Labor Labor usually starts two weeks before or after the estimated date of delivery. No one knows exactly what triggers the onset of labor. Delivery In preparation of the delivery, you may be moved into a birthing room or delivery room, or you may remain in the same room for both labor and delivery. Cesarean Delivery Cesarean delivery is the surgical delivery of a baby by an incision through the mother's abdomen and uterus. This procedure is performed when it is determined to be a safer method than a vaginal delivery for the mother, baby, or both. Episiotomy During childbirth, the vagina may not stretch enough. If this occurs, your health care provider may perform an episiotomy to help enlarge the opening and deliver the baby. External and Internal Heart Rate Monitoring of the Fetus The fetal heart rate may change as the fetus responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate or pattern may indicate that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen or that there are other problems. Cord Blood Banking Cord blood banking is an option for parents who want to preserve the blood of the umbilical cord and placenta of their baby as “insurance” to help with possible future medical needs of their child.