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.

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Latest Childbirth News and Research

What is the risk of Omicron infection in pregnant women?

What is the risk of Omicron infection in pregnant women?

Early pregnancy glycemia predicts postpartum diabetes

Early pregnancy glycemia predicts postpartum diabetes

Pregnancy-specific anxiety associated with shorter gestation times and earlier births

Pregnancy-specific anxiety associated with shorter gestation times and earlier births

Anxiety during pregnancy associated with earlier births

Anxiety during pregnancy associated with earlier births

Research on the antimicrobial effects of human milk oligosaccharides

Research on the antimicrobial effects of human milk oligosaccharides

In the rush to curtail abortion, states adopt a jumbled stew of definitions for human life

In the rush to curtail abortion, states adopt a jumbled stew of definitions for human life

How is the COVID pandemic affecting perinatal mental health?

How is the COVID pandemic affecting perinatal mental health?

Study: Sexual enjoyment after childbirth is unaffected by different modes of delivery

Study: Sexual enjoyment after childbirth is unaffected by different modes of delivery

Haunted for 13 years by debt from childbirth, then rescued by a nonprofit

Haunted for 13 years by debt from childbirth, then rescued by a nonprofit

Study determines the impact of withholding nitrous oxide for labor analgesia

Study determines the impact of withholding nitrous oxide for labor analgesia

Women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy more likely to develop dementia

Women with a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy more likely to develop dementia

Gene mutation responsible for hereditary hemochromatosis may be a risk factor for movement disorders

Gene mutation responsible for hereditary hemochromatosis may be a risk factor for movement disorders

Winners of NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for Maternal Health announced

Winners of NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for Maternal Health announced

Study results encourage SARS-CoV-2–infected mothers breastfeed to protect infants from COVID

Study results encourage SARS-CoV-2–infected mothers breastfeed to protect infants from COVID

Increased risk of maternal morbidity is associated with maternal age, obesity, and previous C-section

Increased risk of maternal morbidity is associated with maternal age, obesity, and previous C-section

Study finds link between congenital syphilis and socioeconomic factors in small/medium California counties

Study finds link between congenital syphilis and socioeconomic factors in small/medium California counties

A Spanish study found traces of environmental pollution in breast milk

A Spanish study found traces of environmental pollution in breast milk

Has the COVID pandemic affected breastfeeding intention?

Has the COVID pandemic affected breastfeeding intention?

How is the microbiome of an infant influenced by mother's bacteria?

How is the microbiome of an infant influenced by mother's bacteria?