Central hemodynamic response to position change was assessed in 10 normotensive primiparous patients between 36 and 38 weeks' gestation. Studies were repeated between 11 and 13 weeks post partum. Compared with the left lateral position, we observed a mean 9% fall in cardiac output in the supine position and an 18% fall when patients were standing. When standing, these patients had a 30% increase in pulse and a 21% fall in left ventricular stroke work index. The orthostatic response after pregnancy was much more labile than that during the third trimester. These findings have important descriptive implications for the understanding of the human response to orthostasis during pregnancy, as well as clinical implications for patients at risk of uteroplacental insufficiency and for working women during pregnancy.