Birth plan can be a roadmap to a fulfilling experience - A birth plan is
simply a written way for you to communicate your preferences about the
birth experience to your health care provider, care staff and labor attendants.
Can you keep working while you're pregnant? - If you're enjoying
a low-risk, normal pregnancy and your job presents no particular hazards,
there's no reason to stop working while you're pregnant.
Childbirth classes vary in approach and content - You'll want to know
what kinds of classes are available before you sign up for a childbirth class.
Choosing a midwife: Some things to consider - Midwives offer an alternative
to the traditional medical model for labor and delivery.
Choosing your obstetrical care provider carefully - The personalities and
medical practices of obstetrical care providers vary greatly.
Do your homework before choosing baby's doctor - Choosing a doctor
for your baby means making some appointments to visit doctors, get information and talk.
Doulas can help make childbirth more satisfying - Doulas are trained to
provide ongoing emotional, physical and informational support to women
and their partners before, during and after childbirth.
Your prenatal office visits are a time to learn - Follow a regular schedule
of prenatal check-ups to help prevent certain problems and to catch others
early, while they can be corrected.
Get smart: Do your homework before choosing a hospital - The hospital where
your baby is born, and the staff who care for you, will be a major part
of your memories when you look back on your labor and your baby's birth.
Get smart: History of childbirth - For most of human history, female family
members, "wise women," and midwives, delivered babies at home.
Most births were happily uneventful.
Get your first aid kit ready - Be prepared for medical emergencies by stocking
a household first aid kit now.
It's not too early to install baby's new car seat - In the car,
keep your child safe (and law-abiding) by always using a rear-facing car
seat designed for your child's size and weight. Proper installation
Making decisions about childcare - When you go back to work, who will mind the baby?
Pack your bag with the right stuff - Reality check: When you're packing
clothing to wear home from the hospital, leave out that favorite pair
of size 8 Calvin Klein jeans and button-down shirt you last wore before
you got pregnant. Truth is, in the first days after pregnancy your waist
will still be very big and your breasts enlarged as your body prepares
Planning a baby shower to remember - There are no rules for baby showers;
ask the guest of honor about her preferences for date, entertainment,
and guest list, including whether to invite couples or women only.
Telling the boss you're pregnant - You've told your family, your
closest friends know; now the time has come to spill the beans to your
boss. In the best of circumstances, you can expect sincere congratulations
tempered with concern about workplace productivity during your upcoming absence.
Planning your maternity leave - Although your due date is still months
away, it's not too early to start planning your maternity leave. It's
a good idea to have at least a rough idea of how long you plan to be gone
and when, whether or how you plan to return to work.
Pre-register for the hospital - Pre-registering at the hospital is a good
idea. While you're there, be sure to find out where and how long you
can park and how to access the maternity unit after hours.
Saved cord blood can aid future transplants - Cord blood found in the umbilical
cord and placenta may be saved for stem cell transplant treatment later
on in life.
Stock up on essentials now - From baby pain relievers to those cute little
booties, the more you can lay in essential supplies now, the easier those
first weeks will be. Some items are necessary for baby to sleep, eat,
and stay healthy and happy.
To circumcise or not? It's up to you - Circumcision is the practice
of removing the foreskin of a boy's penis. The procedure is usually
performed shortly after birth.
You get to choose who attends the birth - Choosing who will be with you
during labor and delivery requires some careful thought. It means evaluating
the attitudes of friends and family in light of the support you will need.
- Prepare for your first well-child checkup - Well-child checkups ensure
that your baby is thriving and developing normally. Be prepared to answer
your doctor's questions and to air your own concerns and questions.