Labor and Delivery

Getting ready for childbirth can be (okay, is) pretty scary, but our comprehensive guide to labor and delivery will walk you through the entire process of giving birth, and calm your nerves as much as possible as you approach the big day. Even before you start to show signs of labor, there are things you need to know. There are childbirth classes, maternity ward tours, packing a delivery bag, and putting together a birth plan to think about. Once you do start showing signs of labor (and don’t worry, we’ll let you know exactly what those are), if you’ve read through our guide, you’ll know exactly what to expect in terms of labor and delivery staff and all those seemingly scary tools. We also have information about all sorts of possible complications -- not to freak you out, but just to make sure you’re prepared (and hopefully put you a little at ease) in case you encounter a situation like a breech baby, tearing during delivery, or wind up needing an episiotomy or cesarean section. If you’ve gotten all the info you can and are still feeling worried (which is perfectly natural, by the way), visit our community message boards and talk with other women who will be delivering soon -- that might be a better way to calm your nerves than anything.

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Getting ready for labor & delivery? Learn the signs of labor, why you should prepare a birth plan, and what to ask on your hospital tour. Plus, find out how our contraction calculator can help you track your labor progress.

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

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