence. In a study of this group, however, one in five women over 45 years say they experience this type of incontinence. [More]
Encapsulated placenta may not be good source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers, study finds

Encapsulated placenta may not be good source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers, study finds

Hey new moms, don't put down that can of spinach just yet. A research team led by UNLV medical anthropologists found that eating encapsulated human placenta, a practice known as placentophagy, may not be as good a source of dietary iron for postpartum mothers as proponents suggest. [More]
Authors call for international efforts to end preventable deaths from breast, cervical cancer

Authors call for international efforts to end preventable deaths from breast, cervical cancer

​Every year 800000 women die of cervical and breast cancer, but where a woman lives will largely determine her chance of survival. [More]
Two genes linked to increase in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, study shows

Two genes linked to increase in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, study shows

Alternative forms of two genes are associated with a boost in immunity to hepatitis C after childbirth, a study led by a Nationwide Children's Hospital physician-researcher shows. [More]
Women who experience pain relief from epidural analgesia less likely to have postpartum depression

Women who experience pain relief from epidural analgesia less likely to have postpartum depression

Epidural anesthesia may do more than relieve pain during labor; in some women it may decrease the likelihood of postpartum depression, suggests a preliminary study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2016 annual meeting. [More]
WHO and partners call for end to discrimination, lack of respect that hinder midwives’ working conditions

WHO and partners call for end to discrimination, lack of respect that hinder midwives’ working conditions

The World Health Organization and partners are calling for an end to the discrimination, harassment and lack of respect that hinder midwives’ ability to provide quality care to women and newborns. [More]
Historical research shows how solitary confinement threatens physical, mental health of prisoners

Historical research shows how solitary confinement threatens physical, mental health of prisoners

Researchers in the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Warwick are investigating the impact of solitary confinement in prisons on mental health over the last 150 years, drawing on archival evidence, including the Howard League Archives held at Warwick University's Modern Records Centre, and the memoirs of real prisoners. [More]
Maternal and paternal age linked to child’s risk for developing autism or schizophrenia

Maternal and paternal age linked to child’s risk for developing autism or schizophrenia

A new study published in Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health indicates that parents who reproduce later in life are more likely to have children who develop autism disorders. Later reproduction was not, however, associated with increased risk for schizophrenia in offspring. [More]
New research shows oxytocin may increase sense of spirituality

New research shows oxytocin may increase sense of spirituality

Oxytocin has been dubbed the "love hormone" for its role promoting social bonding, altruism and more. Now new research from Duke University suggests the hormone may also support spirituality. [More]
New Griffith research shows midwives at increased risk of PTSD

New Griffith research shows midwives at increased risk of PTSD

The midwifery profession is at risk of increasing levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to new research from Griffith University this week. [More]
UChicago opens new Family Birth Center inside Comer Children's Hospital

UChicago opens new Family Birth Center inside Comer Children's Hospital

The University of Chicago Medicine is opening its new 25,000-square foot Family Birth Center inside Comer Children's Hospital, bringing a more customizable birth experience to women on the South Side and south suburbs. [More]
Social, emotional factors may raise risk of postpartum depression in mothers of preterm infants

Social, emotional factors may raise risk of postpartum depression in mothers of preterm infants

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, affecting up to 15 percent of all women within the first three months following delivery. [More]
Induced deliveries following rupture of amniotic sac pose no increased risk to health of mother and infants

Induced deliveries following rupture of amniotic sac pose no increased risk to health of mother and infants

A new Tel Aviv University study has determined that natural, spontaneous deliveries and induced deliveries following the rupture of the amniotic sac in the mother share similar neonatal outcomes, contradicting common wisdom. [More]
New study reveals physicians not discouraging Egyptian women from practicing female circumcision

New study reveals physicians not discouraging Egyptian women from practicing female circumcision

Women in Egypt are seeking out doctors' opinions on whether they should circumcise their daughters and, though it is illegal there, physicians are not discouraging the practice, giving legitimacy to a procedure that has serious medical risks, according to a new study led by a former Stanford University School of Medicine researcher. [More]
Naturally-occurring sugars in woman's breast milk may protect infants against life threatening bacteria

Naturally-occurring sugars in woman's breast milk may protect infants against life threatening bacteria

A type of sugar found naturally in some women's breast milk may protect newborn babies from infection with a potentially life threatening bacterium called Group B streptococcus, according to a new study from Imperial College London. [More]
Exact magnitude of stillbirths, maternal and neonatal mortality underreported, WHO reveals

Exact magnitude of stillbirths, maternal and neonatal mortality underreported, WHO reveals

The day of birth is potentially the most dangerous time for mothers and babies. Every year, worldwide, 303 000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth, 2.7 million babies die during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies are stillborn. [More]
Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Professor Strachan first proposed the hygiene hypothesis back in 1989. Reviewing the evidence, he suggested that one of the causes of the recent rapid rise in allergic diseases in children was lack of exposure to childhood infections [More]
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