Labor and delivery

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Everyone's labor and delivery are unique. Still, knowing what's typical can help you know what to expect as your due date nears.

Labor and delivery usually follow a pattern. The cervix softens and opens. The fluid-filled sac around the baby, called the amniotic sac, breaks open. Contractions get stronger and closer together.

But sometimes, labor and delivery go another way. For example, how the baby lies in the uterus, called fetal presentation, can affect labor and delivery. You might change your mind about pain medicines. Or you might find that you need a C-section.

No matter what happens during labor and delivery, your health and your baby's health are most important. Discuss what you want during labor and delivery with your healthcare professional.

Talk about pain medicine. Tell your healthcare team how you feel about procedures that may be used during delivery. These include having a surgical cut made in the opening of the vagina, called an episiotomy. Then get ready to welcome your baby into the world.

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Oct. 26, 2023