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During labor, your body is moving your baby down and out. Your cervix also changes to prepare for birth.
Source: Patient Education Pamphlet: What to Expect After Your Due Date. April 2006. Publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
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Linda Murray: What’s going on in your body during labor? In a nutshell, your body does 2 main things to help your baby out into the world. It pushes your baby down and out with contractions of the uterus, the pouch-like organ that’s been his home for the past 9 months, and it opens up the cervix, the narrow opening of the uterus, so that your baby has a way out. When your health-care providers talk about your cervix opening up, they’ll probably say it’s dilating, the medical term for opening, and effacing, the medical term for thinning. Unlike in the movies, there’s not a single clear moment when labor begins. Your body starts slowly gearing up for it as long as a month before your baby is born. Eventually, you’ll know you’re in early labor because you’ll have contractions that are getting longer, stronger, and closer together.
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