Fetal Distress

The term fetal distress has historically been used to describe when the fetus does not receive adequate oxygen during pregnancy or labor. Learn more about fetal distress.

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Cutting the Umbilical Cord

Once your baby is birthed, the umbilical cord will no longer be necessary. Learn more about the function of the umbilical cord and when to cut it.

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Rapid Labor

Rapid labor is characterized by labor that can last as little as 3 hours and is typically less than 5 hours. Learn more about the signs and management of rapid labor.

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Nitrous Oxide During Labor

Several countries with high standards for health care use nitrous oxide to treat pain during labor. Learn more about the benefits and risks of using nitrous oxide during labor.

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Crowning

Crowning takes place when the baby’s head remains visible without slipping back in as you are pushing during birth. Learn more about crowning during birth.

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Back Labor

Back labor refers to the pain and discomfort that laboring women experience in their lower back. Learn more about the causes and treatments for back labor.

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Inducing Labor

Labor may be induced if it is the safest option for you and your baby. There are a couple of ways to induce labor. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

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Effacement

Effacement occurs in order to help prepare your cervix for labor. Learn more about what the term effacement means and how it is measured.

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Stages of Childbirth: Stage II

The second stage of labor will include the delivery of your baby. Learn more about what to expect during this stage of labor and tips for making this stage easier.

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Stages of Childbirth: Stage I

The first stage of labor is the longest. There are many tips you can follow to make this stage easier. Learn more about what to expect during this phase.

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Care for the Premature Baby

Premature babies will need special care during the beginning of their life. The NICU helps to provide your baby with the medical treatments and care he/she needs.

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General Anesthesia

Although rare, circumstances may occur in which the pregnant woman needs to be put under general anesthesia during labor. Read on to find out more about the procedure.

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Spinal Block

A spinal block, similar to an epidural, is when anesthesia is injected directly into the spinal fluid in order to provide pain relief during labor.

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Pudendal Block

During the second stage of labor, a pudenal block may be given with a local anesthetic, in order to relieve the pain before delivery. Here is more information on what to expect.

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Local Anesthesia

Labor can be a painful experience. However, a number of local anesthetics are available to help provide pain relief. Read more about your options.

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Epidural Anesthesia

An epidural is the most popular form of anesthesia during labor. There are several benefits to an epidural, but also a number of potential risks.

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Circumcision

If you have a baby boy, you will need to make a decision about whether or not to circumcise. Here is information about the procedure and potential complications.

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Signs of Labor

When you enter the late phase of your pregnancy, you will begin looking for evidence that you are going into labor. Here are some signs to look for around week 38.

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False Labor

As you eagerly await the arrival of your newborn, you may begin to experience “false labor.” There are a number of ways you can differentiate between this and the real thing.

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Mucus Plug: Bloody Show

A sign of impending labor is loss of the mucus plug, or the “bloody show.” Although not always an indication that birth is imminent, it may be that your body is preparing for labor.

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Braxton Hicks Contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions may begin occurring as early as the second trimester, and are often mistaken for early labor. Don’t be alarmed if you experience them.

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Premature Labor

Preterm labor refers to going into labor before the 37th week of pregnancy. There are steps you can take to decrease your risk of this occurring.

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Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

When a baby is too large to fit through the pelvis during birth, this is known as cephalopelvic disproportion. Mothers who experience this will likely undergo C-section.

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Episiotomy

If the vaginal opening is not wide enough during labor, an episotomy may be necessary. This is a surgical incision used to enlarge the vaginal opening.

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Breech Births

Breech birth happens when the baby is turned wrong in the womb, and the feet or buttocks emerge first. Typically, a C-section is suggested if this occurs.

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Cesarean Birth After Care

After a C-section, it is important to care for yourself well. Here are some ideas for how to heal, both emotionally and physically, from this major surgery.

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Trying to Avoid a Cesarean

A Cesarean section is a major surgery, and some women prefer to avoid it if possible. Here are some tips on how to do so, as well as information about why it may be necessary.

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Risks of a Cesarean Procedure

Cesarean sections occur in 1 of 4 births. As with any major medical procedure, there are potential risks to be aware of and to discuss with your doctor.

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Cesarean Procedure

A Cesarean, or C-section, is another form of birth available to you. Continue reading to learn about the process and possible risks of this type of delivery.

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VBAC: Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

Even after a C-section, many women are still eligible for vaginal birth for their next child. Talk to your doctor if you would like to give birth vaginally after a prior C-section.

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Reasons For a Cesarean Birth

A cesarean section is a surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through the abdomen. There are numerous reasons why a doctor may recommend a cesarean.

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Birth Centers

If you are looking for a natural birthing option and have a low-risk pregnancy, you may want to consider giving birth in a birth center. Here is what you can expect at a birth center.

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Water Birth

Many women choose to have a water birth because it is more gentle on the baby and reduces stress for the mother. Find out more about the benefits and risks of water birth.

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Home Birth

More women are considering having a home birth. If you have a low-risk pregnancy, you may want to learn more to determine if having a home birth is right for you.

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Assisted Delivery

An assisted delivery may be necessary if a mom and baby need additional help towards the end of delivery. Forceps or a vacuum extractor are generally used in such cases.

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Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises help strengthen the vaginal muscles as well as the muscles that support the uterus. Practicing Kegels can help you have an easier birth.

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Creating Your Birth Plan

A birth plan can help clarify your desires for the birth of your baby and help you communicate clearly with everyone involved. Here are some tips for creating a birth plan.

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Labor & Birth Terms to Know

It is important to be informed about common terms related to labor and birth. An understanding of these terms will help you be better prepared for delivery.

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Having a Doula: Is a Doula for Me?

Doulas provide physical, emotional, and educational support throughout labor. They use a variety of pain-relief techniques to help you have a positive birth experience.

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Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood banking is the storage of your baby’s cord blood, which can be used to treat various diseases. Learn about the value of storing or donating cord blood.

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Midwives

There are numerous benefits of having a midwife. You may want to consider having a midwife if you would like a lower cost and more natural birth experience.

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Newborn Testing

After your baby is born, your health care provider will perform newborn testing to detect various disorders and complications. Learn more about newborn testing.

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Childbirth Education Classes

Childbirth education classes can help prepare you with coping skills for labor and delivery. Find out about the different types of childbirth education classes.

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