popular topics in labor and delivery

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  • Labor and Delivery
    What Do Labor Contractions REALLY Feel Like?
    Some women sail through labor contractions not even knowing if they are even in labor, and others have the complete opposite experience. Most women do feel contractions, and they try to explain it to friends, family and husbands the best they can...
    Laura Richards
  • Parenting Tools Printables
    Countdown to Baby To-Do List
    As your due date approaches, it's time to get all your ducks in a row! Use this checklist to organize the must-do tasks in the exciting final weeks of your third trimester of pregnancy. (This hospital packing list is also helpful.) ...
  • pregnant woman waking husband for hospital
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    Pregnancy: When to Go to the Hospital
    Pregnancy: When to Go to the Hospital Fake Contractions (Braxton Hicks) Most women will experience "fake" contractions sometime in their pregnancy – not all women, but most. Fake contractions, more commonly known as Braxton Hicks contractions, a...
  • How to Bring On Labor
    10 Ideas to Naturally Bring on Labor
    Overdue moms will try just about anything to get things moving along. While there is no sure-fire way to induce labor the natural way, these tips and tricks are thought to help the body start the labor process. It doesn't hurt to try, right? ...
    Lindsay Hutton
  • pregnancy decisions, pregnant woman in hospital bed
    Birth Plan
    11 Important Decisions to Make During Pregnancy
    Decisions, decisions! Once the exciting news of your pregnancy sets in, it's time to sit down and consider some important questions about everything from your birth plan to your baby's name. Take a step-by-step look at some of the decisions facin...
    Erin Dower
  • Woman in labor kneeling
    Second Stage - Delivering the Baby
    Positions for the Second Stage of Labor
    The second stage begins when your cervix is fully dilated, your baby has moved deep into the pelvis, and you are ready to push. During the tiring second stage of labor, aid the effectiveness of your pushing with body positions such as kneeling, u...
  • Pregnancy
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    Signs of Labor
    As labor approaches, your body starts to prepare itself for the task ahead and you may notice various physical symptoms and signs that labor is about to start. Not every woman experiences labor in the same way, and certain signs can occur either ...
  • Toy Finder
    Toy Finder
    Toy Finder
    Find our top picks for the best toys of the year!
    familyeducation editors
  • Woman laboring on floor
    First Stage of Labor
    Positions for the First Stage of Labor
    Being active during the first stage of labor is thought to help labor progress. If you're well prepared and practice different postures and positions for labor during pregnancy, you will instinctively be able to use these during childbirth. Also ...
  • Doctor examining baby
    Baby's First Medical Checkup
    Your Baby's First Medical Checkup
    In the first 12 hours a pediatrician will give your baby a checkup. In addition to a head-to-toe examination, there will be checks made on skin color, temperature, and muscle tone, and on reflexes, such as sucking and grasping. ...
  • Illustration of fetus head pushing on effacing cervix
    Dilation and Effacement
    First Stage of Labor
    For your baby to be born the cervix (comprised of firm muscle that forms a strong base at the bottom of the uterus) needs to stretch and soften so that it can open, or dilate, and your baby can pass out of the uterus and into the vagina. Toward t...
  • Stages of Labor
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    How Labor Progresses
    Since every woman's experience of labor is different, it's hard to say exactly what your experience will be like. However, the stages of labor are common for all women. The first stage, when labor becomes established, starts when contractions sta...
  • Delivery Complications
    Delivery Complications
    Labor Complications
    Premature labor The normal length of pregnancy is 37 to 42 weeks. A baby born before 37 weeks is called premature or preterm (see Premature Birth). Fetal distress During labor, the baby is monitored for signs of distress, which can indicate t...
  • Pregnancy
    The Hospital Stay
    Neonatal Intensive Care Babies
    There are many reasons why your baby may need special care, the most common one being prematurity (being born before 37 weeks). Babies may need to spend days, weeks, or sometimes months in a NICU until they are big enough and well enough to go ho...
  • Pregnancy
    Assisted Birth
    Possible Complications of an Assisted Birth
    In the majority of cases, both the mother and baby are perfectly well after an assisted birth, but occasionally complications are encountered.Problems during the deliveryA condition known as shoulder dystocia, in which the baby's shoulders become...
  • Illustration of fetus head pushing on effacing cervix
    Dilation and Effacement
    First Stage of Labor
    For your baby to be born the cervix (comprised of firm muscle that forms a strong base at the bottom of the uterus) needs to stretch and soften so that it can open, or dilate, and your baby can pass out of the uterus and into the vagina. Toward t...
  • Book Finder
    Book Finder
    Book Finder
    Find our top picks for the best books of the year!
    familyeducation editors
  • Risks and Types of C-Sections
    C-Sections
    Cesarean Sections
    A cesarean section is the delivery of your baby by means of a cut in the abdomen. A cesarean rate of around 10-15 percent is thought to be reasonable, although in most Western countries the rate has risen beyond 20 percent and around 30 percent o...