Labor, Birth, and Postpartum

Labor and Delivery

Labor
Labor usually starts two weeks before or after the estimated date of delivery. No one knows exactly what triggers the onset of labor.
Delivery
In preparation of the delivery, you may be moved into a birthing room or delivery room, or you may remain in the same room for both labor and delivery.
Cesarean Delivery
Cesarean delivery is the surgical delivery of a baby by an incision through the mother's abdomen and uterus. This procedure is performed when it is determined to be a safer method than a vaginal delivery for the mother, baby, or both.
Episiotomy
During childbirth, the vagina may not stretch enough. If this occurs, your health care provider may perform an episiotomy to help enlarge the opening and deliver the baby.
External and Internal Heart Rate Monitoring of the Fetus
The fetal heart rate may change as the fetus responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate or pattern may indicate that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen or that there are other problems.
Laborists: Specialists in Labor and Delivery
During labor, you and your doctor may decide to turn to a laborist—an OB/GYN who works on site at the hospital and specializes in caring for women in labor.
Cord Blood Banking
Cord blood banking is an option for parents who want to preserve the blood of the umbilical cord and placenta of their baby as “insurance” to help with possible future medical needs of their child.

Problems After Delivery

Postpartum Hemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage is excessive bleeding after the birth of a baby. Most postpartum hemorrhage occurs right after delivery, but it can occur later as well.
Postpartum Thyroiditis
Postpartum thyroiditis is a temporary but fairly common condition that results in either an overactive or underactive thyroid.
Mastitis
Detailed information on breastfeeding and mastitis

Taking Care of Mom

More Than Just the Baby Blues
As a new mom, your body is going through lots of changes—not just physically, but emotionally, too. If you can’t seem to shake the “baby blues,” there may be a bigger issue at hand than lack of sleep. Discover the warning signs that signal help is needed.
Baby Blues: Mood Swings or More Serious?
For many women, the "baby blues" pass quickly. For others, the feelings of sadness don't ease and may become worse.
The New Mother - Taking Care of Yourself After Birth
You will need plenty of rest, good nutrition, and help during the first few weeks after your baby is born.
Contraception/Birth Control
You have a lot of options when it comes to birth control. Some methods don't require a doctor's visit, but others, like oral contraceptives, are available only by prescription.
Caring for the Mother: Physically and Emotionally
Nap when your baby naps. Take warm, shallow baths several times a day if you had stitches after delivery. Wear a supportive bra and use warm compresses to help with milk letdown.
Tubal Ligation
Tubal ligation is surgical procedure you may choose if you are an adult woman and you do not want to get pregnant in the future. You may have heard tubal ligation referred to as "getting your tubes tied."