If you’re planning a hospital birth, pack your bag three weeks before your due date. These 10 essential items will help you have a better birth experience:
Your first birth is super exciting—and stressful, so we understand the desire to cut down on unnecessary commotion in the delivery room. (Sorry, third cousin once removed, we'll see you in the waiting room afterward.)
Distant relatives aside, it can be difficult to determine who's really necessary, and who you can ask to leave—especially if it's your first rodeo. Use this list to help you plan your posse.
You successfully made a baby (that was the fun part!) and by now you have this whole pregnancy thing down. Labor, though, is fast approaching—a fact you may simultaneously dread and cheer. But even if this is Baby #1, you can approach L&D with the cool of a pro who’s delivered a whole passel of kids.
It happens every day on every labor and delivery unit in America. Something goes wonky on the fetal heart monitor (too slow, too fast, too flat) and the nurse straps an oxygen mask to mom’s face, turns her to a new position and increases her IV fluids. Pretty soon, baby’s heart rate is back to normal and everyone heaves a sigh of relief. (If the heart rate doesn’t go back to normal, that’s a game changer that often results in a C-section.)
You know that C-sections are concerningly common, but what if your doctor forces you to have one?
The Shameless star and mom to 4-month-old Cai was working a throwback vibe during her labor. “The titles of the songs on my delivery playlist pretty much say it all—they’re mostly messages to my baby,” she says. “I went with a lot of old-school music, and the songs really set the tone for the kind of birth I wanted to have.” Check out the jams that got her through:
This woman tweeted labor updates throughout her home birth. Find out why, plus what you can learn from her experience. Related: Follow @FitPregnancy on Twitter for more of the latest news for new mamas!
The Devious Maids star, mom to 4-month-old twins, soldiered through her contractions with classical masterpieces. "They kept everyone in the room calm and collected." She also got an early start: "I'd put the music on while my twins were in the womb. Playing something they'd heard before made them enter a familiar world."
Here are the albums that helped her through labor (listen to them on the Spotify playlist below):
We know that epidurals can lengthen the amount of time women spend in labor, especially during the second stage—also known as the pushing stage. (It’s hard to push effectively when you can’t feel contractions.) We also know that lengthy labors and ineffective pushing are leading contributors to C-sections, but how long is too long? And should women forego epidurals if they want to avoid C-sections?
Between Hollywood and old wives’ tales, there’s a lot of misleading information about childbirth out there. But until you’ve been through it, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Here's what you need to know about labor as you prepare for the big event.
Related: The Truth About Labor Pain
There are few things more exciting than growing another human being inside of you. But with excitement, comes stress. (The nursery isn’t ready! My OB-GYN is booked for the next three months!) Here, 5 meditation techniques to help you find peace throughout this exhilarating process (including labor), whether you’re a meditation newbie or om expert.
It all started when Jorge Odon, a car mechanic in Argentina, watched a YouTube video of a man recovering a cork from an empty wine bottle (shown below). But instead of pouring himself a glass of vino and calling it a day—Odon had an epiphany.
See how the cork was removed by inflating a plastic bag? Odon applied the same concept to childbirth, and invented a device that works the same way—only the cork is the baby, and the wine bottle is the birth canal.