Is My Baby Okay?

"I won't be able to handle childbirth."

Having a baby involves pain, but you can take steps to keep yourself comfortable. Most hospitals offer various types of pain relief, from epidurals to narcotics.

Because information can ease your fears, it's wise to enroll in childbirth education classes. Many hospitals offer them, or you can find one through word of mouth. "These classes teach mothers-to-be about the entire birth process," says Judith Lothian, RN, a Lamaze childbirth educator.

Of course, some women opt for nonmedical pain relief, such as breathing techniques. If you choose this route, make sure your hospital or birthing center supports your decision. Many hospital staffs assume you'll want an epidural, and it may be hard to resist in the middle of labor. One final piece of advice: Keep a positive outlook. Your body is designed to do this, and most labors end within one day -- just stay focused on the great gift you're taking home!

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