Breast-feeding has advantages for both mother and baby. Most importantly, breast milk provides certain nutrients as well as natural antibodies to fight infection, that formulas don't have.
Cesarean birth (C-section)
A cesarean (see-SAIR-ee-an) birth is a procedure which allows delivery of a child through the mother's abdomen, when vaginal birth is unsafe or impossible.
Childbirth classes
Expectant couples often attend childbirth education classes as a means of preparing for labor and delivery. The purpose of these classes is to give accurate information about childbirth and teach relaxation, muscular control, and breathing techniques.
Electronic fetal monitoring
Electronic fetal monitoring measures a baby's heartbeat during labor. Once used routinely, today it's usually limited to situations where there's increased risk, such as when labor is induced, when an epidural (ep-i-DUR-al) anesthetic (an-es-THET-ic) is used, or in cases of high blood pressure.
Hospital birthing rooms
Hospital birthing rooms have become increasingly popular as an option for delivery. Birthing rooms provide an attractive alternative to sterile and brightly-lit delivery rooms.
Multiple births
Multiple births originate from the release and fertilization of more than one egg, or the division of one egg very early in its development. Twins occur in about one out of 90 pregnancies, while triplets are found in only one out of 9,000.
Natural childbirth
Natural childbirth is a standard vaginal birth, where relaxation and breathing techniques are used to relieve pain, instead of medication. There are many natural childbirth methods taught through classes; Lamaze (luh-MAHZ)is currently the most popular method.
Nurse midwives
A certified nurse-midwife or C-N-M is a registered nurse with at least one year of specialized training in obstetrics (ob-STET-tricks). He or she is licensed by the state and recognized by the American College of Nurse-Midwives as qualified to provide health care to mothers and babies during a normal pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Pain relief
Many drugs are available for pain relief during labor and delivery; however, because all have potential side effects for mother and baby, they must be administered with caution.
Recovery after delivery
After your baby is born, you should visit your health care provider within two to six weeks. There are some serious conditions that can develop after a pregnancy, so if you have questions or problems before then, don't hesitate to call your health care provider immediately.
Twins can be one of two types: identical, or fraternal (fruh-TER-nal). If a single fertilized egg splits, the result is identical twins. When two eggs are produced in the same month, and fertilized by two different sperm, the result is fraternal twins.
Vaginal birth after cesarean
Although you may have had a cesarean (see-SAIR-ee-an) section with previous births, changes in attitudes and advances in medicine and technology have made delivering your next baby vaginally an option you can consider.
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