Doctor treating fetal distress

Fetal Distress

Historically, the term fetal distress has been used to describe when the fetus does not receive adequate amounts of oxygen during pregnancy or labor. It is oftentimes detected through an…

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Image of doctor cutting the umbilical cord

Cutting the Umbilical Cord

Throughout your pregnancy, the umbilical cord has functioned as the connection between your baby and the placenta. It has brought important nutrients and blood to your baby. During the late…

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Woman having a rapid labor

Rapid Labor

With each pregnancy, labor and birth can be quite different. Some women follow the typical course of labor, others may experience delays in labor or find it necessary to induce….

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Pregnant woman using nitrous oxide during labor

Nitrous Oxide During Labor

As your due date approaches, you will want to become familiar with the natural and medical intervention options for pain relief. One option for pain relief during labor is nitrous…

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Baby is entering the crowning phase of labor

Crowning

  During pushing and delivery, your baby’s head will begin to show through your vaginal opening with each contraction. When your baby’s head remains visible without slipping back in, it is known…

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Pregnant woman going through back labor

Back Labor

  Labor and giving birth are among the most physically demanding things that a woman will ever experience. Many woman try to prepare for the experience by working on their health, exercising…

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inducing labor

Inducing Labor

Inducing labor is the artificial start of the birth process through medical interventions or other methods. Induction not done for medical reasons or as an emergency is considered elective. Induction…

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Image of effacement

Effacement

  The closer you get to the end of your pregnancy, the more you will hear about “being effaced,” “effacing,” or “effacement.” What is effacement? Effacement is the process by which…

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Stage two of pregnancy

Stages of Childbirth: Stage II

Experiencing the birth of your child is a special and unique experience.  No two deliveries are alike and there is no way to predict with total accuracy how your delivery…

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Stage three of pregnancy

Stages of Childbirth: Stage III

Experiencing the birth of your child is a special and unique experience.  No two deliveries are alike and there is no way to accurately predict how your delivery will go….

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Woman going through the first stages of labor

Stages of Childbirth: Stage I

Experiencing the birth of your child is a special and unique experience. No two deliveries are identical and there is no way to predict how your delivery is going to go. However,…

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premature baby care

Care for the Premature Baby

Babies born before the 37th week of gestation are considered premature and are sometimes referred to as “preemies”. Mothers whose babies are born prematurely are often scared and nervous. Premature…

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premature birth complications

Premature Birth Complications

Babies born before the 37th week of gestation are considered premature.  Premature newborns are sometimes referred to as “preemies”.  Mothers who have their baby prematurely are often frightened and nervous. …

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alternative relaxation techniques

Alternative Relaxation Techniques

As pregnancy progresses and labor seems to be around the corner, it is natural to experience a certain amount of fear and anxiety in anticipation of giving birth.  Labor is…

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patterned breathing

Patterned Breathing During Labor

  Patterned breathing refers to the act of breathing at any number of possible rates and depths. Some women prefer breathing deeply, using their diaphragm to fill their abdomen with…

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General Anesthesia

Being informed about general anesthesia will help prevent mothers from being caught by surprise in the unlikely event that it might be necessary. General anesthesia causes a total loss of…

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Spinal block

Spinal Block

  A spinal block is sometimes called a “spinal.” In this procedure, a narcotic or anesthetic such as fetanyl, bupivacaine or lidocaine is injected below the spinal column directly into…

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Pudendal Block

The pudendal block gets its name because a local anesthetic such as, lidocaine or chloroprocaine, is injected into the pudendal canal where the pudendal nerve is located. This allows quick…

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Local Anesthesia

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is injected into a specific area to provide pain relief. Local anesthesia is given through various medications and dosages in the form of epidurals, pudendal blocks, and spinal…

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Pregnant woman taking general anesthesia

Epidural Anesthesia

Epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during labor. More women request an epidural by name than any other method of pain relief. More than 50% of women giving…

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Circumcision

Circumcision

When you learned that you were having a boy you probably started thinking about circumcision. The decision to have your son circumcised can be difficult and can involve a number…

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Signs of Labor

Signs of Labor

Probably every woman who shares her labor experience tells a different story. Your delivery will be just as unique. However, the following information will prepare you for when “Labor Day”…

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False labor

False Labor

As the time of delivery approaches, you might notice that Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent and intense. It is very common for women to think that they are experiencing…

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Mucus Plug

Mucus Plug: Bloody Show

Throughout pregnancy, a mucus plug blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. Before labor, this mucus plug is expelled allowing the baby to pass…

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Braxton hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks Contractions

You might have heard this funny phrase before you were pregnant, but now you want to know what it means. The term originated in 1872 from an English doctor named…

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Pregnant woman having a premature labor

Premature Labor

Pregnancy is normally a time of happiness and anticipation, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. Many women have concerns about what is happening with their baby and wonder “Is…

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Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) occurs when a baby’s head or body is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis. It is believed that true CPD is rare, but many cases…

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Episiotomy

Episiotomy

An episiotomy is a surgical incision used to enlarge the vaginal opening to help deliver a baby. What are some circumstances that would require an episiotomy? An episiotomy may be…

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Breech birth positions

Breech Births

Most babies will move into delivery position a few weeks prior to birth with the head moving closer to the birth canal. When this fails to happen, the baby’s buttocks…

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Cesarean birth after care

Cesarean Birth After Care

The days following the birth of your baby, the postpartum period, can be one of the most challenging times for mothers and families. This period can be even more challenging…

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Trying to avoid a cesarean

Trying to Avoid a Cesarean

There has been a gradual increase in cesarean births over the past 30 years. In November of 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the highest rate ever recorded…

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Risk of a cesarean procedure

Risks of a Cesarean Procedure

A cesarean birth occurs through an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus rather than through the vagina. There has been a gradual increase in cesarean births over the past…

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cesarean birth

Cesarean Procedure

Cesarean birth happens through an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus rather than through the vagina. There has been a gradual increase in cesarean births over the past 30…

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VBAC vaginal birth after cesarean

VBAC: Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

  If you have experienced a cesarean delivery, you are not alone. In November 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national cesarean birth rate was the…

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Reasons for a cesarean birth

Reasons For a Cesarean Birth

A cesarean delivery is a birth through an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus rather than through the vagina. There has been a gradual increase in cesarean births over…

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Birth Center

Birth Center

Today, women have more options than ever to find and select a suitable birth process. Options include increasing numbers of hospitals, obstetricians, and midwives that are offering women the choice…

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Water Birth

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. Other women decide…

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Home births

Home Birth

For centuries giving birth at home was the norm. By the 1900’s increasing numbers of women started having their babies at hospitals. As our understanding of anatomy, modern medicine, the…

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Assisted delivery during birth

Assisted Delivery

  Near the end of the pushing stage, it might become apparent that mother and baby need a little extra help in the delivery. After ensuring that the anesthesia is…

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Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises, also called pelvic floor exercises, help strengthen the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowels.  Kegel exercises also help strengthen vaginal muscles. What are the benefits of…

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How to create a birth plan

Creating Your Birth Plan

  The birth of your baby should be one of the most memorable, life-changing and joyful experiences of your life. You will want to spend time thinking through the details…

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Labor and birth terms to Know

Labor & Birth Terms to Know

Abruptio Placenta (Placental Abruption): The placenta has started to separate from the uterine wall before the baby is born.  Amniotic Fluid: This protective liquid, consisting mostly of fetal urine and…

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Having a Doula: Is a Doula for Me?

  The word doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant.  Women have been serving other women in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman…

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Cord blood banking

Cord Blood Banking

  Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth. It is blood that is usually discarded. Cord blood banking utilizes external facilities as…

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Midwives

  The term midwife reflects a philosophy of care–one that is directed toward women and their individual reproductive needs. A midwife usually offers a variety of options and seeks to…

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Newborn testing

Newborn Testing

Now that you have had your baby and the delivery was a success there is still one more thing to do before your baby heads home. Depending on what state…

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Childbirth Education Classes

For most pregnant women, even if you already have a child, the labor and birth process can be both overwhelming and joyful. Many women and their partners choose to attend childbirth classes…

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