Talk to your doctor or midwife, take a tour of your labor unit, talk to your support team, and try to set the scene for the sort of labor you hope to have. Labor is unpredictable, and will probably not go exactly as expected. But preparation: educational, psychological, and logistical, can help shift the odds towards whatever you consider ideal.
For women who aren’t in perfect health or who have potentially toxic exposures, taking care of yourself before pregnancy assures that you will be in your best shape in early on when the baby’s organs start to form. Remember, early embryonic development begins before you may know that you are pregnant, and weeks before you start prenatal care. Now is the best time to start taking care of your baby-to-be!
Maternity leave serves two purposes: your recovery from birth (disability) and taking care of your new baby (parenting.) Even though you might feel fine within a week or two, six weeks is usually allowed for recovery, so for the first six weeks, your leave is both disability and parental. Beyond that, leave is for the care of the baby.
The contractions of real labor are typically strong and regular, and get stronger over time. In true active labor, contractions are typically uncomfortable enough that you have to change your activities to get through. You may need to pace around, or change your breathing, or make yourself relax. When contractions are strong like this, coming every 2-5 minutes for at least an hour, it is usually time to head in.
A doula can be an excellent choice, to help support a mother during delivery.
Don’t be too concerned if you don’t fall in love with your baby right away. Often, it takes time. Negative feelings are normal; they don’t prevent bonding from happening.
Fathers often have mixed emotions during a pregnancy; that’s normal. At times, though, those feelings can lead to destructive acts. Communication is key.
It's normal to have mixed feelings about being pregnant, both for mothers and fathers. Having mixed feeligns doesn't mean you'll be a bad parent.
There’s a lot of hype about saving umbilical cord blood. Companies play on parental fears to get you to spend money on this service. So what’s the real deal? The blood that remains in the umbilical cord after birth contains a type of stem cells that have the potential to develop into all the different [...]
Why get help after birth? Throughout recorded history, in all cultures, new mothers have been relieved of all duties except caring for the newborn. Modern society typically doesn’t offer the help enjoyed from extended families in the past. Many new parents hire help for those first few weeks at home. Here are two popular options: [...]