A pregnant woman and her partner sit together on a floor mat facing an instructor in a labor and delivery class.

Labor and Delivery

"Labor" and "delivery" describe the process of childbirth. Contractions of the uterus and changes in the cervix (the opening of the uterus) prepare a woman's body to give birth. Then the baby is born, and the placenta follows.

NICHD studies many aspects of labor and delivery: their basic biology, childbirth practices, and management of related problems.

A separate topic covers preterm labor and birth.

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