Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Every woman's labor and delivery experience is unique. Still, understanding what's typical can help you know what to expect as your due date approaches.
Labor and delivery generally follows a fairly predictable pattern — the cervix softening and opening; the amniotic sac rupturing; the contractions getting stronger and closer together. Sometimes, however, labor and delivery takes surprising twists and turns. You might reconsider your wishes about pain medication, or you might need an unexpected C-section.
However your labor and delivery unfolds, remember that your health and your baby's health are what's most important. Discuss your labor and delivery preferences with your health care provider, including options for pain medication and thoughts about episiotomy and other procedures. Then look forward to welcoming your baby into the world.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not for profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.