During a 1-year period, eight patients with New York Heart Association Class III or IV mitral stenosis were studied throughout the peripartum period with a pulmonary artery catheter. All patients were delivered vaginally. Intrapartum management was based upon cautious diuresis for preload optimization and heart rate control with propranolol. A mean increase in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure of 10 mm Hg was observed in the immediate postpartum period. Only two patients demonstrated a significant increase in cardiac output during this same time period. Central venous pressure correlated poorly with pulmonary capillary wedge pressure in seven of eight patients. Neonatal outcome was uniformly excellent. With the management approach described, no patient exhibited deterioration of cardiopulmonary status during the peripartum period.