A Reproductive Lexicon


Ownership of this website has been transferred from Northwestern University to Michigan State University.
Please note that some site information may be inaccurate while adjustments to reflect this organizational change are made.

MOOC Advertisement

Learn More:
Get An Introduction to Reproduction

Learn more about the science of reproduction. Dr. Teresa Woodruff, creator of Repropedia, is offering a free online course exploring the world of reproduction.

Get Started!

postpartum period

The period of time immediately following childbirth. This period can be divided into three distinct yet continuous stages. The first 6-12 hours postpartum a woman is said to be in the initial/acute phase, during which time the mother must be carefully monitored for post pregnancy complications such as hemorrhage, eclampsia and embolism. Following this, a woman enter the subacute phase, which last for 2-6 weeks. This phase is characterized by rapid changes that attempt to return the female body to its normal, nonpregnant state. The third phase of the postpartum period, the delayed period, may persist for up to 6 months after childbirth. During this time, the female body gradually recovers from giving birth.