Dad’s guide to childbirth

Even though today it’s customary for fathers to be involved in childbirth, birth stories are littered with the casualties of men who didn’t rise to the occasion—when push came to shove.Elissa Stein learned this the hard way. During her first birth, her husband did little more than snap photos. Later, packing up to leave the hospital, she looked over to see the nurses serving him breakfast in bed. “Here I was, just given birth, packing up our stuff—and he’s being waited on,” …

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Should you induce labor?

A woman came into my exam room one afternoon, about 33 weeks into her pregnancy and asked to be induced because she was tired of being pregnant. I have had requests from moms wanting to deliver on specific dates (9/9/09, 10/10/0) and requests from grandmothers who are waiting (not very patiently) for the birth of their grandchild. In fact, requests for “social” inductions have become so common, more and more hospitals are adopting polices prohibiting the practice for first time moms prior …

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Doc, midwife, or doula?

You know which friends and family will be at the birth—but have you considered which experts you want there? The journey of labor and delivery isn’t a solo trip. Besides your family and partner, a whole team of supporters can guide you through. We checked in with Marisa Cohen, author of Deliver This: Make the Childbirth Choice That’s Right For You, to help you decide the right additions to your crew. Ob/gyns What they do: Doctors are called when it comes time for delivery. They’re …

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Gwen Stefani’s mom identity crisis

In the December issue of InStyle, Gwen Stefani opens up about her stressful balancing act as a musician and mother - and the identity crisis she battled after welcoming her first born: "In the beginning, I didn't want to think of myself as a mother. I was like, 'Wait a minute! Ain't no hollaback girl is who I am!' I had to learn to accept it," she says. Source: Gwen Stefani Divorce: Talks About 'Struggle' in Years Leading Up to It : People.com

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No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy

This month, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new clinical report, updating its guidelines for drinking during pregnancy. The report, to many an expectant mom’s dismay, puts the kibosh on long-held beliefs that a small drink once in awhile won’t harm a developing baby. The AAP states that even a small amount of alcohol may be harmful during pregnancy. Why it’s a big deal In its report, “Fetal Alcohol and Spectrum Disorders,” published in the journal Pediatrics, the AAP …

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Doctors OK eating in the delivery room

To the relief of moms-to-be everywhere, new medical findings have prompted hospitals to lift the ban on snacking and drinking in the delivery room.A research team out of Canada presented compelling evidence at the American Society of Anesthesiologists conference last month. Pulling data from 385 studies conducted over the past 25 years, the team concluded that women in labor would actually benefit from light snacking.According to Dr. Christopher Harty, co-author of the study, women in …

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4 real dads talk childbirth

Everyone knows that mother and baby are the stars of the childbirth show. But dad plays an essential supporting role. He often has the best vantage point to watch the whole wild story unfold. Four real dads weigh in on what it's like from his perspective. Labor “As the dad, you’re such an add-on to the whole process—you feel that way throughout the pregnancy, and then labor is just the culmination of it. I definitely felt a little guilty. Here’s my wife, in miserable pain for 30 hours …

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Enjoy your first pregnant Thanksgiving without the extra weight gain

At first glance, Thanksgiving seems tailor-made for pregnant women. There's the abundance of food, not much of it healthful; the call for stretchy waistbands and the after-dinner nap. While pregnancy certainly means standing by as your waistline expands, the old adage that you're now eating for two is just that - old. Now, obstetricians advise women to add only an extra 300 calories to their daily intake. Additionally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends patients …

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How To Have A Baby And Still Have Sex

Sex is a wonderful way to deeply connect and play. But babies can kill your sex life! And left unchecked this can destroy your relationship. Here are 6 things that can help you survive and even thrive through these early times.  Our sex lives really take a beating when we have our first child. If we do not respond constructively to this, our relationships can crumble in the face of not having this opportunity to connect with our partners. Sex is our way to play. It is our way to …

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What having a baby REALLY feels like

When I was in my third trimester, the burning question on my mind was, “How will I know when I’m in labor? What will it feel like?” Now I know every labor, like every baby, is unique. But here’s the insider’s perspective on what childbirth felt like for four real moms. Labor “The shifting sensations are hard to navigate— you’re sweating like crazy and then you’re freezing cold. I remember desperately wanting to stand up, even though the doctors wanted me to lie back. It felt …

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