Is It Labor Day?
When Wendy Hansen was due with her first child, she was hardly worried. After all, she'd been through labor and delivery at least 600 times before. An obstetrician, Dr. Hansen figured her insider knowledge would guarantee her an easier experience than that of her nervous first-time-pregnant patients.
Then labor started. Or did it? "I never got good at figuring out if I was going into preterm labor, and who should know more than an ob?" says Dr. Hansen, the mother of two sets of now-teenage twins. "But it's very difficult to tell what is a contraction."
While she feels her job skills gave her an edge -- Dr. Hansen heads the University of Kentucky's Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine -- she and other ob-gyn moms say personally experiencing childbirth gave them insights no medical school textbook or professional practice could. "I gained a greater appreciation for how different each pregnancy can be," says Linda Walsh, a San Francisco midwife. Here are some other lessons learned.