Category: Labor & Delivery
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5 Truths About Labor You May Not Have Heard

Truth about Childbirth from moms. You’ve seen the birth class video and practiced your breathing, but there are still some things about labor that might surprise you. Moms deliver the real deal.

1. The best patient advocate is you. "The person administering my epidural just wasn’t getting it right," recalls mom of one Elizabeth Deveney-Frazier of Cohasset, Massachusetts. "I could feel the needle, feel the pressure—all the things they say you aren’t supposed to feel. I spoke up and requested someone else. You can’t worry about being that patient when it’s your well being and your baby’s."

2. You can’t control your baby’s arrival, so relax!. "I had this long list of things to get done right up to my due date, and I had it in my mind that I would finish," recalls Marie Alfonso, a mom of one in Brooklyn, New York. "Then my water broke during a staff meeting, which wasn’t part of the plan!" Try to have tasks finished up well before your due date. The more well-rested you are when you go into labor, the better.

3. Labor: the toughest job you’ll ever...sleep through.. Contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, labor isn’t all agony, all the time. "After my epidural, I had a completely pain-free labor," says Marina Daly, a mom of one from Tampa, Florida. "The entire process was 10 hours long and I spent it napping and watching the Food Network. The nurses actually had to wake me up when it was time to push."

4. You can always change your mind—and meds. ."Both my mother and mother-in-law told me natural childbirth was a beautiful thing, so I gave it a try," says Lorra Brown, a mom of two from Ringwood, New Jersey. "At first I worked through the pain with breathing and relaxation techniques, but hours later, I went for the epidural."

5. Bonding can happen anytime. ."After I had a c-section, I couldn’t hold my baby right off and was worried I’d missed my chance to connect with him," says Lynn Whitlock, a mother of two from Minneapolis, Minnesota. "A few hours later the nurses brought him to me, and there was that click. The delay didn’t matter—it was still a great moment."

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

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What Makes A Delivery Go Well?

Mothers provide pregnancy tips for the labor process and explain how delivering your baby can be less stressful.

See why these women’s birth days went so right—and pick from their tips to help make your own labor less...laborious.

Tune out. "When I delivered my twins, I brought an iPod loaded with my favorite songs, everything from indie rock to Johnny Cash hymns. Best decision ever. It was like bringing my best friends into the delivery room to comfort me like only they knew how."

—Angela Vincent, mom of four, Los Angeles, CA

Take a breather—lots of them. "I took prenatal yoga, and that allowed me to have a very successful delivery. I was skeptical at first but through relaxing and deep breathing I was able to work my way through each contraction without letting the pain make my body too tense to do its job. Using these techniques, I had three labors that were drug- and intervention-free."

—Jackie Kaufenberg, mom of three, Olivia, Minnesota

Cool off quick. "Ask for an ice pack to put in your underwear immediately after delivery to reduce swelling and pain. I didn’t get to use this technique myself because I had a C-section, but I have prescribed it to thousands of patients, and it helps!"

—Dr. Jennifer Gunter, M.D., author of The Preemie Primer

Hit the shower. "I tell everyone I know to take a warm shower during labor. I’ve done it myself through three natural deliveries. It helps you to relax and feels wonderful."

—Katie Bulger, mom of three, Clarksville, Tennessee

Sit up. "After I had an epidural, my nurses adjusted the bed so I was sitting completely upright with my legs down on a little stool. The nurses explained that this would allow gravity to help with the labor. I went from six centimeters to ‘We can see the head’ in about an hour and a half. I guess mom was right when she told me to sit up straight!"

—Mindy Airhart, mom of two, New Orleans, Louisiana

Get to know the team. "The practice I attended made sure to introduce me to everyone on the staff through the course of my pregnancy, down to the nurses. When I arrived for my delivery, the on-call nurse was one that I’d already met. That made it so much easier and more comforting. If your doctor’s office doesn’t do these meet and greets, ask them to."

—Darneisha Calixto, mom of one, Washington D.C.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

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Am I About To Go Into Labor?
Are you very close to delivering your baby? Take our quiz and find out if you're showing the signs of approaching labor!
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New Moms Describe What Labor Is Really Like
When we asked new moms to describe what labor felt like, we received almost 500 responses. Read on to learn how real women describe the experience of labor and childbirth.
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11 Labor & Delivery Tips (Just For Him!)
Dads, here's advice for you, from veteran moms who know what really happens during labor—and how you can help.
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9 Tips For A Successful Home Birth
Many women contemplate giving birth at home. We outline some important things for you to consider when making this big decision. Here's what you need to know about home birthing.
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All About Birth Crowning
Labor has many stages and can last a very long time, but when you get to this stage you’re new baby is almost here! Find out what birth crowning means and what to expect during this stage of labor.
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Should You Consider Using A Doula?
Mothering the mother is what doulas do best. Today, labor support professionals called doulas are trained to provide the comfort and care women need during labor. If you're considering a doula during delivery, here's what you can expect.
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Q&A: Pregnancy & Birth
Curious about everything from conception to birth? Find answers to your questions about fertility, pregnancy, having a baby and more.
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Which Birth Professional Is Right For You?
How do you choose a birth facilitator who will meet your personal needs? Many factors will affect the type of care you choose, including your level of risk.
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Choosing Your Labor Support
Choosing who will stay with you throughout your childbirth experience is a big deal. Learn how to make the right decision.
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All About Hypno Birthing
During HypnoBirthing, a laboring woman uses positive affirmations, suggestions, and visualizations to relax, guide her thoughts, and control her breathing. Find out if HypnoBirthing might be right for you.
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Inducing Labor
If you’re well past your due date, your doctor may talk about inducing labor. Learn why your doctor may decide to induce you and which methods she has to choose from.
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Checklist: How To Recognize Labor Symptoms
Just over 10 percent of babies are born pre-term (before 37 weeks).
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All About The Lamaze Method
Considering taking a Lamaze Method childbirth class? Check out the history and basic principles of this popular natural childbirth technique and find out if it might be right for you.
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