Labor and Childbirth Facts and Preparation Tips

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Woman in Labor Pushing Hard to Give Birth

When you're pregnant, you may wonder about labor and childbirth; what options are available to you, and what to expect during the actual process. Becoming knowledgeable about labor and childbirth can help alleviate any fears or concerns you may have about the delivery of your baby.

Preparing for Your Baby

Prior to labor and delivery, you will want to prepare for your baby's arrival. It's never too early to create a birth plan to help you envision what you want your birth experience to be like. If you are interested in Lamaze classes, cord blood banking or having a doula present during your labor and delivery, this would be a good time to discuss this with your OB/GYN doctor.

The Labor Process

You may be concerned with recognizing the first signs of labor, especially if you're a first-time mom. What if what you're feeling is actually false labor? Learning about the true symptoms of labor as well as the various stages of labor can help you prepare for what to expect.

Pain Management and Inducement

If you're worried about the pain associated with labor, there is information on what contractions feel like, how long they last and how long it takes to actually give birth. There's a chance your doctor may need to induce labor as well, you can learn when this may be necessary and why.

What Else to Expect

Other aspects of labor you may be curious about and would like more information on include what it feels like when your water breaks. You might want to know what to expect when your baby is crowning, especially if this is your first pregnancy.

Childbirth Options

In order to have enough time to prepare, it is important to decide in advance where you would like to give birth. There is the traditional hospital setting, or you may want to go to a birthing center or you may opt for a home birth. You may even be interested in having a water birth and you can discuss this type of childbirth with your doctor. While many women prefer to have a natural childbirth, there are many that will still need an epidural, or an episiotomy, or need to have their water broke by their doctor during their labor. There are also certain situations where a C-section is the planned mode of delivery or becomes necessary during the labor process.

Safe Delivery and Healthy Baby

Keep in mind that every labor and childbirth experience is unique. However, you should feel reassured that you will be guided every step of the way. Your OB/GYN doctor will make any appropriate medical decisions that are necessary to ensure that you will have a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

Labor and Childbirth Facts and Preparation Tips