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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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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 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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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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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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