Labour & Delivery

Childbirth, also known as labour and delivery, is the ending of a pregnancy by one or more babies leaving a woman's uterus by vaginal passage or Caesarean section

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Preparing for a baby: Getting your finances in order

Planning ahead for conception (as opposed to those oops! pregnancies) means you’ll also have time to plan for the financial changes you’ll experience once the baby makes three (or more). When you’re financially preparing for a baby, don’t stress out about tackling every line item at once (no need to worry just yet about how you’ll pay those college bills), but anything you can start taking stock of now will make money matters down the road easier on your wallet and your sanity. Next, make a list of your expenses and then add in the baby costs you’ll be calculating soon: diapers, bottles, formula (if you don’t plan on breastfeeding), baby clothes, baby gear, baby food, baby toys, etc., so you can get a clearer idea of what your expenses really will be once your family starts to grow. Before you panic about all the baby-preparing you’ll need to do, remember, you’ll be getting plenty of those mommy necessities and niceties as gifts; others you’ll be able to borrow from friends and family.  Finally, think of ways (big and small) to cut corners and generate extra cash for baby expenses. Some almost painless ways to save big when you’re preparing for your baby include: Cutting back on luxuries such as expensive restaurant meals and high-priced lattes (you don’t need all that caffeine now, anyway). Using the old “loose-change-in-a-jar” trick: Just be sure to move the money periodically into a savings account (preferably an interest-bearing one that you’ve both sworn not to dip into). Looking critically at monthly expenditures for home and cell phone services, cable, gym memberships, and the like. Not that you need to live without these conveniences, but you may be able to switch to cheaper ones. Often just calling to threaten a switch can snag you a better deal. After all, companies like to keep their customers. Reducing credit card debt by avoiding late fees, paying more than the minimum each month, and rolling balances onto low-interest cards. Diverting some of your current savings into a “baby fund” for your various baby expenses. content source Featured Image Source

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Is there a way to help my water to break at home?

Women can get their water to break with the help of a doctor, but it is not safe for them to attempt to break their water at home. However, there are many natural methods that women can use to encourage labor to begin once the pregnancy has reached full term. Can you make your water break at home? There are no proven safe ways for a woman to break her water at home. It can be dangerous if the water breaks before natural labor begins or before the baby is fully developed. During the natural process of labor, the water breaks when the baby's head puts pressure on the amniotic sac, causing it to rupture. Women will notice either a gush or a trickle of water coming out of the vagina. Many doctors say that women must give birth within 12–24 hours of the water breaking. After this time, a doctor may recommend a cesarean delivery to ensure the safety of the woman and the baby. This is because it is easier for bacteria to get into the uterus after the water breaks. This increases the risk of infection, which is a major complication that puts both the woman and the baby at risk. It may also make the birth more difficult. It is particularly dangerous to use artificial instruments to rupture the amniotic sac, as this can introduce bacteria into the uterus and cause infections. It could also injure the baby.   How to induce labor safely? The end of pregnancy can be exhausting. People believe that there are many ways to induce labor, from eating spicy food to going for long walks. There is little evidence to support most of these ideas. However, the following methods may safely help to induce labor, if the woman's body is ready. Women should only consider using these techniques to encourage the natural onset of labor once the pregnancy has reached full term. They should also confirm first with a doctor that their pregnancy is a low risk. The following tips can help you induce labor: Have sex: Having sex, particularly vaginal penetration, may help to start labour. It is not clear whether this is due to hormonal changes, physical stimulation, or something else. A 2014 study found a link between having sex during the last week of pregnancy and going into labor. Women whose water has already broken should not have sex as this can increase the risk of infection. Try nipple stimulation: Nipple stimulation may be a natural way to get the body to release oxytocin, a hormone that plays a key role in both labor and breast-feeding. Learn more about how nipple stimulation can induce labor. Eat some dates: A small 2011 study asked women to eat six dates per day during the last 4 weeks of their pregnancy. The researchers found that 96 percent of the women who ate dates had spontaneous labor, compared to 79 percent of those who did not. The women who ate dates also had greater dilation of their cervix during labour. Content source Featured image source

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Water breaking: What it feels like.

When your water breaks, it means your amniotic sac has ruptured and labour is imminent (if not already under way). But what does this actually feel like? Does it feel like a pop? Is it a big gush or a slow leak? The answer: Any of the above. Everyone's experience is different. Here's what some moms had to say: 1. The gush or splash For some moms, the water really does gush out – either in the hospital bed or in a more surprising setting: "A huge gush of fluid went all over the floor." "A huge rush of water came from deep inside. Weirdest feeling!" "It felt like a 5-gallon bucket of water had spilled out. With the next five contractions, more water came gushing out." "Flood!" "I got up and was walking into the kitchen when a massive amount of water gushed from between my legs." "An extreme gush – nothing like urinating. It didn't stop or slow down! Grossest feeling ever." "It was like someone put a hose on full blast between my legs." 2. The pop Many women feel a popping sensation when their water breaks. For others, the pop is audible: "There was a pop, like someone cracking a knuckle, and then a gush." "I heard a pop, then all of a sudden a large gush and a bunch of leaking." "I felt a popping sensation, followed by an immediate gush of very warm fluid that soaked through my pants. A little more would leak out every time I moved." "I'd already had an epidural and was lying in the hospital bed. It felt like a water balloon popped between my legs." "A water balloon popping. It didn't hurt; it just was suddenly very wet."   3. The trickle Many women experience trickling or leaking instead of the more dramatic gushing: "I felt a warm trickle of fluid down my legs." "It was so slow that I thought it was sweat or normal discharge." "I seriously thought I had wet my pants. I went to the bathroom three times and changed my clothes before realizing that I wasn't suffering from pregnancy incontinence. It didn't happen like in the movies." "I went for a walk at the hospital to relieve my contractions, and at one point I bent over to throw up. I thought the pressure of throwing up had made me pee – very embarrassing. It turned out that the pressure had actually made my water break." "I felt really wet, and it was slowly leaking. Over time, it began to leak more and more until it started gushing."   4. The in-betweener Not a dramatic gush, but not just a little trickle either – some women go for the middle ground: "It felt like small gushes, like when you first start your period." "Imagine a heavy period dripping down your leg." "I was shopping at a big store, and when I turned, I felt a small gush. It felt like period discharge." "It wasn't a trickle but not a gush either."   5. The feeling of relief Many moms feel a sense of relief when their water breaks. For some, their labor then gets more intense: "Relief! That's when it was time to push." "A huge pop, then relief from some of the pressure." "I only remember relief for a brief second and then more pain."   6. The unnoticed break Some women aren't aware of their water breaking: "I couldn't feel it because I had already had my epidural." "I didn't even know it broke until I realized I was wet." "I didn't know until I woke up and went to the bathroom and my underwear was wet." "I didn't feel it because my baby was crowning." "I didn't know what had happened. I got up and the chair was wet. I still didn't feel anything in particular except that afterward, the contractions hurt more." "I didn't realize it had broken until I saw the wetness on the hospital bed." "I felt nothing. I just noticed some leaking during contractions, and the nurse confirmed that it had broken, probably during an internal exam."   Content source Featured image source

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