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Labor & Childbirth


What to Wear During Labor & Childbirth


Sure, it's not the most important concern you have about labor. And you may even feel too silly to ask anyone, but chances are you've wondered; what do people wear in labor? Do you have options? Of course there isn't a standard b...

Crunch Time: The Final Days Before Birth


It's hard to believe but you are finally getting down to the last days before baby arrives. The question is how to best fill those hours leading up to the big moment. One way to organize your time is to break it into categories...

Signs of Labor: Cervix Effacement and Dilation


We're all here as a result of childbirth, yet so much of what we know of it comes from the most unreliable of sources; movies, TV, urban myth. It's not unlike learning about sex from other fourth-graders at school. Take the myste...

Signs of Labor: The Mucus Plug


The final weeks of pregnancy one question weighs heavily on every expectant mom's mind; is it time? Wondering if labor is starting or when it will begin is a prevalent thought. Many women hear about the mucus plug, the bloody show...

Water Birth: The Risks and Benefits


Giving birth in water may sound a bit out there or radical. However, in much of Europe it is widely used childbirth method, and is gaining ground right here in the US. Today many birthing centers and even conventional hospitals...

Using Guided Imagery During Labor and Childbirth


Many women, especially first-time mothers, worry what childbirth will be like for them. If that imagination is tainted with horror stories from other experienced moms, they will go into labor with fear. And that fear of a painful...

Why Learning Not to Fear Labor & Childbirth Is Beneficial


There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And that may be particularly true when it comes to giving birth. According to a new study out of Finland that involved 500,000 pregnant women, women who have a fear of childbirth are three...

Vaginal Delivery After Cesarean (VBAC)


It used to be that if a woman gave birth by cesarean, then she would never be able to give birth vaginally. That is not the case today. Many women who have had a cesarean have successfully gone through a vaginal birth after cesare...

A Guide to Giving Birth Naturally


Opting for a natural birth is a goal that many women have, but far fewer follow through on. The reasons a woman may change her mind may include unforeseen circumstances that complicate the labor such as a breech baby, being unprep...

Last Minute To-Do List Before Baby Arrives


It doesn't matter whether it's your first baby or your fifth, time has a way of slipping past you in the final trimester. It doesn't help that you probably have a case of pregnancy brain fog as well. Hormones, fatigue and an ever-...

Risky Behaviors in the Labor & Delivery Room


As if there weren't enough to worry about, a new study about to be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology finds that nearly 90 percent of doctors and nearly 100 percent of nurses observed risky behavior o...

Twin Labors Take Longer New Study Finds


Hold off on that c-section! You may not be in a stalled or prolonged labor after all, it may be that giving birth to twins takes longer than doctors previously expected. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago compare...

Slow Labor? How to Speed Things Along


Nothing is quite as disappointing as rushing to the hospital and then in a totally anticlimactic moment, finding out things have stalled out and you could measure your dilated cervix in millimeters rather than centimeters. This c...

New Study Links Cesarean Sections to Endometriosis


A new study appearing June 28, 2013 on ObGyn.net cites an increase in the occurrence of endometriosis following cesarean section births. While it's been noted in various medical publications for years that later-onset endometriosi...

How Much Does it Cost to Give Birth in the US?


Do you know how much it will cost you to give birth at your designated hospital or birth center? Chances are, you don't. Many hospitals won't give you a dollar amount prior to birth. One reason is of course that different birth sc...

Emergency Birth: What to Do if Baby Doesn't Wait


It's a dilemma none of us want to think could happen and most likely, it won't. However, this is one of those "just in case" situations you will want to know how to handle should it happen. If you have given birth previo...

Preparing for Birth: The Drive to the Hospital


If you've written and finalized your birth plan with your doctor, picked out a name or at least the final list, packed your labor bag and washed up the layette, you are all set. Right? Almost. Have you gotten set for the trip to t...

Your Nesting Syndrome To-Do List


As the day of your bambino's arrival draws near you suddenly experience a sudden burst of energy. Yep. You guess it -- nesting syndrome. Dust bunnies seem like taunting gorillas and those linens in the guest bedroom are just screa...

Pitocin May Harm Babies, Study Says


Scheduling a baby's birth has become so commonplace in the past several years that pregnant women as well as obstetricians rarely seem to think through the side effects of inducing labor. Many women in our modern society desire t...

Home Births on the Increase, AAP Issues Guidelines For Newborns


While the vast majority of babies are born in hospitals and birth centers, more mothers are opting to give birth at home. The incidence of home births has steadily risen over the last several years, prompting the American Academy...

4 Exercises To Make Labor & Childbirth Easier


We've all seen the classic movies of the women in childbirth. The few loud grunts and pushes, and then it's over. Sometimes it's just not that quick and easy. Growing a baby inside the womb is loads of work, and birthing a baby in...

After Baby Is Born: When Can We Go Home from the Hospital?


You packed the labor bag, bought the baby announcements and have fresh batteries in the camera. You wrote the birth plan, have a month's worth of dinners in the freezer and washed up the baby clothes. You are r-e-a-d-y. Next thi...

When Labor Stalls


Every labor is different but we all hope for a smooth and relatively speedy birth. However, that is often not the case. There are a number of factors that can lead to stalled labor but probably the biggest is being a novice. Firs...

Preterm, Full Term & Post-term Babies: What Do They Mean?


Late. Full-term. Preterm, late preterm and post-term are typical medical jargon concerning when the baby was born during the pregnancy. What do all these terms mean? Here's the information you need to know about these terms: Full...

Pain Relief Options for Labor and Childbirth


Childbirth is much like parenting; you can and should prepare for what is to come but most of your decisions will be made in the moment depending on the situation that arises. The best way to prepare is to become familiar with all...

20 Labor Day Must Haves and What to Leave Home


As your labor looms closer it's time to get ready. Chances are you are antsy and so you may as well take advantage of the nervous energy and get your final bag packed to go to the hospital. One thing to keep in mind is that this w...

6 Better Birthing Positions


When giving birth, you may want to become familiar with as many different birthing positions as you can. It's believed that women who switch positions throughout labor tend to have shorter and easier deliveries. Also, using positi...

5 Things You Can Do If Labor Stalls


Favorite robe? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Camera? Check. Back-up plan in case labor stalls...huh?! Many women that are sporting the baby bump can tell you all their future plans. The nursery is painted in attractive bl...

Create a Positive Cesarean Birthing Experience


A positive birth experience is the hope of every expectant mother. Whether you have scheduled a cesarean on the advice of your physician or intend to deliver vaginally, plans can be put into place in advance to ensure the most pos...

Understanding Labor and Delivery: A Parent's Primer


One of the biggest favors you can do yourself as a parent is to understand what happens during labor and birth to alleviate fears and concerns. This will decrease your anxiety which will in turn help you relax and have an easier l...

Ways to Manage Labor Pain


Preparing for labor can be a little scary. You've read the books, you've attended childbirth classes, you've talked with your health care professional, and you're prepared. Possibly, you've made a birth plan. But it's important to...

The If/Then Guide to Labor


You wrote your birth plan, you dreamed and imagined this day. You knew exactly how everything would go, and then...it didn't go exactly like that. Or possibly anything like you imagined. That's a fine introduction to parenting act...

Today's Labors Last Longer Than 50 Years Ago


Your mom and grandmother may have had far different labors than you will, according to a recent study by the National Institutes of Health which was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study loo...

When Your Birth Plan Doesn't Go As Planned


You are a planner. You love lists and feel satisfaction at knowing what comes next. Checking items off a to-do list is a joy. You have planned your trip to the hospital with two alternate routes and have separate bags packed for...

The Apgar Test: Baby's First Test


Are you ready for your baby's first test? This screening test is administered to newborns at least twice, at one minute and five minutes after birth. The Apgar test was developed by Virginia Apgar who was an anesthesiologist and...

How To Time Contractions


Everybody experiences labor a little differently, and unless your water breaks, you may not be sure you are actually in labor. Your doctor or midwife can guide you with information about how to know when you are truly experiencing...

Is a Home Birth for You?


Once upon a time, home births were the only types of births. Not until the early 1900's did women give birth in hospitals. It was considered a natural event not a medical one. Increasingly, medical professionals took over the proc...

Birth Plans & Preparing for the Unexpected


Every pregnant woman knows the value of a birth plan. It is a blueprint to your perfect, ideal birth experience. You are preparing for the best possible circumstances for your baby's arrival. The birth plan is a document to share...

Moms Talk: What Does Labor Really Feel Like?


Come on, face it. Women like to talk about their labors and deliveries. It doesn't matter how old our children are; bring up the subject of childbirth, and we all have a tale to tell. I asked several young mothers to tell me about...

What to Expect When Your Water Breaks


You've seen it on TV and in movies dozens of times. A pregnant woman clutches her enormous pregnant belly, belts out, "It's time!" and then we hear a gush of water hitting the floor. The scene is so common, many people think that'...

To Induce or Not to Induce?


Toward the end of a pregnancy, most mothers are weary of the wait. If a scheduled C-section is not planned, the uncertainty of your baby's birth date can be unnerving. What if you're at work when your water breaks - or in the midd...

After the Baby Arrives: Handling Visitors and Protecting Your Privacy


After months of expectant waiting, the baby has finally arrived and everyone who knows you, or sometimes merely knows of you it seems, wants a glimpse of your newborn. In years past, new mothers stayed in the hospital longer tha...

Breathing for Labor and Delivery: Strategies that Work


Gone are the days of complicated textbooks on how to breathe through every stage of labor, with absolute right and wrong ways and confusing patterns. The idea previously was to train mothers how to do precise breathing patterns an...

Preparing for Labor: Your To-Do List


After months of pregnancy you figure you'd be all set for the big day. However, when time has a way of slipping by and before you know it someone asks have you packed your labor bag or did you pre-register at the hospital yet? And...

Going Past Your Due Date: What Now?


So that magic date circled on your calendar so many months ago has arrived and passed without the arrival of the much-anticipated bundle of joy? You have probably endured countless, "Are you still pregnant?" and "Shouldn't you hav...

Online Childbirth Classes: Are They for You?


Childbirth classes come in all kinds of configurations. Hospital-sponsored and centered. Bradley Method. Lamaze. And now thanks to the internet the option of taking a childbirth class at home and online is a reality. While a vari...

Where Will You Deliver Your Baby?


While the majority of births in the US take place in hospitals, families today do have choices. You may opt for a traditional hospital birth, a birthing center or a home birth.First things first, however. You must know what your p...

Packing Your Labor Bag


Most experts recommend you have your labor and hospital bags packed and ready to go from the eighth month on. There will be some items you have to wait until the last minute to pack, so have a list of those items written and on t...

Birth Centers for Labor & Delivery


For those longing for a more family-focused, homey atmosphere for their birth experience, birth centers may be a great option. A birth center emphasizes one-on-one care with limited medical interventions and a staff dedicated to y...

The Three Stages of Labor


First Stage of Labor This is the longest of the stages of childbirth, lasting anywhere from several hours up to days, especially for first-timers. It begins with the cervix dilating, and ends when the cervix is fully dilated at...

Epidurals - What You Need to Know


Epidurals are the most popular form of pain relief, and are used in over half of all hospital births. They are regional anesthetics, not total pain blockers, but rather meant to be pain relievers. They work by blocking nerve impul...

Guide to Cesarean Sections


We make our birth plans, pack our hospital bag, and visualize the perfect labor and delivery. While things may not go exactly as planned, for an estimated 30% of American women the baby will be delivered by cesarean section. So wh...

Preterm Labor


No one is certain why preterm labor occurs; however, there are some steps that can be taken to help prevent preterm labor from occurring, especially for those women who are at higher risk for the condition. What is Preterm Labor?...

Signs of Labor


In the movies, pregnant women know they are going into labor because their water suddenly breaks, and usually at the most inopportune time. In real life, however, things are not always so simple and straightforward. The beginn...

Online Childbirth Education - A New Way to Prepare for Your Baby's Birth


Childbirth education plays a vital role in how positively you later view your birth experience. The more childbirth education you receive, the more likely you are to view your birth experience positively. This becomes especial...

Pain Relief for Labor & DeliveryGeneral Anesthesia


General Anesthesia is administered to the mother by IV or via gases administered by mask/endotracheal tube intubation. They are generally used for cesarean births. What will this do for me? Complete relief of painQuick induction o...

Epidurals - Advantages and Disadvantages


Epidurals are administered during active labor and for cesarean births. What will this do for me? Very good pain relief provide pain relief without sedation allows woman to be fully alert during labor and childbirth. What are...

Pudendal Block


A Pudendal Block is an agent injected bilaterally through the vaginal wall, usually in the second stage of labor. It may also be used for when forceps are used. What will this do for me? - Provides pain relief throughout pe...

False Labor & The Need To Urinate


I started experiencing false labor last night along with the contractions came he urge to urinate every five minutes (literally). Should I be concerned? My contractions have subsided, but the urinating has not, I am 39 weeks pr...

When Will a Doctor Induce Labor?


I am almost full term, and worried that the baby will be late. What happens if my due date comes and goes and the baby is still not here? At what point will doctors want to induce labor? This is one of the most common questions a...

Can You Deliver VBAC Successfully?


I am currently pregnant with my second baby. When I delivered my first, everything started out fairly normal. By the 12th hour of labor, I was given a Pitocin drip, had my water broke, and my membranes stripped. Still no baby. Aft...

Q&A: What Does the Doctor Mean?


Q My daughter is in her 34th. week of pragnancy (due date 6/20/00). She was having some contractions, and her doctor checked her. He said that she is 1+,and 50%, and high. What does all this mean? Is it possible she'll be having...

Difference Between Breaking Your Water & Stripping Membranes


What is the difference between "breaking your water" and "stripping the membranes" as a measure to speed labor along? "Breaking your water" is a process whereby an instrument, called an amniohook, plastic or metal, is insert...

Q&A: When Can I Expect My Baby To Be Born?


Q This is my first pregnancy and I understand that you can have the baby 2 weeks before or after your due date. Do you know what the percentage rates are for each? A A healthy full term baby can come anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks...

Q&A: Is This Real Labor?


Q How will I know for sure if I'm in real labor? I have contractions that are real strong all the time. Is there a difference in the way they feel or are they in different areas of my body? A The contractions that you are experie...

Pain Management During Labor and Childbirth


Pain management is, no doubt, the number one topic when it comes to labor and delivery. After all, when you try to envision the feat your body will perform, you'll be glad you did your research. Some natural childbirth advocates...

Safety of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean


The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) affirms the safety of vaginal birth after a cesarean. In a statement released July 6, 2001, the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) urged that a recent study shoul...

Episiotomies


One of the most controversial procedures in delivery rooms today is the episiotomy. The surgical incision in the perineum (the area of skin between the vagina and the anus) is seen by some as necessary or routine and by others...

Episiotomies: What You Should Know


While you may not know exactly what it even is, you probably wince at the very thought of it: we're talking about the episiotomy, a surgical cut to the perineum (the muscular area between the vagina and the anus) made during pushi...

The Nesting Syndrome


I thought I would take a few minutes away from rearranging furniture, cleaning my ceiling fans, and scrubbing the walls, to share with you some of the "mystery" behind nesting. The nesting instinct is common among most animal...

Prepare for an Easy Delivery


Pregnancy brings on a lot of new changes in your body. Whether or not it took you a long time to conceive - you are no doubt excited about finally being pregnant and looking forward to the day that your baby will be placed into...

The Labor Partner's Role


The role of your labor partner is not easily defined. He or she can be many things to a woman in labor, including friend, listener, go-between, gopher, support person, and coach-to name a few. If you attend any type of childbirt...

Childbirth Classes


Fewer changes in life bring as much anticipation and awe as awaiting the birth of your baby - especially if you've never trodden this path before. Most of your entire pregnancy you are, no doubt, excited and looking forward to t...

5 Things They Don't Tell You About Labor and Childbirth


Let me begin by noting that I could write a book on the information people tend to leave out, when "educating" you about labor and delivery. However, I will do my best to condense this information into easily readable, frank, and...

Your Options: Hospital vs Home Birth


Pregnant women have many different choices these days from deciding whether to breast or bottle feed, cloth or disposable diapers and where to give birth. Since the beginning of time women have given birth in an array of places -...

Natural Ways to Induce Labor


As your due date approaches (or passes) and you begin to feel increasingly uncomfortable, you will be anxious to start the next chapter of the process: motherhood. There are several safe methods for inducing labor naturally. Re...

Hypnobirthing, A New Way To Labor


You may be surprised to know that there are many methods and techniques to labor and childbirth, some of which you may have never heard of. One of these techniques is called "Hypnobirthing." It may sound a bit bizarre at first, bu...

Cesareans - What You Should Know


Every pregnant woman has a chance of needing to have a cesarean. The most important thing I can suggest is that if you are pregnant - then educate yourself. Read, read, read, read. Read all you can about pregnancy and childbirth,...

What Can You Expect on"Labor Day"?


Labor day is a big mystery to a lot of women. Whether you've had a baby before or not, each labor is different. The number one question on all pregnant women's mind is 'what to expect on labor day?' Labor comes in stages and how...

Preterm Labor & How To Avoid Preterm Labor


Before a woman can determine how to avoid pre-term labor, she must understand what it is, and what causes the condition. Pre-term labor is diagnosed when labor begins before 37 weeks gestation; 3 or more weeks prior to the due d...

Choices In Childbirth


I left journalism for midwifery because my own pregnancies and births were so enchanted that I was bewitched. Having a child of my own every couple of years was not a reasonable possibility, so I sought another means of spending...

Guided Imagery Exercise for Labor and Delivery


Close your eyes. Let your body relax and become heavy. As you listen, take long, gentle cleansing breaths until soft natural breathing takes over. You are standing on a silent road at the edge of an empty beach. There are no...

Using Guided Imagery to EaseThe Pain of Childbirth


What is guided imagery? Guided imagery, using the mind to create a setting or visualization, has many utilizations. We most likely use it without even realizing. The early stage of labor can be difficult for a birthing mother. She...

Laughter: The Best Medicine for Labor


When it comes to getting babies out of birth canals without resorting to forceps, vacuums, salad tongs, or the "jaws of life," nothing beats laughter (except of course faith, patience, and sex). According to an article in the Boul...

Creating a Positive Birth Environment


Labor and birth, of course, are very physical. Not only will the mother expend much energy during this time, but also her senses can be heightened. These perceptions, although sometimes overlooked, can add to or detract from her c...

Soak Your Labor Worries Away


What is "hydrotherapy for labor and birth"? "Hydrotherapy" is the use of a heated water bath or pool by a laboring woman during labor and birth. Many women in labor find that being in water helps them relax and helps relieve pain....

Is Doula Care For You?


....A Doula "is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth." (Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, "Mothering the Mother.") As the...

Are Childbirth Classes Necessary?


Pregnancy is such an exciting time and with the changes that accompany pregnancy also come a lot of questions. We often rely on family and friends for answers to our questions, but are they always accurate? Since each pregnancy an...

The Labor Partner's Role


Many partners don't feel prepared for pregnancy or their baby's birth, especially when it is their first baby. It is natural to feel ambivalent about money, becoming a parent, or what the future holds. The best solution to solvi...

True Vs. False Labor


Signs of Pre-Labor You may experience certain changes that indicate the onset of labor is near. These may be: Increased frequency of Braxton-Hicks Contractions. Lightening - Relaxation of uterine ligaments allowing...

Seven Beliefs of Women WhoBirth From Within


1. Pregnancy and birth is a rite of passage, not a medical event (even when birthing in a hospital). 2. Connecting with other mothers and women for support and guidance is an essential part of preparation for birth and mothering...

The Instinct of Birth


When a woman is in labor, a little fight goes on in the woman's brain. One part of her brain, the intellect, will tell her that she should do certain things. Perhaps those are things that she learned in childbirth classes; perhap...

The Truth About Labor Pain


I often begin with an exercise called "Scaling Pain." I want to find out what parents believe about labor pain. I ask the class, "On a scale of 0 to 100, with zero being a painless birth and 100 being the most intense pain you c...

Q&A: Can labour start weeks before birth?


Q. Can a woman be in labor for weeks? I'm currently 39 1/2 weeks and was told last week that I'm 4 cm dilated. I have contractions some days for an entire day then the next day nothing. It's been going on like this for 3 weeks no...

Q&A: Labor Induction


QCan you give me your opinion on trying to induce labor for 8 continuous days using pitocin. Labor had not started on its own. A Induction of labor using pitocin is a relatively common practice. Pitocin is actually the same thing...

Q&A: What Does My Doctor Mean by My Cervix is Soft?


Q: The doctor says that my cervix is very very soft. What does that mean? Is it different than thinning? A: There are five parameters that we use to assess a pregnant woman's cervix in order to determine if the patient woul...

Q&A: When Will I Go Into Labor?


Q Im 37 weeks and dilated at 1 and my cervix is thining out. This is my fourth child. Does it seem that I will go to my due date? A You have touched upon one of the most frequently asked questions among obstetrical patients, whic...

Q&A: How Does It Feel To Be Pregnant With Twins?


Q This is my second pregnancy, with my first I gained 40lbs but did not show until 4 months. This time I'm only 7 weeks and I' ve gained 5 lbs and 5" just in my belly. It very round and firm. ( I'm a very thin person) I was hoping...

Q&A: Will My Second Labor Be Fasterand Easier?


Q I have a two year old boy and I am pregnant again. I had quite an easy delivery although I was extremely afraid, it lasted 6 hours. I would like to know if second sons have more possibilities to be easier than the first and what...

Q&A: What Should We ExpectFrom Our Doula?


Q Hello, we just hired a doula, however, we are not sure what to expect. Just yesterday I was in the hospital for labor pains, and decreased activity in the baby. Is this something I should expect the doula to attend? Would it be...

Q&A: What can I do to make having a natural birth easier?


Q What can I do to make having an natural birth easier? A There are many things you can do to make your goal of a natural birth easier to cope with! Position changes Especially early on in labor, keep moving. Laying in bed can sl...



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