Labor & Delivery

Questions and stories about giving birth, including induction, natural childbirth methods, getting an epidural, c-sections, VBAC and more.

For those of you who had the experience of giving birth in both hospital and a birth Centre, which would you recommend ? Please avoid scary stories but would love to hear an advice , thanks

  • Anonymous
    Dec 07

    I loved our Birth Center birth. The midwives were all about evidence-based care recommendations (like the power hour after birth and no unnecessary manual cervical exams). You may want to compare the birth stats from the birth center and hospital- I think the idea that a hospital is universally safer doesn’t necessarily take into consideration unnecessary interventions which are far likelier to happen at a hospital.

  • Laura
    Dec 07

    I had a "by the book" pregnancy with nothing out of the ordinary at all. But I ended up (after laboring until 8.5cm!) needing an emergency c-section because the placenta started to separate early & tore my uterus. Being in a hospital saved my life and my baby's life! I'm sure at a birth center they are prepared for emergency situations like this too, but had I tried to do a home birth I might not have survived. Not trying to frighten you but even before that happened I chose my hospital & my doctor (who was also a surgeon) because it's of great comfort to me to feel like I'm in skilled hands, you know? You really are putting yourself in the care of others so go with whom/where ever you trust and have the most confidence in.

I'm 8 months pregnant next week. I'm really anxious about labor and how everything will turn out.

  • Joey Carlton
    Oct 19

    See if your doctor or midwife will do perineal massages during labor. I had a 21 hour labor and almost 2 hours of pushing... the stretching/massaging kept me from tearing AT ALL. Hallelujah. I didn't need stitches and I felt normal (down there) within 3 days. I credit my midwife helping me stay stretchy and open during labor, for sure.

  • Joey Carlton
    Oct 19

    Also, they always say you'll forget about the pain right after and it's all worth it. I never believed them. But it's true, you feel 10000% better as soon as the baby is out. You will have so much adrenaline and within a month youll likely be ready to get pregnant all over again no matter how bad your labor is. 💗😉

I’m 34 weeks and super nervous about labor and birth!!l I tend to have anxiety normally and am worried that it will be 10x worse once the time comes. Any words of advice? Thanks 😋

  • Melinda
    Oct 19

    Both my births ended up as emergency cesareans, my twins 6 weeks early. My most trusted piece of advice came from my mother-in-law and still holds true with so many things today, years after giving birth. “It won’t last forever.” When I worried about labor, she told me “it’ll hurt and it will be miserable, it might feel like it’s lasting forever, but it will stop. The pain will stop, you’ll hold your baby and you won’t even think about how much it hurt. You just kee telling yourself ‘not much longer’ because it’s not.” When I worried that my daughter was still drinking from a bottle at almost 3, she told me “she won’t bring it to kindergarten.” When my twins were only letting me have 3 hours of sleep a night (and thank god for her helping), “before you know it, they’ll grow out of it and you’ll end up in their room, watching them sleep anyway”. She hasn’t been wrong yet.

  • Sabrina
    Oct 19

    I was scared to death of delivering the first time. I was 37 weeks, and loosing a little bit of fluid. I thought it was just from pressure on my bladder, but after it happening all weekend, I figured I should call my doctor to make sure. The nurse told me to get to the hospital and have them check to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid. Turned out it was, and there was a risk of infection. I had no family close by, just my husband. I called my sister and told her, so she jumped in her car and drove 700 miles. My mom was terminally ill at the time. I was hooked up to pitocin at about 4pm on a Monday. I had been at work that morning, and left at the request of the nurse. I was scared! I remember watching the pitocin monitor as it went steadily from 2, then 4, then 8. I was just starting to feel cramps. Not even as bad as my period cramps. The nurses kept asking me if I wanted an epidural. I was terrified of that more than anything. I watched the monitor get up to 16. Then the cramping really started to increase, but was bearable. Nothing like the movies! Even though the pain was bearable, I started shaking all over, like my body was going into shock. I was up to an 18 then, so I asked for the epidural. If I hadn't been shaking, I would have waited longer. I think it was about 10pm or so when I got the epidural. By then, my MIL was there too. I ended up sleeping most of the night, except for the nurse checks. Then about 9 am I had my little girl. The nurses said they were shocked at how long I was able to go without the epidural. They said most women get them at 8. O kept expecting it to be horribly painful, but really I felt nothing, just a release of pressure as she was born. Everyone has a horror story, and tv and movies make it so dramatic. I never swore, cried, screamed or anything close. With #2, my water broke at home at about midnight. By the time I made it to the hospital, I was dialating pretty fast. I had to do the epidural right away to slow down the labor because I was strep b positive, and they needed to slow down my progress to administer the antibiotics. He was born just after the IV finished. It was less than 8 hours all together. #3 was about the same as #2, but I wasn't strep b positive, so I was going to try natural, since it was my last baby. Funny story though, my husband has season tickets to a university football team, and it was the only game of the season he could take the older two to. He was going to miss the game, but I didn't want the kids to miss out. So, the doctor didn't want to break my water to speed things up, unless I had the epidural. So I went ahead and did it. Baby boy was born, so I kicked my husband out of the delivery room to take the kids to the football game. It gave me time to get in my room, and some peace and quiet. My sister was there to help me, so I wasn't completely alone. After the game, he came back to the hospital with the kids to see their little brother. It was awesome.

I was amazed to discover the US is sliding backwards on maternal health stats. How can we not be supporting our moms?!?

Best post partum clothes to wear out of the hospital and day after?

  • Anonymous
    Aug 02

    I have a long torso, and I wish I had known about maternity shirts long before I got pregnant! I also live in mine, even when I'm not pregnant and have lost all the baby weight!

  • Arina
    Sep 23

    I remember someone suggesting to bring a dress to leave the hospital in case you get a C-section. Also all I wore for a month were nursing tanks. That milk needs to be accessible.

Anyone have a natural birth? With my first I didn't, and with my second I am going to try to. I am so scared though.

  • Vanessa
    Jun 27

    I just had a natural labor and the main takeaways were: 1- have a great partner in the room that will remain calm and cater to your needs and 2- a lot of it is mental. My husband made a playlist and I sang through contractions- having a distraction helps. Theres this move where someone can squeeze your hips a certain way and it will relieve pressure during contractions too- a nurse could demonstrate. He also watched my contractions on the monitor and talked me through them. Knowing when one was on the downswing was helpful. Keep in mind that every contraction you experience brings you one step closer to meeting your baby...its temporary. Good luck!

  • Bliss Mama
    Jun 27

    Both were unmedicated and I had a balloon induction with the first and 22hrs of hard labor. That was brutal. Went into my 2nd open to drugs if the pain was too great. 2nd one was fast and I was able to maintain control through most of the contractions. Don't be scared, it's normal to be fearful, but scaring yourself isnt going to do your body any favors. Also, great nurses make a world of difference. El Camino Los Gatos Hospital is THE BEST for birthing unmedicated - their nurses are so supportive and will give you goals to keep it up. But honestly, do what's best for your body. There's no shame in putting your hand up for the epidural. This is about you and your baby having a beautiful experience together.

Did you know that your zip code may affect whether or not you'll have a C-section? I work for a healthcare company that used insurance claims data to build a C-section predictor tool for pregnant mamas. This tool helps you understand your chances of having a C-section based on geography and key health factors that are possible to know before the delivery (like if you're pregnant with twins, or have any known complications). Check out the tool here and let me know what you think: Also, full report on our C-section data is here:


Going to the hospital at 5:30am for my c-section. Dropped off my daughter at my in-laws and started crying. I'm gonna be a mess come kindergarten 😂

  • Diane
    Jun 05


  • Heidi
    Jun 13

    Awww! Love how they are eyeing each other! Adorable - congrats!


#LongRead and had me in tears, but an important story. The US has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. It's incredibly scary but important we shine a light on it.

  • Sarah
    Sep 19

    OMG, so incredibly sad and scary! 😭

  • Anonymous
    Sep 27

    I have a two year old and expecting a second one any day now and I’m totally freaked out 😭😭😭😭😭


Any personal stories would be great. Whether yourself or someone you know. I'm 32 weeks with twins and am considered high risk bc of my age and bc I am having twins that resulted from fertility treatments. I have been feeling a lot of pressure in my um...area. So the Dr checked and I am 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. She gave me a steroid shot to ensure, if babies come early, that their lungs are as developed as possible. My first daughter was to term so the Dr said that was a good indicator that I can carry the twins to term. Well she wants them out at 38 weeks, which 37 is full term for twins. I'm afraid though that with all these precautions she is taking bc I'm 2cm dilated, that they will come early. Anyways, any babies still stayed to term?

  • Alexis
    May 14

    My daughter was a 32 weeker, and I was given steriod shots to help excelerate her lung devlopment. It was effective immediately; she was born screaming. Only stayed in Nicu for two weeks (no oxygen or complications) just to gain weight. She is now 20 months and tall for her age 33 3/4 inches. Her dad (an identical twin) and I are both preemie graduates! Your twins will be perfectly fine if born prematurely 😊

  • Alisha
    Nov 12

    I just had twins 9 days ago! I delivered at 37 weeks 1 day! The plan was to be induced at 38 weeks. But baby b didn’t do so well on her biophysical ultrasound that day.


What was your birth experience like? Did you give birth in a hospital? Did you get an epidural? I know you can only control so much but would love to better understand how you made your birth choices, if any?

  • Anonymous
    May 04

    Gave birth vaginally w/o epidural at the hospital after 3 days of induction. They tried the Foley ball sans meds (hellish) and then 3 days on Pitocin. Finally after they broke my water I went into labor. Didn't realize how much Pitocin makes your contractions worse. It was very painful, but had no comparison as a first time mom. I wanted to go natural but prob should have gotten Nitrous if not more.

  • Jennifer
    May 05

    @kayla I took epidural and pushed my baby out within half a hour with no forceps or vacuum. I pushed so my baby could come out sooner lol

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