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FAQ087, November 2016

What is preterm labor? Preterm labor is defined as regular contractions of the uterus resulting in changes in the cervix that start before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Changes in the cervix include effacement (the cervix thins out) and dilation (the cervix opens so that the fetus can enter the birth canal).


FAQ173, June 2016

When is a baby considered “preterm” or “extremely preterm?” A normal pregnancy with one baby lasts about 40 weeks. Babies born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy are called “preterm” or “premature.” Babies born before 28 completed weeks of pregnancy are considered extremely preterm. The earlier a baby is born, the less likely he or she is to survive. Those who do survive often have serious, sometimes long-term health problems and disabilities.


FAQ032, May 2016

Why is it important to be supportive during your partner’s pregnancy? Women who have an involved and supportive partner during pregnancy are more likely to give up harmful behaviors, such as smoking, and lead healthier lives. Babies may be born healthier as well, with lower rates of preterm birth and growth problems. Women who are well supported during pregnancy may be less anxious and have less stress in the weeks after childbirth. You can be supportive by educating yourself about pregnancy, going with your partner to prenatal care appointments, and joining her in making healthy lifestyle c...


4.
February 2016

FAQ192, February 2016

What is assisted vaginal delivery? Assisted vaginal delivery is vaginal delivery of a baby performed with the help of forceps or a vacuum device. It sometimes is called operative vaginal delivery.


5.
July 2015

FAQ188, July 2015

How does multiple pregnancy occur? A twin, triplet, or higher-order pregnancy (four or more babies) is called multiple pregnancy. If more than one egg is released during the menstrual cycle and each is fertilized by a sperm, more than one embryo may implant and grow in your uterus. This type of pregnancy results in fraternal twins (or more). When a single fertilized egg splits, it results in multiple identical embryos. This type of pregnancy results in identical twins (or more). Identical twins are less common than fraternal twins.


FAQ006, May 2015

What is cesarean birth? Cesarean birth is the delivery of a baby through incisions made in the mother's abdomen and uterus.


7.
April 2015

FAQ079, April 2015

What does it mean when a baby is breech? In the last weeks of pregnancy, babies usually move so that their heads are positioned to come out of the vagina first during birth. This is called a vertex presentation. A breech presentation occurs when the baby’s buttocks, feet, or both are in place to come out first during birth. This happens in 3–4% of full-term births.


FAQ086, March 2014

What are the types of pain-relieving medications that can be used during labor and delivery? In general, there are two types of pain-relieving drugs: 1) analgesics and 2) anesthetics. Analgesics relieve pain without total loss of feeling or muscle movement. They are used to lessen pain but usually do not stop pain completely. Anesthetics block all feeling, including pain.


FAQ181, June 2013

What is a “medically indicated” delivery? A medically indicated delivery is done for a medical reason. These reasons may be the woman’s medical condition or a problem with the baby. Labor may be induced (started with the use of certain drugs or other means) or a cesarean delivery may be performed (in which the baby is born through incisions made in the abdomen and uterus).


10.
January 2012

FAQ154, January 2012

What is labor induction? Labor induction is the use of medications or other methods to bring on (induce) labor.


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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