Chapter

Immunology of Pregnancy

Part of the series Medical Intelligence Unit pp 253-293

Term and Preterm Parturition

  • Roberto RomeroAffiliated withNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health, Perinatal Research Branch
  • , Jimmy EspinozaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • , Joaquin SantolayaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • , Tinnakorn ChaiworapongsaAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • , Moshe MazorAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka Medical Center

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Abstract

Parturition is the act of giving birth.1 It is a complex process that includes the anatomical, physiological, biochemical and immunological events taking place in the mother, placenta and fetus. These events are responsible for: (1) the preparation of the uterus for labor; (2) labor per se, leading to the delivery of the fetus and placenta; and (3) post-partum uterine involution, breast feeding and adaptation of maternal behavior.