• 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 ...
  • Pregnancy
    Monitoring During Labor
    Should You Have Electronic Fetal Monitoring?
    External fetal monitoringThe baby's heartbeat and the strength and frequency of your contractions are measured by devices strapped to your abdomen with wires that connect to a machine that produces a printout of the readings and an ongoing digita...
  • Homebirth Delivery Plans with Your Midwife
    Laboring At Home
    Laboring at Home
    If you're having a home birth, your midwife will have talked to you in advance about how to contact her once you're in labor. Since she will be traveling to you, bear in mind local traffic conditions. If the streets might be busy, it's worth phon...
  • Failure to Progress in Labor
    Pregnancy Tracker: Day by Day
    Why Is My Cervix Not Dilating? (In the First Stages of Labor)
    Cervix dilation is one of the earliest signs that the birth of your baby is imminent. As you approach your due date, your doctor will check your weekly visits to see if you are dilated. Dilation begins once you have lost your mucus plug and cervi...
    L. Elizabeth Forry
  • Fetal Monitoring During Labor
    Monitoring During Labor
    Monitoring During Labor
    Your baby's heart rate is an indication of how well your baby is dealing with labor and it is monitored at regular intervals, called intermittent monitoring. If a problem is found or you have a high-risk pregnancy, then you may be advised to have...
  • Tips on How to Know When You
    When to Go To the Hospital
    Checklist: Know When You're in Labor, and When to Seek Help
    When to seek helpMake your way to the hospital or seek advice if any of the following occur:You have vaginal bleeding that is like a period or heavier.You're leaking amniotic fluid or leaking greenish fluid that could indicate the baby is distres...
  • Stages of Labor
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    What Are The Three Stages of Labor?
    If you are getting closer to the end of your pregnancy, you probably have labor and delivery on your mind. This is the last hurdle you will overcome to finally meet your new baby. So, what exactly goes on? If you are not a first-time parent, then...
    Stefanie Miller
  • Pregnancy
    When to Go To the Hospital
    When It's Time to Go to the Hospital
    Many couples feel unsure about when to go to the hospital. If your pregnancy is low risk, you will almost certainly be more comfortable at home at the start of labor and should wait until you're in active labor, when your contractions are regular...
  • Pregnancy
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    5 Signs and Symptoms of Labor
    When your due date is near and you prepare for labor, there are going to be several signs and symptoms that it's almost showtime. As you go into labor you'll experience symptoms that may include emotional changes, pains that feel like menstrual ...
    Kristina Cappetta
  • Taking Care of Yourself Pre-Labor
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    Preparing for Labor
    The period before labor starts can last for hours or even days, particularly with a first labor. So that you can manage when you go into labor, you need to take care of yourself during this pre-labor stage.Stay well rested so that you aren't comp...
  • Pregnancy
    Signs and Stages of Labor
    The Stages of Labor
    The Stages of Labor What is real labor like? Ask 50 women and you'll get 50 different stories. It's a unique, wonderful, terrifying, thrilling, difficult, easy, fast, unforgettable experience that will bring your baby into the world one way or a...
  • False Labor versus the Real Thing
    False Labor
    Getting Ready for Labor
    Getting Ready for Labor Baby Talk Prelabor is the time before actual labor when the body prepares for childbirth. Every day this month your body is preparing for labor so that when the moment actually arrives, your body is ready. Prelabor signal...
  • Practice Contractions
    Braxton Hicks Contractions
    Braxton Hicks Contractions
    Braxton Hicks Contractions Baby Talk Braxton Hicks contractions are practice contractions that prepare the muscles of the uterus to deliver a baby. Isn't the body amazing? Well before your due date, the muscles in your uterus begin practicing ...
  • False Cues Versus Real Labor
    False Labor
    Preparing Yourself for Childbirth: How Do You Know You're in Labor?
    Preparing Yourself for Childbirth: How Do You Know You're in Labor? Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This I almost worried myself out of having my doctor with me for my first delivery. I started having minor contractions in the evening and got al...