Getting Ready for Childbirth

What to Do First

•  Choose where you want to have your baby.

•  Choose a health care provider.

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•  Read books on pregnancy and childbirth.

•  Take a childbirth class, if you can.

•  Get regular prenatal care from your health care provider.

Childbirth Classes Do These Things

•  Tell you what happens when you give birth

•  Show you and your partner (or other “coach”) what to do during labor and delivery

•  Help lessen the fear of giving birth

•  Help explain what happens with a Cesarean section (C-section). Knowing what to expect is helpful when a C-section is planned. It is helpful, too, if it is not planned, but needs to be done for the safety of you and your baby.

•  Teach you how to work with the natural birthing process. You can do this through:

– Exercises that make the muscles used in childbirth stronger

– Massage

– Focusing the mind

– Relaxing and breathing methods

You can find out about childbirth classes from:

•  Your health care provider

•  The maternity department of local hospitals

•  Local education programs

•  Local March of Dimes

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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