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Labor and Birth

Labor and Birth

Author: Aaron Mullally

This lesson will identify hormones involved in labor and birth as well as explain what occurs during each of the three stages of labor.

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Terms to Know

Occurs after the baby is expelled from the uterus, afterbirth is when the placenta separates from the uterine wall and is expelled from the mother.


When the fetus positions itself-feet first instead of head-first during labor.


The primary female sex hormone, estrogen promotes the development and maintenance of the female secondary sex characteristics; estrogen also plays a major role in the female making adjustments to pregnancy.


The secretion of milk from the mammary glands, hormonally stimulated by oxytocin.


A hormone secreted from the posterior pituitary gland (neurohypophysis) via a positive feedback mechanism once the child begins to put pressure on the cervix of the uterus.


A group of lipid-based chemical messengers in the body, prostaglandins during labor promote uterine contractions.