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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.
Expecting mothers may soon receive perinatal depression screenings using mHealth technology

Expecting mothers may soon receive perinatal depression screenings using mHealth technology

Pregnant women and new mothers at one central Illinois public health clinic will soon receive depression screenings using mobile health - also called mHealth - technology. [More]
Blunted cortisol response common in non-classic CAH

Blunted cortisol response common in non-classic CAH

Nearly two-thirds of children with non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia have an inadequate cortisol response, report researchers. [More]
New study finds no connection between hip width and efficient locomotion

New study finds no connection between hip width and efficient locomotion

Among the facts so widely assumed that they are rarely, if ever studied, is the notion that wider hips make women less efficient when they walk and run. [More]
BU study explores birth outcomes for women who receive fertility treatment

BU study explores birth outcomes for women who receive fertility treatment

Birth outcomes for babies whose mothers used assisted reproductive technology (ART) are better in some cases, and worse in others, than for subfertile women who did not use ART, according to a first-of-its-kind study led by Boston University School of Public Health researchers. [More]
Mother's age at childbirth may affect metabolic health of male children

Mother's age at childbirth may affect metabolic health of male children

A mother's age at childbirth may affect her male baby's birth weight as well as his adult glucose metabolism, new research shows. [More]
TOMS Bag Collection launched to address issue of maternal health worldwide

TOMS Bag Collection launched to address issue of maternal health worldwide

TOMS – the company known for starting a global movement through its One for One business model – has launched its fourth and newest product, the TOMS Bag Collection, addressing the issue of maternal health worldwide. [More]
Pelvalon receives FDA approval to market Eclipse System for improving bowel control in women

Pelvalon receives FDA approval to market Eclipse System for improving bowel control in women

Pelvalon announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the company's de novo request to market the Eclipse System, the first vaginal insert designed to provide bowel control, in the United States. Loss of bowel control, also known as fecal incontinence, is a condition that affects over 20 million women in the U.S. [More]
Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare awards grants to support MIHS programs

Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare awards grants to support MIHS programs

The Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare announced today that it awarded $50,000 in community impact grants to help four programs that support the underserved, including a unique hospital-based domestic violence prevention effort. [More]
Risk factors associated with pregnancy are more harmful in advanced maternal age

Risk factors associated with pregnancy are more harmful in advanced maternal age

Many of the risk factors associated with pregnancy are more harmful when the expectant mother is over 35. [More]
Induced or augmented labor does not increase risk of autism spectrum disorder

Induced or augmented labor does not increase risk of autism spectrum disorder

A research collaboration between Intermountain Healthcare, the University of Utah's Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, and the University of Utah's Psychiatry Department found that induced or augmented labor does not result in an increased risk of children developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). [More]
Induced labor is not associated with Autism spectrum disorder, shows study

Induced labor is not associated with Autism spectrum disorder, shows study

In a study to be presented on Feb. 5 in an oral pleanary session at 8 a.m. PST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™, in San Diego, researchers will report that induced or augmented labor are not associated with increased odds of Autism spectrum disorder. [More]
Survey results shows meningioma survivors more likely to want and intend to have baby

Survey results shows meningioma survivors more likely to want and intend to have baby

The diagnosis of a brain tumor—even one that's usually "benign" and slow growing such as a meningioma—can be scary. [More]
New study finds link between dyspareunia and mode of delivery

New study finds link between dyspareunia and mode of delivery

Operative birth is associated with persisting pain during or after sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia, suggests a new study published today (21 January) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. [More]
New research on safest way to position women during labor

New research on safest way to position women during labor

New research is challenging what many obstetricians and physician anesthesiologists believe is the best way to position women during labor. According to a study published in the February issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the traditional practice of positioning women on their side, with hips tilted at 15 degrees, during labor does not effectively reduce compression of the inferior vena cava, a large vein located near the abdominal area that returns blood to the heart, as previously thought. [More]
Prenatal program enhances couples' co-parenting relationship, improves childhood outcomes

Prenatal program enhances couples' co-parenting relationship, improves childhood outcomes

Children whose parents participated in a prenatal program aimed at enhancing couples' co-parenting relationship were better adjusted at age seven than children whose parents were assigned to a control group, according to Penn State researchers. [More]
Controlling acute and chronic pain in women

Controlling acute and chronic pain in women

Despite the variety of effective treatments, and physicians who specialize in treating pain, women often suffer unnecessarily from conditions ranging from backaches to pain after cancer surgery, and also treat their pain with medications that may be ineffective and possibly harmful, according to a review of research related to women and pain by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. [More]
Women with postpartum depression during pregnancy may face greater risk, study finds

Women with postpartum depression during pregnancy may face greater risk, study finds

When it comes to postpartum depression, one size does not fit all, according to a new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers. [More]
Medical co-morbidities associated with direct maternal deaths in the UK

Medical co-morbidities associated with direct maternal deaths in the UK

Medical co-morbidities, when women have one or more medical conditions, are found to be an important factor associated with direct maternal deaths, suggests a new study published today (9 January) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). [More]
Injectable hormonal contraceptive appears to increase HIV risk in women

Injectable hormonal contraceptive appears to increase HIV risk in women

Women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as Depo-Provera or the birth control shot, have a moderately increased risk of becoming infected with HIV, a large meta-analysis of 12 studies involving more than 39 500 women published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has found. Other forms of hormonal contraception, including oral contraceptive pills, do not appear to increase this risk. [More]
Multiple micronutrients for pregnant women does not reduce infant mortality compared to iron-folic acid

Multiple micronutrients for pregnant women does not reduce infant mortality compared to iron-folic acid

In Bangladesh, daily maternal supplementation of multiple micronutrients compared to iron-folic acid before and after childbirth did not reduce all-cause infant mortality to age 6 months, but did result in significant reductions in preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study in the December 24/31 issue of JAMA. [More]
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