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Big Day hospital packing list (graphic)

You can find lists of literally dozens of things to bring to the hospital. But if you only have two hands and one bag, here is our list of the essentials for your short hospital stay.

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Is Home Birth Ever a Safe Choice?

Though the proportion of pregnant women who choose to give birth at home in the United States is still very small — about 1 percent — the number is higher than at any time in 25 years. Britain recently rewrote its national health guidelines to encourage home births for women with low-risk pregnancies.Should the United States follow suit? Is it ever safe to have a home birth?If you're pondering a home birth, here is a good article on the pros and cons of home birth.Read more: Is …

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C-sections: A crash course

No matter how much you prepare for labor and delivery, there's always a chance things won't go exactly as planned. While you may have your sights set on a vaginal delivery, there are countless reasons why your health care provider may call for a cesarean - or as it's more commonly called, a c-section. Maybe labor has stalled and your contractions have petered out, or perhaps your little one is malpositioned and won't fit through the pelvis. Whatever the case may be, …

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How to deal with watching your child’s birth

Don’t Pass Out—You’ll Never Live It DownA first-time dad takes steps to make sure witnessing his child’s birth doesn’t turn him into a big babyIn these last days of my wife’s pregnancy, I’ve become a kind of monk of maternity. My wife and I are preparing for a home birth, and as much as that carries its own unique set of worries and fears, I’ve come to embrace the idea that a pregnancy—whether it involves a casual cruise t o the hospital for a planned C-section or …

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Rush Hour

By Corinne GarciaBecause labor rarely happens as you imagine, doctors recommend having a flexible birth plan. But not making it to the hospital? Well, even though it’s extremely rare, pregnant women have faced the daunting task of having their baby on the way there.Take Christina Liceaga, of New York City, who was intent on laboring at home, knowing the hospital was a short distance from her apartment. Because her previous two deliveries had been induced, this time she was determined …

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The New Labor Laws

By Aviva PatzYou wouldn’t dream of driving without a seat belt or skipping sunscreen at the beach. So why would you settle for anything less than the most up-to-the-minute facts about labor and delivery—the event that will bring your child into this world and change your life forever?“We’re finally stepping up this century to help women give birth with modern information,” says California-based labor nurse Sarah McMoyler, R.N., author of The Best Birth. “The more that …

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Buddy Up

By Gina Roberts-GreyYou know exactly what you want to pack in your birthing bag, but do you know who you want carrying it into L&D for you? These days, many moms are taking doulas and midwives into labor and delivery rooms. They’re also bring their mothers, sisters, best friends, and even their own fathers with them. And this isn’t something new. Ancient Malaysians and Indonesians gathered all the mothers in the family or community around a woman in labor, while Navajos would often …

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Five Reasons You Need a Doula in the Delivery Room

  Considering who you want to support you through labor can be a challenging decision.  The birthing room cast can include relatives, friends, doctors, nurses and midwives. There is one more person you should consider bringing with you - a doula.  These professional labor assistants use their experience supporting women through labor and birth to aid in your efforts to have the healthiest and safest birth possible.  Here are five ways doulas can help you: Better Births - Hiring a …

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The TMI of Childbirth

From tweeting intimate details of labor to posting full-frontal footage of baby’s birth—is nothing too sacred for social networking?By Amelia GlynnDuring a recent dinner party, Serin, a mom in Livermore, CA, overheard a new dad casually announce that his wife pushed so hard that she pooped.Welcome to the brave new world of full disclosure. And according to Sue Fox, author of Etiquette for Dummies, it’s here to stay. "Birth just isn’t considered private anymore." Fox admits …

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4 things to consider when choosing a midwife

Checklist!Meeting with a Midwife During birth, you’ll want a peaceful, supportive crew in your corner. So who do you ask to share this intimate event? The right fit is key, and you’re not obligated to pick an ob/gyn.Certified nurse midwives work in every state, in all settings. “Finding the right ally will help ensure that giving birth is the most fulfilling experience it can be,” says Cara Muhlhahn, a certified nurse midwife featured in Ricki Lake’s documentary, The …

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