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Peripartum changes in CO

Cardiac output at term is increased 40%-50% over pre-pregnant values. During labor, further increases in cardiac output take place, with a 10-25% increase over pre-labor values in the first stage and up to 40% in the second stage of labor. Cardiac output is increased by as much as 80% immediately after delivery. By 24 hours post-partum cardiac output returns to pre-labor values and by 2 weeks post-partum it returns to pre-pregnant levels.