The March of Dimes just released the 2012 Premature Birth Report Card. The U.S. has hit a new 10 year low for preterm births. This is a significant improvement now registering at 11.7 percent! Use our resources available here on Pregnancy.org to get you and your baby off to a healthy start!
As soon as you saw a positive on the pregnancy test -- or maybe before -- you began planning your baby's birth. Do you prefer a hospital, a birthing center to have your baby at home? Who will attend? A midwife, an OB/GYN, a doula? What are your options?
You can ‘be empowered' all you want. You can have the best birth ‘experience' in the whole freakin' world. You can ‘feel good' about your birth until the end of time. But at what cost to the baby today or you? Find out what this dad has to say about it!
You've said your final good-byes at work. You've finished the nursery. You've celebrated the upcoming birth, baby shower or blessing ceremony. Now you're ready to focus on the big day. What can you expect when labor starts for real?
Most parents don't realize they can be in charge of their baby's birth experience. Unless there are specific restrictions, you can choose how labor and delivery will flow as well as your baby's care after birth. You have the right to be included in decisions being made and the right to say "no."
Unassisted childbirth, also known as "freebirthing," is a growing trend in the United States and the UK. You might wonder why anyone would consider having their baby without an attendant. Learn about the pro's and con's.
There are major differences in the way doctors and hospitals approach pregnancy and delivery. I'd like to spend the next few minutes making you a savvy consumer. The hospital is the most important choice you will make with regards your pregnancy. Is it baby friendly? Can it care for preterm babies? Take these and more into consideration when making your decision.
What is the purpose behind performing the vaginal exam in pregnancy? If it is patient led, meaning that the patient is the one requesting it, what would be her reasoning? On the other hand, if it is physician or midwife prompted, what are they looking for and why?
Perineal massage is the gentle stretching and massaging of the skin between the anus and vagina (perineum) during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This massage has been shown to reduce the incidence of episiotomy and perineal tears during birth.
Wondering if today is the day? What's the difference between dilation and effacement? Braxton-Hicks or the real thing? If you've lost your mucus plug will labor start right away? Learn more about the changes your body makes as it prepares for and begins labor.
Many women choose to use some type of method to deal with pain during childbirth. As you prepare for your labor experience it is important to become educated ahead of time on what different pain medications are available, how they work, as well as what the risks and benefits are.
So many women could use is a "middle path;" a mild analgesic that could be safely used during birth, with little or no effects on the baby. It would be okay if this analgesic let in some pain. It would make all the difference to have just "a little something to take the edge off."
Before you hire a midwife, be sure to interview several carefully. Take your time reviewing their history, call up their references, have a list of questions handy, research the legal issues in your state and ask the midwife for proof of her certification.
The word doula is a Greek word that means "Women's Servant." Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from another woman has positive effects on the labor process. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.