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third-trimester-tests-during-pregnancy

These tests are common in the third trimester of pregnancy: Group B streptococcus screening: Vaginal and rectal swabs are taken at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy to detect group B strep bacteria. Although group B strep can be present in up to 30% of all healthy women, it's the leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns and can also cause mental retardation, i...

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how-to-create-a-birth-plan

The day you give birth is one of the most important of your life. Creating a birth plan ahead of time helps you make decisions about how you want your labor and delivery to be, and lets others know your wishes. So when the big day arrives, you can focus on what's most important -- bringing your new baby into the world. What Is a Birth Plan? A b...

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cord-blood-banking-deciding-about-public-or-private-donations

Cord blood banking can be a priceless investment. After birth, your baby no longer needs the umbilical cord or placenta. But the blood that remains could be a lifesaver for a patient who needs it, including a member of your own family. That's because this blood is rich with blood-forming stem cells. As with bone marrow transplants, these cells can be transplanted and help save th...

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circumcising-your-baby

You’re having a boy! Now what? One of the earliest decisions you'll make for him is whether or not to have him circumcised. Despite some misconceptions, circumcising your baby is mostly a family decision, not a medical one. So how do you choose? Personal and Family Considerations When you sit down with your partner to discuss circumcision,...

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braxton-hicks-or-true-labor-contractions

Before "true" labor begins, you may have "false" labor pains. These are also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. They are your body's way of getting ready for the real thing -- the day you give birth -- but they are not a sign that labor has begun or is getting ready to begin. What Do Braxton Hicks Contractions Feel Like? Some women describe B...

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second-trimester-tests-during-pregnancy

Here are the prenatal tests that may be performed in the second trimester of your pregnancy: Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and multiple marker screening: One or the other is offered routinely in the second trimester. This test is an optional genetic screening test and as with all screening tests, talk with your doctor about the pros and cons to see if it is right...

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round-ligament-pain-during-pregnancy

Round ligament pain is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling often felt in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. It is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. It is most often felt during the second trimester. Here is what you need to know about round ligament pain, including some tips to help you feel better....

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back-pain-in-pregnancy

The good news is, your baby is growing. That's exactly what should be happening -- but it can still be tough on your back. You've got lots of company -- most pregnant women experience back pain, usually starting in the second half of pregnancy. You should know that there are things you can do to minimize your back pain. Here's what helps. Caus...

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gain-weight-safely-during-your-pregnancy

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your baby get the nutrients he or she needs and grow at a healthy rate. But how many extra calories do you really need? Though you do need some extra calories, it's not necessary to ''eat for two.'' The average pregnant woman needs only about 300 healthy calories more a day than sh...

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Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. (Some of the symptoms, however, are similar to those of a heart attack or heart disease.) Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid and is a common pregnancy complaint, especially in the third trimester when the growing uterus places pressure on the stomach. With gravity's help, a musc...

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