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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.
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]
Simple tool for inserting intrauterine device may offer low-cost option for long-term contraception

Simple tool for inserting intrauterine device may offer low-cost option for long-term contraception

A simple tool designed for inserting an intrauterine device may offer women in the developing world a convenient, low-cost option for long-term contraception. [More]
Study examines depressed mother's oxytocin levels and mother-child emotional bonding

Study examines depressed mother's oxytocin levels and mother-child emotional bonding

Widely referred to as the "love" hormone, oxytocin is an indispensable part of childbirth and emotional mother-child bonding. Psychologists at Florida Atlantic University are conducting a novel study to determine how a mother's levels of oxytocin might be different in women with depression. [More]
Female childhood cancer survivors have a good chance of conceiving

Female childhood cancer survivors have a good chance of conceiving

A new study examines fertility issues in male and female childhood cancer survivors who had received chemotherapy. The study found that while most female survivors still have a good chance of conceiving, male survivors are significantly less likely to father children. [More]
Antibodies given within one day of SHIV exposure can clear the virus

Antibodies given within one day of SHIV exposure can clear the virus

Scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center today revealed that infant rhesus macaques treated with antibodies within 24 hours of being exposed to SHIV, a chimeric simian virus that bears the HIV envelope protein, were completely cleared of the virus. [More]
Many women have short length of stay after childbirth, new study finds

Many women have short length of stay after childbirth, new study finds

A substantial proportion of women in countries around the world do not stay in health facilities for long enough after giving birth, which could result in them receiving inadequate postnatal care, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine. [More]
Study finds strong link between postpartum disorder and suicide risk in new mothers

Study finds strong link between postpartum disorder and suicide risk in new mothers

Over a period spanning four decades, a total of eight Danish women committed suicide within a year of being diagnosed with a birth-related psychiatric disorder, including severe episodes of postpartum depression or psychosis. [More]
Small, tablet-sized ultrasound devices may help midwives figure out C-section candidates

Small, tablet-sized ultrasound devices may help midwives figure out C-section candidates

Midwives need more than fingers to figure out who the C-section candidates are. Small, tablet-sized ultrasound devices may be the key. [More]
Study examines long-term impact of delivery mode on stress urinary incontinence

Study examines long-term impact of delivery mode on stress urinary incontinence

Stress and urgency incontinence are the two most frequent and the most bothersome urinary symptoms among women. It has been estimated that about twelve percent of women report significant bother from stress incontinence and eight percent from urgency incontinence. Urinary incontinence affects hundreds of millions of women worldwide. [More]
Study reveals increased mortality risk following hypertensive disease of pregnancy

Study reveals increased mortality risk following hypertensive disease of pregnancy

In a study to be presented on Feb. 5 at 8 a.m. EST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled, Long-term mortality risk following hypertensive disease of pregnancy (HDP). [More]
Study examines ways to develop predictive tool for cesarean delivery in nulliparous patients

Study examines ways to develop predictive tool for cesarean delivery in nulliparous patients

In a study to be presented on Feb. 4 in an oral concurrent session at 1:15 p.m. EST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Atlanta, researchers will present findings from a study titled, How to Predict Cesarean Delivery in the Nulliparous Patient: Results from the Prospective Multi-center Genesis Study. [More]
PAHO recommendations for preventing or slowing spread of Zika virus

PAHO recommendations for preventing or slowing spread of Zika virus

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the Americas. Since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission of the virus in May 2015, it has spread to 21 countries and territories* of the Americas (as of 23 January 2016). [More]
Depression in expectant parents during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth

Depression in expectant parents during pregnancy increases risk of premature birth

Depression in both expectant mothers and fathers increases the risk of premature birth, finds a study published in BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG). [More]
Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

Study shows slow global progress on stillbirth prevention leaves over 2.6 million babies at risk each year

More than 2.6 million stillbirths continue to occur globally every year with very slow progress made to tackle this 'silent problem', according to new research published in The Lancet. Despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths, there has been little change in the number of stillbirths (in the third trimester of pregnancy) even though the majority are preventable. [More]
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