All the feels

pregnancy-wellness

Google “What does being pregnant feel like?” and you’ll get upward of 12 million results. No surprise there. After all, pregnancy is an intensely physical experience, one that is utterly unlike any other. It’s a time of excitement and wonder—and

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Deconstruction zone

mango-kale-smoothie

Grazing between meals will not only keep hanger and nausea at bay, but it’s a brilliant way to sneak in more nutrients, too. Before you hit the kitchen and start building these tasty eats, let’s break down why they’re so

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Tour guide

Northside

(Above: A labor and delivery room at Northside Hospital Forsyth in Cumming, Georgia.) You might have visited your local hospital in the past—to see a relative, attend a scheduled appointment or take a prenatal class—so you may already be familiar

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Love notes

happy-preggers-couple-in-bed

Whether that wee babe was a total surprise or an eagerly planned addition, one thing is for certain: A newborn changes just about everything. Any semblance of routine that you had prebaby will need to be tweaked to work around your

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Better together

carrots

Tomatoes and basil, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers … they’re the Batmans and Robins of the culinary world—they just “go” together. It turns out there are plenty of food pairs that aren’t just tasty, but when they hook

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It’s complicated

preggers-pulse

In researching this article, I interviewed a number of moms who experienced complications during their pregnancies. Each had her unique perspective, but one point came up in every single discussion. Every mom I spoke to gave this advice: Ask questions!

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Bosom buddies

breastfeeding-newbie

When I was expecting my first child in 2007, I attended a crash course in breastfeeding at the local hospital where I planned to deliver. I heard all about how important it was to breastfeed, how the practice would benefit

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Prenatal survival kit

StorqEssentialsBundle

SEARCH AND RESCUEOn cloud 9 The cruel irony of pregnancy is that even before your bundle of sleep deprivation arrives, catching those precious Zs gets tricky. Eliminate one major issue—finding a comfortable position—by making friends with a pregnancy pillow. Your

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Special order

quinoa-vegan-bowl

Navigating the seemingly endless do’s and don’ts of pregnancy can sometimes feel like a full-time job, right? No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, there’s a constant nagging inside that nudges, Is that safe for my baby? Food

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Eat your way to fertility

rainbow-chard

A healthy diet is a must when you’re trying to get pregnant. “Boosting our fertility is really about boosting our heath overall, so that our bodies—specifically, the uterus, follicles and eggs—are primed and ready for growing a healthy baby,” says

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Pushing through

preggers-in-labor-2

A quick look down at your burgeoning belly makes it all too obvious that your body is undergoing some pretty remarkable transformations in preparation for baby’s debut. Although the bump is the most obvious change, what’s going on inside—and out

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Try, try again

preggers-test

Now that your firstborn is getting older and you feel like you have gotten the hang of motherhood (finally!), you might be ready to expand your family once again. But, after months of negative pregnancy tests, you begin to wonder:

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Alternate route

new-mom-baby

Adrienne Camhi, a mom of one in Evanston, Illinois, planned to deliver her daughter Neva naturally. She hoped to labor at home as long as possible, move around frequently to ease her pains, and go epidural-free for the duration. “I

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Start squirreling

lasagna

The first couple weeks with a newborn are a lot like a hibernation phase for brand-new parents—except that you’ll be getting next to no sleep. Prep for your days away from the world by squirreling away easy meals and plenty

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Prenatal test prep

stress-test

If you’re expecting, prepare to be the center of some major medical attention. There willbe lots of tests (more than you took in high school!), and you’ll clock serious face-time with your health care provider. But it doesn’t mean that

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Girly bits cheat sheet

lady-parts

Your female anatomy is, of course, a physical part of you, but you’re probably not as familiar with it as, say, your eyes or your feet. Maybe that’s because it can literally be a pain in the neck to see

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Tip jar: Expert tips for labor & delivery

breatsfeeding-childbirth

FROM AN OB Najia Lawrence, MD, FACOG, is a board-certified OB/GYN with North Georgia OB/GYN Specialists in Woodstock, Georgia, and is affiliated with Northside Hospital-Cherokee. She has delivered nearly 2,000 babies over the course of her 12-year career. 1. Trust

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Not your mama’s pregnancy

coffee-preggers

My mom is amazing. She delivered five healthy babies, one of them naturally (me!), and breastfed every one of us. She believes that motherhood is a lifelong calling (she’s right), and she continues to be a loving, capable mom and

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Would you like to make that a combo?

omelette

We’ve all had those days—when you’re running late and grab a yogurt cup or a solitary banana to scarf down at the office only to hear that telltale rumble from your midsection an hour later. You had your a.m. meal,

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Eat the alphabet

broccoli-2

If you’re looking to boost the health of you and your babe, here are 26 tasty ways to make it happen. A is for avocado Everyone’s favorite guacamole star is chock-full of three big pregnancy players: potassium, which is important

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To epidural or not to epidural

walking-with-newbie

There is no single way to birth a child. Because no two labors and deliveries are the same (from how long they last to how they feel), what works for one woman might not for another. But many people—mothers and

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40 and pregnant

mom-in-fields

I peeked at my chart—scrawled across the top was the ominous phrase “advanced maternal age.” The OB handed me a referral to a high-risk clinic. “Is there something wrong?” I asked. Without looking up he said, “We refer all our

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Think inside the box

salad-bowl

Planning, prepping and packing a good-for-you lunch that you’ll actually look forward to eating is a tall order for anyone to tackle. But it’s especially difficult for working moms-to-be, who are fighting fatigue and carefully considering every ingredient to ensure that they’re

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The after party

post-birth-plan

While expecting, you spend a lot of time thinking about how you want your labor and delivery to go. Do you want an epidural? A water birth? A mirror to watch your progress? These considerations often take precedence over thoughts

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In active pursuit of shuteye

preggersbeach

Have you wondered why, oh why an exhausted baby-grower like yourself can’t catch a wink of sleep past 4 a.m.? Or maybe your whacked-out internal thermostat has hit a thousand degrees, making you feel like a hot mess with no

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Gentle C-section

gentle-c-section

Dressed in a thin paper gown, you nervously look up at your partner, who squeezes your hand as your doula leads you through calming breaths. Your playlist switches over to a Katy Perry song and you think, Yes—bring it. I

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What’s normal (and what’s not) when you’re expecting

preggers-sleeping

From the moment you conceive, your body begins to transform from the everyday vehicle you’ve always known into an amazing, efficient (and sometimes kinda gross) baby-making machine. Some changes are obvious—a burgeoning belly, for example—while others will take you by

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Prime capsule

vitamins

If you’re pregnant, you should be taking a prenatal vitamin. In fact, even if you’re just thinking about becoming pregnant you should be taking one. But what is it about these specialized pills that makes them so pertinent? The F

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The first trimester blues

walking

Early pregnancy isn’t all plus signs and happy secrets. Although the first trimester is filled with excitement and anticipation, it’s also infused with its share of aches and pains. But common mom-to-be woes can be survived with a few proactive measures.

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Rules to eat by

veggie-omelette

There is a whole lot of advice on what pregnant women should eat and not eat—most of which sounds pretty straightforward on paper. But when it comes to real life, all the suggestions can be tough to remember—let alone stick

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Natural wonders

mombabybirth

Editor’s note: Although “natural” can mean different things to different people, for the sake of this article, we’re using it to define a birth that doesn’t involve medical intervention of any kind. It’s a fact that medical interventions are sometimes

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Call the midwife

midwife

By and large, moms-to-be rely on the expertise of an OB for prenatal care, but in recent years, a growing number of expectant women are asking midwives to take the lead. As a doula, I intrinsically respect a woman’s choice

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Snack attack

frozen-grapes

It’s not uncommon to feel peckish throughout the day, especially when you’ve got a bun in the oven. Whether it’s post-lunch hunger pangs or late-night sugary urges, every mom-to-be gets hit with sudden food cravings from time to time (or,

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Unplug from unhealthy anxiety

cyberchondria

In the early weeks of my first pregnancy, I came across a book at the library about proper eating for pregnant women. I can’t remember the title, and I don’t know who published it—but it was the absolute worst thing

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Kitchen stock

oatmeal

Whether you’re itching for a snack after work or trying to cobble together lunch on a lazy Saturday, there are a few foods you can have on hand to ensure you neither go hungry nor fill up on not-so-healthy temptations.

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Are you afraid of the … delivery room?

preggers-worried

Your D-day is coming, and no matter how much you’re looking forward to meeting your baby, you can’t help but come a little unhinged thinking about labor. But don’t let stress get the best of you! Here’s the lowdown on

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In your wildest dreams

dreaming-preggers

When Chicago mom-to-be Laura Merkin found herself dreaming about her breasts producing chocolate milk and later, giving birth to a dragon, she began to wonder if something was the matter—with her or her baby. It’s not unusual for other pregnant

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It’s the final countdown …

relaxing

Houston, we have a problem: By the third trimester, your bump is large and in charge, leaving you feeling sluggish, with little desire to stray from the sofa. But before you blast off into the strange new world of parenthood,

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World fare

stirfry

Don’t let your prenatal diet bore you—or your taste buds. Sushi and deli meat might be off the menu, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat the same tuna salad every day for lunch. Introducing new dishes can thwart

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Your pregnancy tune-up

wrench2

This baby thing is really happening, and you’re in it for the 40-week long haul. Maybe you were perfectly prepared before the test pointed positive, or maybe you’re like the rest of us and could use a tuneup to get

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The tear scare

preggers-in-labor

Does everyone tear? This is the first question my girlfriends ask when I offer them honest answers to their most secret labor and delivery worries. There are a lot of differences of opinion when it comes to how you want

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First-timer’s primer on childbirth

newborn-baby

This is really embarrassing to admit, but before I actually had my first baby, I didn’t fully understand what went on down there during delivery. I mean, I felt like I grasped the gist of it, but I didn’t know

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The best laid plans

birthplan

In 2012, I waddled around the halls of a sterile-but-friendly hospital on my highly anticipated birthplace tour. My husband and I proudly toted our birth plan and a list of questions, eager to gather information and piece together the puzzle of our

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Bump on board

airport-preggers

Whether your job requires regular travel or your budget allows for recreational trips (hello, babymoon!), jet-setting while pregnant is often a part of the modern mom-to-be’s life. And happily, that’s A-OK. “There’s really no medical reason why you can’t travel

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What to eat when

greens

Once you find out you’re dining for two, you’re likely to become more mindful of your daily diet. How can you be sure you’re getting the nutrition your peanut needs? It’s simple, really: Load your plate with fruits and vegetables,

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Hunger pains

emptyplate

My iron stomach, bottomless pit of an appetite and endless enthusiasm for anything edible made my enviable gig as a food writer easy. I would eat anything and everything and lots of it … until one day I couldn’t. That’s

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On your mark, get set …

sleepingthroughlabor

As excited as you are to feel that first contraction finally hit, you’ll spend much—if not all—of the first phase of labor in your own home. Learn how to keep tabs on your progress and cope with those first pains

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The power of a birth story

writingbirthstory

Ever had a friend, family member or even complete stranger eagerly tell you the nitty-gritty details of her traumatizing birth story? The answer, for many moms, is a resounding yes. But the real question is: Have you ever had someone

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Bill of health

groceries

Bringing a baby into the world tends to put the squeeze on your bank account. But just because you’re tightening the purse strings to buy a stroller or crib (or even start saving for college) doesn’t mean your diet has

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Safe deposit

blood-samples

How often do you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? If you’re currently expecting, you have one right on the horizon. When your baby is born, the umbilical cord attaching him to you will also make its arrival in the world—and you’ll

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