Labor Day

9.1.08: Get ready for the most important day of your life


On this Labor Day, your thoughts may be preoccupied by an entirely different day of labor—your baby's birthday. If you're feeling scared, nervous, and more than a little anxious about how you're actually going to get that baby out, fear not. We've put together a special labor and delivery feature just for you. Our articles and tools will help you educate yourself about the process, think through your own wishes for labor, and even get your iPod programmed with some rockin' tunes to help you through the tough stuff.

Start by taking a look at all the childbirth choices that are available to you and start thinking through your birth plan. Then, try some of our workouts to help get you prepared to push. We've also gathered some advice from real moms on how to make the most of your hospital stay. Got a burning question about labor and delivery? E-mail our labor nurse and she may answer your question in her weekly blog.

With Labor Day here, it's also time to think about getting back to school. While today's pregnant women are ditching childbirth classes in droves, there's really no better way to prepare for the big day than to sign up for a childbirth education class. First-time moms may also want to consider taking a breastfeeding class, or a class on new baby care. Remember, though, no matter how much you prepare and plan for labor, the unexpected can happen. Here's how to cope if your labor plans go awry.

And finally, since this Labor Day is meant to be a day of rest, one of the most important things you can do for yourself today is to simply relax, take it easy, and prop those swollen feet up.

Dana Rousmaniere is's Mangaging Editor. She thinks anyone who goes through childbirth deserves a national holiday.