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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What lies ahead

binoculars-final

We’ve laid it all out—every step of your 40-week trek, so you can know what’s going on inside your barely there (or hard-to-miss) bump. Wherever you are in your pregnancy, get excited for the many changes to come. Note: Don’t fret

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Party poppers

party-poppers

Just like the end-of-year holiday marathon, childbirth is action-packed, labor-intensive and messy. As if planning parties, preparing epic feasts and trekking through crowded shopping centers weren’t enough, some moms-to-be are managing the additional stresses and demands of a third-trimester pregnancy

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Welcome home

home-water-birth

You don’t have to be a granola-loving, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing mom-to-be to consider a home birth. (Although with the sole-comforting sandals back in style, many of us might be a step closer to supporting the stereotype.) The truth is, you just

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Feeding frenzy

food-cravings

There’s something ridiculously sweet about your partner racing around at midnight to find the exact Vienna sausages and frozen cola you’ve been craving. And there’s something ridiculously convenient about being able to blame your unhealthy hankerings on your bump. But

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Can you keep a secret?

secret

Making a baby has some seriously unsexy side effects—stuff so unpleasant, even your closest girlfriends have probably kept their lips zipped. Celebrity mags have tricked you into thinking pregnancy is definitively glamorous, but the paparazzi aren’t there when celebs are

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Power up

chickpeas

There’s a lot of pressure when you’re eating for two to make sure you’re chomping only on what’s best for baby, and sometimes the advice you hear can be contradictory. Eat more fish, but beware of mercury. Fruits are loaded

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Taking back your birth

preggers-in-labor

Three years ago, while expecting my first child, I read every pregnancy book I could get my hands on to prepare myself (as much as one can) for a smooth delivery. When I went into labor one day after my

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Sick-as-a-dog days

morningsickness

You’ve heard you should up your calories while pregnant, but downing anything at all sounds like a cruel form of torture right about now. How can you overcome the nonstop nausea and nourish your body and your baby? Begin by

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Sleep tight

preggers-sleeping

Your newest family member will keep you awake long before she makes her grand entrance. For many pregnant women, catching a good night’s sleep can seem utterly unfeasible. Hormones make you hot, getting comfortable is an Olympic feat and just

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The 7 deadly sins of pregnancy

gluttony

Pregnancy: A time of joy, excitement, exhilaration … and also anxiety, tears and frustration. Although the good far outweighs the bad, it’s all too easy to fall victim to some negative sentiments while baby-bearing. From envy (Why can’t my belly

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Who’s who in the delivery room

delivery-nurse

Delivering your baby will be one of the most excruciating and wonderful occasions of your life. Your medical staff will become your dearest friends (at least for the day), and you’re bound to become closer to whomever you’ve invited to

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Officially pregnant

preggersworking

When I announced my second pregnancy at P&N (first to our esteemed editor in chief, Lacey, and then to the rest of the staff), I acquired a special status in the office. All at once, I was blogging at pnmag.com

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Baby builder

preggers-vitamins

A healthy diet is always a good idea, but it’s particularly pertinent when you’re growing a baby. The various vitamins and minerals you consume work together to ensure the bundle inside you develops and thrives. While the list of essentials

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Real talk

labor-surprises

If this is your first pregnancy rodeo, you’ve probably already discovered a few of the undisclosed aspects of growing a baby. After all, few people voluntarily strike up a conversation about the stray hairs cropping up on their chins or

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Taste the rainbow

rainbow-carrots

We’re learning more and more that optimal nutrition is not a black-and-white issue. In fact, it’s in your best interest to dine on a rainbow of foods in order to reap all the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants Mother Nature has

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Worth the weight

preggersbody-1

When Ali Ginestra was expecting her second child, she found herself overcome with negative thoughts about her appearance. “I’ve always been overweight, but I’ve resolved my issues internally. I never get down on myself,” says Ginestra, a mom of three

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Prepping for conception

conception

More often than not, the quest toward motherhood includes a few unplanned bumps, but for some women, the difficulties start with the first step: getting pregnant. If you’re having trouble conceiving, there can still be a happy ending in your

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Restrictive behaviors

labor-monitor

If you’ll be delivering baby in a hospital, there will likely be some rules and regulations by which you’ll have to abide. There might be a limit to the number of guests you can have in your room, a cap

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Mindful birthing

mindful-birthing-meditation

Walking outside on a warm spring day, my insides constricted and pain radiated across my lower back. I closed my eyes and focused on the humid air as it made its way through my nostrils to the walls of my

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Sex ed

boy-or-girl-preggers

“Do you know what you’re having?” It’s a question the expectant crowd grows accustomed to hearing again and again throughout pregnancy. While query-weary moms-to-be might be tempted to retort, “a human,” they could know the desired answer to the boy-or-girl

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10 things a dad should never do during labor

dad-labor-mistakes

As the dad of two beautiful girls, I write for the men who are embarking on this adventure for the first time. An expectant father may not be the star of the show when it comes to pushing a baby

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Nutrients in a nutshell

pills

Now that you’re eating for two, every bite counts, but simply piling your plate with a few more fruits and veggies isn’t going to cut it. “Expectant moms need only an extra 300 calories per day to provide for a

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Checkmate

preggers-doctor

Congratulations—you’re pregnant! Now get out your calendar and pencil in those prenatal appointments. You might as well start now because you’ll be planning around your checkups for the next nine months or so. But don’t fret about the logistics—we’re here

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Checking in

womansuitcase

There are plenty of lists (even lists of lists—yes, we’re looking at you, Pinterest) that aim to run down every possible item you might want to have with you in the delivery room. But what’s really worth hauling to the

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Ready, set, relax

happyrelaxed

Pregnancy is a time of joy, wonder … and stress. There’s a lot to do and worry about, and it would be almost impossible to skate through your baby-growing days without feeling a little anxiety somewhere along the line. “In

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Eat clean

Lunch

When pregnancy’s cravings strike, most expectant mamas reach for salty, sweet or sour foods like mini candy bars or boxed macaroni and cheese. And while there’s nothing wrong with indulging in these types of treats on occasion, nutritionists are quick

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On the double

having-twinsies

Are you still in “twin shock” after receiving the news? Or did you have an inkling that you might have two peas in your pod? Either way, you’re definitely not alone. The number of women giving birth to twins, triplets

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The tissue issue

preggersallergies

While moms expect an expanding belly, most don’t consider that housing a munchkin also packs a punch to the respiratory system. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, MD, founder of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, explains, “You can’t think of pregnancy

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Trimester specific fitness

preggers-exercise-ball

As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll want to adjust your workout accordingly to accommodate your changing and growing body. Personal trainer, prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist, and mom of one, Melissa Paris, shares the following tips for making the most of

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Prenatal workouts to try

preggers-swim

Prenatal yoga There’s a reason prenatal yoga is one of the most popular workouts for expectant mamas: It not only helps you to gain strength and flexibility, but it can also help you find calm during moments of stress, says

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Fit to deliver

preggers-exercise-NEW

“You’ll never regret a workout.” That’s the mantra Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard, 2016 Rio contender and mom of two, used to get herself into the pool during her most recent pregnancy. But even the winner of seven Olympic medals admits that

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