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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.
Study uses 3D motion capture to measure how pregnant women walk

Study uses 3D motion capture to measure how pregnant women walk

Movie sets are normally the home of three-dimensional motion caption systems, but researchers used the same video recording system in a lab to measure the way pregnant women walk. [More]
Women more afraid of childbirth than previously thought

Women more afraid of childbirth than previously thought

Every woman who has ever had a baby shower has had to sit through the gruesome war stories about labor and childbirth. [More]
WHO urges all countries to establish blood services based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations

WHO urges all countries to establish blood services based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations

Voluntary, unpaid blood donations must be increased rapidly in more than half the world’s countries in order to ensure a reliable supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it, the World Health Organization said on World Blood Donor Day. [More]
Mayo Clinic offers new treatment for patients with long-term fecal incontinence

Mayo Clinic offers new treatment for patients with long-term fecal incontinence

A clinical team on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus is the first to offer four patients with long-term fecal incontinence a new and potentially long-lasting treatment — a small band of interlinked magnetic titanium beads on a titanium string that successfully mimics the function of the anal sphincter. [More]
New real-time imaging technique holds great potential in shaping assisted reproduction procedures

New real-time imaging technique holds great potential in shaping assisted reproduction procedures

Researchers at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) have developed advanced microscopy technologies to monitor embryo development in real time, revealing how mammalian cells differentiate during the earliest stages of embryonic life. [More]
Global life expectancy on the rise, but major health inequalities persist

Global life expectancy on the rise, but major health inequalities persist

Dramatic gains in life expectancy have been made globally since 2000, but major inequalities persist within and among countries, according to this year’s “World Health Statistics: Monitoring Health for the SDGs”. [More]
High doses of vitamin D supplements could lead to fewer birth complications but reduce fertility

High doses of vitamin D supplements could lead to fewer birth complications but reduce fertility

New research has established that high doses of vitamin D supplements can lead to fewer complications during childbirth but reduce a woman's chances of getting pregnant in the first place. [More]
Study demonstrates effectiveness of NeuroStar TMS Therapy System in women with postpartum depression

Study demonstrates effectiveness of NeuroStar TMS Therapy System in women with postpartum depression

An unfortunate fact facing mothers in the U.S. is that postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of women who give birth each year – or roughly 600,000 women – experience postpartum depression symptoms. [More]
WHO guidelines on the management of health complications from female genital mutilation

WHO guidelines on the management of health complications from female genital mutilation

Health workers across the world now need to be prepared to provide care to girls and women who have undergone FGM. But, health workers are often unaware of the many negative health consequences of FGM and many remain inadequately trained to recognize and treat them properly. As a result, many women may suffer needlessly from physical and mental health consequences due to FGM. [More]
Novel iPad simulation app can instruct future nurses in monitoring babies and mothers during labor

Novel iPad simulation app can instruct future nurses in monitoring babies and mothers during labor

Sheila Taylor leaned in to see the baby's heartbeat rhythm. She watched as the baby's heartbeat line fell without a corresponding spike showing the mother's uterus contracting down on it. [More]
Formal mental health therapies offer little relief from postpartum depression for low-income mothers of color

Formal mental health therapies offer little relief from postpartum depression for low-income mothers of color

Health care providers and human service agencies often manage postpartum depression with formal mental health treatments and antidepressant therapies, but for new, low-income mothers of color these interventions often provide little relief from the mood disorder that sometimes follows childbirth, according to a new study led by a University at Buffalo researcher. [More]
Sexually-assaulted women more likely to develop variety of medical conditions

Sexually-assaulted women more likely to develop variety of medical conditions

Researchers have found that a variety of conditions are more common in women before and after sexual assault. [More]
Internet-based CBT programme can help women suffering from severe FOC

Internet-based CBT programme can help women suffering from severe FOC

Women expecting their first child but who are experiencing severe fear of childbirth (FOC) stand to dramatically benefit in reducing their anxieties with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) delivered via the internet, according to the results of new research. [More]
Kevin Hollinrake MP, ANTRUK CEO comment on Chancellor George Osborne's IMF speech on antibiotic resistance

Kevin Hollinrake MP, ANTRUK CEO comment on Chancellor George Osborne's IMF speech on antibiotic resistance

Chancellor George Osborne will today warn that resistance to antibiotics will become an “even greater threat to mankind than cancer” without global action. His comments will be presented in a speech at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington today, 14th April 2016. [More]
Research looks at effects of traumatic childbirth on midwives and obstetricians

Research looks at effects of traumatic childbirth on midwives and obstetricians

When complications arise in the delivery room that lead to traumatic childbirth, clinicians providing care may feel upset and experience secondary traumatic stress. [More]
Traumatic childbirth may impact healthcare professionals' mental health

Traumatic childbirth may impact healthcare professionals' mental health

When complications arise in the delivery room that lead to traumatic childbirth, clinicians providing care may feel upset and experience secondary traumatic stress. A new study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that feelings of blame and guilt dominate when midwives and obstetricians struggle to cope with the aftermath of a traumatic childbirth, but such events also made them think more about the meaning of life and helped them become better midwives and doctors. [More]
Obesity and diabetes during pregnancy can cause excessive growth of foetus

Obesity and diabetes during pregnancy can cause excessive growth of foetus

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge showed that obese women who develop gestational diabetes have a five-fold greater risk of excessive foetal growth at 6 months gestation. Furthermore, it revealed that such excessive growth starts before women are screened for gestational diabetes. [More]
New Jersey’s paid family leave program needs adequate information and better outreach

New Jersey’s paid family leave program needs adequate information and better outreach

New Jersey parents say that inadequate information and outreach, a lack of employer support, and a confusing application process discourage their participation in the state's landmark paid family leave program, according to new research from the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. [More]
Fertility goes down when cost of achieving social status goes up

Fertility goes down when cost of achieving social status goes up

Competition for social status may be an important driver of lower fertility in the modern world, suggests a new study published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. [More]
CRPS rank higher on pain scales than childbirth, cancer, amputation

CRPS rank higher on pain scales than childbirth, cancer, amputation

Imagine pain in an arm or leg so intense that the sufferer would rather undergo an amputation than put up with it any longer. For those with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), this is not just a hypothetical nightmare—it is reality. [More]
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