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37 weeks pregnant

labor

Birth photos

Some parents cringe at the thought of recording the birth of their child on video. They're hesitant to allow pictures to be taken of such an intimate moment. But after the birth of your child, you may just change your mind -- and then it will be too late. Pick up some tips here for ways to memorialize your birth experience!


In the know

Lochia is a period-like discharge from the vagina that occurs after delivery. The discharge will probably be exceptionally heavy at first, first bright red, then becomes lighter and brownish as time goes by. This healthy and normal postpartum bleeding may last for four to six weeks.

Find out more about what to expect at the hospital, after baby arrives


Noted and quoted

"Being a mother isn't simply a matter of having children. To think that is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician." - Sydney Harris


In real life

"When you imagine the birth of your baby, we know that you have good intentions. You envision that magical moment when you gently rouse your partner from sleep. "It's time," you whisper -- except in your fantasy, you look like Jennifer Aniston did when her character went to have her baby on the season finale of Friends.

Jennifer Aniston as Rachel giving birth on Friends

"And you still look like Jennifer Aniston at the end of your fantasy, when you grip your partner's hand, smile at the doctors and nurses in the sterile room, and push your baby out into the world. The fantasy probably ends there. We think that's sweet. We also think you might benefit from a small taste of reality, and since we have had a few children already, here we offer some practical postpartum advice that eventually you will appreciate. Trust us."

Read more in the article "Your postpartum life."


The time is right

Stopwatch

One of the important jobs of the birth partner is to time contractions. Since changes in the length, strength, and frequency of contractions are the all-important hallmarks of true, progressing labor, it is a good idea for your partner to (1) know how to time correctly and (2) keep a written record. Then, when you call the caregiver, you will have accurate and concrete information to provide.

Author, childbirth educator and doula trainer Penny Simkin offers some guidelines here to help ensure your timing is accurate.

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