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Labor and Delivery

After nine months of incredible growth and changes both in the mother and the fetus, labor (contractions of the uterus) may finally start, signaling the pending birth of the baby. Many women fear the prospect of delivering their child. Part of this fear may be attributed to the unknown, especially in first pregnancies. Instead, be proactive and consider discussing the following questions with your care provider before labor begins:

Picture of a woman, distressed, in a hospital bed

  • When will labor begin?

  • How long will labor last?

  • How much pain is involved in delivering a baby?

  • Will the birth hurt the baby in any way?

Just as prenatal development occurs in several stages, so does the delivery of a baby. Listed in the directory below, you will not only find information regarding the different stages of labor, but also the importance of providing appropriate postpartum (also called post-delivery) care for the new mother and the newborn, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 7/12/2011
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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