Your baby this week
37 weeks pregnant

Did my water just break?

Pregnant mama

Typically when your water breaks, it isn't just one gush with no further leakage. While there often is a gush, it is usually followed by a slow, steady leak of small amounts of amniotic fluid. Having a continuous trickle is a good sign that your water has broken. The fluid is usually clear, though it can be bloody, or yellow- or green-tinged. If you are unsure if your water has actually broken, have a little sniff -- if it's amniotic fluid, it should smell sweet.

Find out more in this expert answer!

A quick trip

The painkillers you can get during and after birth are pretty strong…but are they strong enough to addict you?

“The main drugs used for IV relief are Stadol (butorphanol tartrate) and Nubain (nalbuphine hydrochloride), both synthetic opioids,” says Ob/Gyn David Barrere, MD, FACOG. The opioid family also includes heroin, methadone, morphine and codeine -- not exactly drugs you want to mess with. But, says Barrere, “While opioids are addictive substances, they are used in such small doses and for short durations [during birth] that they are not a risk for chemical dependence.”

On "natural" childbirth

The connotations of "natural childbirth" are sometimes negative... and exclusive. The term I like is educated childbirth. Childbirth is what it is in our culture, and it's best to be armed with all the information before making choices about something that will happen only a handful of times (if that) in our lives [and has such an important] outcome.

- Dawn on the P&B message boards

>> Read more about natural (med-free) childbirth here

mom and newbornIn the know

A P&B reader asks: "What exactly is lanugo, and what purpose does it serve?"

Our expert answers: "Lanugo is the name given to the soft, fine, downy hair that covers a newborn. It is more frequently seen in premature infants as it begins to be shed in-utero during the final month of pregnancy. Some post-term infants are born with minimal lanugo. The amount of lanugo is variable and some parents are concerned by the amount of hair covering their new infant. The hair can cover all skin except for the lips, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, sides of the fingers and toes, nails, glans of the penis and insides of the labia minora and majora."

Read more, including how long you can expect lanugo to remain on your baby, here!

Just for fun

Madame Zaritska, our virtual clairvoyant, wants to help you prepare for the arrival of your child. Answer the questions right here, and Madame will do her best to predict certain aspects of your labor and birth experience.

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