Take leave

labor-bag

With your due date just days away, it can be tempting to make a mad dash for the delivery room the moment you feel contractions kick in, but—as ready as you are to meet your babe —knowing when to head

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Bank on it

cordblood-pigbank

As an expectant mom, you are constantly making decisions that will affect your babe-to-be’s future. One question that could potentially have the greatest impact on the health of your newborn—and family members—is whether to bank baby’s cord blood. This choice

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Appetite for energy

preggerssunner

Most moms-to-be are all too familiar with all-out energy drains—that exhausted feeling that breaks you down mentally to the point where the only activity you can fathom is watching TV with a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. While many people

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Five pregnancy mistakes you don’t have to make

donut

As any woman sporting a bump knows, there’s no end to the onslaught of pregnancy advice. But much of it doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and some can even be harmful to you and your baby. We’re here

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Mocked up

mocktails

Let’s be honest: Being the pregnant lady at the dinner party is not a lot of fun. As everyone else digs into the cheese plate and downs libations, you are likely left searching for a glass of ginger ale and

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Delivery room mythbuster

momlookingatbaby

When you’re wearing a baby belly, you tend to attract delivery room horror stories and cryptic warnings from oh-so-helpful strangers. What is reliable, and what’s really bull? We’ve stared down some of society’s most stringent delivery room myths. The myth:

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A long-distance affair

grandmababytub

When my husband and I were a young couple striking out on our own, the distance from our hometowns seemed temporary—an adventure, an experiment, a story about our wayfaring youth we would tell someday when we had made it back

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School of pain

labor-pains

They don’t call it “labor” for nothing! The moments leading up to delivery require hard, painful work. Labor is tricky to predict or even describe because every woman’s birth experience is unique. And while it’s impossible to truly understand how

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Recipe for rest

kiwis

Going through your day in a zombie-like state? Well, misery loves company. Roughly 8 out of 10 women report periods of sleep disturbance during pregnancy, citing everything from being uncomfortable at night to feelings of anxiety to restless legs as

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Exhausted expectations

exhausted

Your pregnancy test comes back positive, and you feel on top of the world. But then fatigue strikes. Although you’ve likely read about it (along with cravings, morning sickness and all the other early pregnancy symptoms), you probably weren’t prepared

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Make due

laborbag

Planning for a birth can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! Think of your birth plan as more of a wish list than anything else: a layout of how you’d like things to go, with plenty of room

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Falling for smoothies

gourd-smoothie

When the right ingredients are whizzed together, a smoothie can flood the body with a cornucopia of must-have nutrients, many of which are vital for the healthiest nine months possible. And when that baby bump is disrupting your appetite for

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Breastfeeding and the ACA

Pump In Style Advanced tote

No matter your insurance, tucked away within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a clause that is revolutionizing breastfeeding for new and expectant mothers. Now more than ever you have support and services at your disposal, and it can change

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Bump into action

preggers-test

If you are new to the pregnancy game, your mind is likely being pulled in a million directions at once. You’re blissfully imagining a beautiful babe in your arms while at the same time panicking about everything from weight gain

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Food + your mood

overeating-final

When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes immense changes—and so does your mood. You may be over the moon about impending mamahood one day and a bump-bearing basket case the next. Keeping your emotions under control at all times is next

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An inconvenient truth

csection-full

When Roslyn Jin was pregnant with her second child, she thought long and hard about the best way to give birth. The mother of two in Ontario, Canada, had a less-than-ideal first birthing experience, which began spontaneously but ended in

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Break the swell

preggers-at-pool

It starts with your feet. All of a sudden, they don’t fit into the shoes you wore comfortably last week. But then your hands and face start to feel puffy, too. Off comes the wedding ring that’s growing tighter by

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Childbirth 101

birth-class

Ideally, all pregnancy roads lead to the same destination: an uncomplicated birth and a healthy baby. But there are many paths through labor and delivery, each offering its own tools for overcoming the pain, anxiety and other hurdles you might

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Clamp down

newborn

You’ve been dreaming about this moment for the past nine months or longer—your little one is finally here! But after the hard work of delivery is done and before you bask in newborn bliss, there’s one more piece of the

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Special order

woman-eating

With the exception of occasionally indulging in cravings for foods like ice cream and pizza, most moms-to-be try to eat nutritiously throughout pregnancy. But a healthy diet means different things to different people. For Angela Liddon, mom-to-be in Ontario, Canada,

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I think I’ll have another!

second-preggers

When I became pregnant with my second child, I felt confident I’d be an old pro at baby-baking. I knew what I was in for when it came to morning sickness (ahem, all day sickness). I was familiar with the

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Decoding one-a-days

preggers-vitamins

If you are expecting, your healthcare provider has likely already stressed how important it is to take prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy. But reading labels at your local pharmacy is kind of like trying to understand a foreign language: You’ve

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Going the full 40

DueDate

You’ve been pregnant for what seems like forever. Heartburn haunts your days and nights, your feet are starting to resemble overstuffed sausages, your once roomy maternity duds are bursting at the seams, and sleep has long since abandoned you. What’s

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The no-guilt epidural

epidural2

Labor hurts. However, there is a way to avoid at least some of the pain associated with childbirth: the trusty epidural. It’s a pain relief method that is widely used here in the U.S.—in fact, it’s estimated that more than

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Capturing every moment

PN6-photocreditlLynseyStone

Kelly Pappas, mom of two in San Diego, has only a few memories from her first birth three years ago. She knows she labored alongside her loving husband in the hospital and that it was a peaceful experience overall. But

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The prenatal diet du jour

lentils-and-sablefish

There’s no question that what a woman eats during pregnancy can play a huge role in fostering the health of both mom and her tiny tadpole. And if you’re already making smart dietary choices by eating foods like salmon and

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Off your rocker

preggers-hormonal-new

Like any hopeful mom, I wanted to provide a natural and safe environment for my baby’s development. I had heard that some medications could cross the placenta and affect the baby, so I figured a complete detox would be a

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Care package

doulahelp

Over nine wild months of body changes and emotional highs and lows, expectant mamas don’t often feel in control of their pregnancies. But when it comes time to deliver, more and more women are taking back the reins and not

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Unconventional eats

choppingveggies

Pregnancy changes a gal in many ways, but one of the biggest adjustments typically happens in the kitchen. Suddenly, you’re very aware of what you’re eating, where that food came from and whether it’s a good choice for your growing

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The hol(istic) truth

acupuncture

“I just want to keep things natural” has become a familiar refrain amongst mamas-to-be. The idea is well and good, but suffering through nine months of nausea, backache and swelling sans medicine can quickly become miserable. Luckily, holistic treatments are

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Something’s fishy

salmon-steaks

Now that you’re eating for two, you’ve got to up the nutrient intake—and taking a prenatal vitamin is a good place to start. But in addition to one-a-days, healthcare providers often stress the importance of getting enough DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

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Pregnancy problem solver

PregnancyProblemSolver
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Testing 1-2-3

syringe

In the past year alone, the market has exploded with new noninvasive screening options and technologies that can detect chromosomal abnormalities even before baby is born. Still, many women don’t look into all of the tests that are available—and the

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A cut above

scalpel

For the nine or so months between positive pregnancy test and due date, expectant moms have a lot of time to think and prepare. By the time delivery rolls around, many moms have their birth plan scripted down to the

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Maternal desires

pink-paper-people

“Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?” It’s a common question asked of moms-to-be, and we all know the standard response: “It doesn’t matter to me, as long as it’s healthy!” I said it myself a zillion times

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Nourish that noggin

womaneating-2

Looking to raise a little genius? Put down that cookie, and pick up some walnuts. It turns out, what you eat throughout pregnancy influences baby’s brain development, an amazing process that begins at just five weeks gestation and continues into

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Make the team

pregnancy-couple

Although Brian Weisner took prenatal classes with his wife, Sarah, before she went into labor last spring, he still felt nervous walking into the hospital to meet their son, Ethan. He tried to stay calm, but as a first-time parent,

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Look out below

surprisedwoman

When it comes to pregnancy, moms and their bodies take on a lot of changes. Some are thrilling, like sporting a baby bump. Some are less so, like the seemingly shrinking bladder. Then there are those you’d rather not discuss—with

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Made for this

pregbodychanges

To the uninitiated—heck, even to those who have done it before—the actual labor and delivery part of pregnancy seems downright impossible. (I have to fit what through where?) But as unmanageable as it seems, your body is designed to do

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Take it to the bank

momandbebe

Back in the fall of 2006, Tami and Matt Byrd of Rochester Hills, Michigan, were busy growing their family and frantically adjusting to their schedule as parents of two rambunctious boys. It was an eventful but exciting time for the

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Best in peace

preggersmeditation

How important is relaxation during pregnancy? Very! When you’re strained, you produce stress hormones. These hormones affect your physical and emotional well-being. And when you’re pregnant, hormones can cross the placenta and color baby’s experience as well. Studies suggest that

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The backed-up plan

kimchi

After I gave birth to my daughter, my mother-in-law brought me a six-pack of prune juice. Although I was hoping for a different kind of six-pack to celebrate the birth of my first child, I have to admit that my

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Mom down

sadwoman

When Joanna Goddard returned home two years ago after spending an idyllic Christmas vacation with her husband and then 8-month-old son, something felt off. She was suddenly anxious and exhausted but had trouble sleeping at night. “I’d always had baby

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Tour guide

deliveryroom

You may have visited your local hospital in the past—to see a relative, attend a scheduled appointment, or take a prenatal class—so you might already be familiar with the facility. But imagine how chaotic it would feel if you were

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Second showing

preggersandtoddler

A first pregnancy is a time filled with wonder and excitement. Your body is doing something it has never done before. Every experience, from the first fluttery kick to the first visual proof of life via sonogram, is incredible. Fast-forward

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To eat or not to eat?

donoteat

Historically, women have eaten during their labors to maintain strength through contractions and often difficult deliveries. A widely women-attended and supported event, childbirth often included a laboring mother, her midwife, and female members of the community who gathered together during

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Smarty pants

crazymom

Mommy brain: an air of absentmindedness and distraction that often plagues the minds of new moms. It begins in pregnancy, when the first hints of forgetfulness become apparent. Never mind the fact that you’re carrying and nurturing another life, barely

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Going VBAC

newbornbebe

Prior C-section mamas, listen up: We’ve rounded up answers to the most commonly asked questions about VBACs. (What’s a VBAC you ask? As it turns out, that’s the first thing we answer—keep reading!) What is a VBAC? VBAC stands for

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Leavin’ is easy

maternityleave

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times of your life. But if you’re a working mama-to-be, there may be one cloud hanging over your head: talking to your boss about maternity leave. You know you’re going to have to

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Nutritional know-how

womanfridge

From caffeine to canned tuna, the list of foods moms-to-be should avoid is overwhelming. Self-proclaimed cheese lover Elizabeth Hurley, mother of a 1-year-old in Boston, was frustrated by the conflicting information she found: “I read no soft cheeses at all,

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