Pregnancy and Childbirth
Babies born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy are called premature or preterm. Babies born between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy are called full term. Babies born close to full term have the best chance to survive and do well.
Labor (childbirth) is when a pregnant woman’s uterus contracts and pushes or delivers the baby from her body. The baby may be delivered through the woman’s vagina or by cesarean section.
What You Might Expect Following Childbirth
After childbirth, you might be required to remain at the birthing facility/hospital for a time so that you can be monitored for problems or complications. You might be given an antibiotic to prevent infection. You might also be given pain control medication. Your doctor will instruct you regarding recovery.
You might also be instructed to contact your physician, and/or make contact with a local emergency treatment facility if; heavy bleeding occurs (2 or more pads/hour), pain is sever or not controlled by pain medication, you have fever, you have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, or you become disoriented.
It is normal for you to have some cramping, caused by the contraction of your uterus, and a small amount of bleeding can be expected. It is important that you return for a follow-up visit as instructed by your physician.