22. The Normal Mechanisms of Labour
- D. Keith Edmonds FRCOG, RRACOG
Published Online: 5 JAN 2012
Copyright © 2012 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Dewhurst's Textbook of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Eighth Edition
How to Cite
López Bernal, A. and Norwitz, E. R. (2012) The Normal Mechanisms of Labour, in Dewhurst's Textbook of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Eighth Edition (ed D. K. Edmonds), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119979449.ch22
Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital, London, UK
- Published Online: 5 JAN 2012
- Published Print: 10 JAN 2012
Print ISBN: 9780470654576
Online ISBN: 9781119979449
- preterm birth;
Labour is the physiological process by which the products of conception are passed from the uterus to the outside world, and is common to all mammalian viviparous species. The timely onset of labour is a critical determinant of perinatal outcome. Both preterm birth (defined as delivery prior to 37 weeks) and post-term pregnancy (continuation beyond 42 weeks of gestation) are associated with increased perinatal morbidity and mortality. The chapter summarizes the current state of knowledge on the endocrine, genetic, biochemical and molecular mechanisms responsible for the onset of labour at term and for the safe and timely delivery of the fetus. The clinical management of normal labour and birth is also reviewed.