Childbirth

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.

Overview

Feature Articles

Latest Childbirth News and Research

Research explores the mental health of new parents and importance of social support

Research explores the mental health of new parents and importance of social support

Mindfulness training for pregnant women doubles the chance of natural birth

Mindfulness training for pregnant women doubles the chance of natural birth

As Congress wrestles with plans to expand Medicare, Becerra says any one will do

As Congress wrestles with plans to expand Medicare, Becerra says any one will do

How women in England faced childbirth in the COVID-19 pandemic

How women in England faced childbirth in the COVID-19 pandemic

Mother-to-baby SARS-CoV-2 transmission in pregnancy possible but rare, says study

Mother-to-baby SARS-CoV-2 transmission in pregnancy possible but rare, says study

Risk-based computational models can predict spontaneous preterm childbirth

Risk-based computational models can predict spontaneous preterm childbirth

Have maternal pre-pandemic stress levels influenced children’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Have maternal pre-pandemic stress levels influenced children’s mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic?

New interactive resources launched to support the mental health of new mothers and fathers

New interactive resources launched to support the mental health of new mothers and fathers

Study shows that natural selection can reverse evolution through sexual selection

Study shows that natural selection can reverse evolution through sexual selection

Trying to avoid racist health care, Black women seek out Black obstetricians

Trying to avoid racist health care, Black women seek out Black obstetricians

Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection imprints immune response in the newborn

Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection imprints immune response in the newborn

Newsom wants to spend millions on the health of low-income mothers and their babies

Newsom wants to spend millions on the health of low-income mothers and their babies

Many new moms get kicked off Medicaid 2 months after giving birth. Illinois will change that.

Many new moms get kicked off Medicaid 2 months after giving birth. Illinois will change that.

Women with HPV have elevated risk of preterm birth, shows study

Women with HPV have elevated risk of preterm birth, shows study

New study launched to understand COVID impact on mental health in parents and babies

New study launched to understand COVID impact on mental health in parents and babies

China makes remarkable progress in reducing number of maternal and infant deaths

China makes remarkable progress in reducing number of maternal and infant deaths

Oxytocin-vasopressin circuit has distinct dynamics throughout embryonic development

Oxytocin-vasopressin circuit has distinct dynamics throughout embryonic development

Robust passive and active immunity found in infants born to COVID-19 positive mothers

Robust passive and active immunity found in infants born to COVID-19 positive mothers

COVID-19 in pregnancy does not significantly increase respiratory illness in newborns, says study

COVID-19 in pregnancy does not significantly increase respiratory illness in newborns, says study

Study finds low risk of infection in babies born to mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2

Study finds low risk of infection in babies born to mothers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2