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Health & Pregnancy

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Calming Your Labor and Delivery Fears

Experts provide the calming and reassuring advice you need for a successful labor and delivery.

Labor and Delivery: Fear of Not Getting to the Hospital on Time continued...

"The truth is labor will probably be a lot longer than you anticipate. And the chance that your baby will come before you get to the hospital is highly unlikely, even if you live some distance away," says Wilcox. To add an extra layer of protection, she says, talk to your doctor about the true signs of labor, so you know when it's time to head out the door.

If this is not your first baby, however, then labor may be shorter. But doctors say if you pay attention to your body cues, it should still leave you with plenty of time to get to the hospital.

"Essentially you want to time your labor pains -- and as soon as the contractions become regular, then you know that you are definitely in labor, and should at least phone your doctor if not head for the hospital," says Wilcox.

To further calm those "get me there on time" fears, make sure you pack your labor bag at least two weeks before your due date -- and have a definite plan in mind for how you will get to the hospital during both the day and nighttime hours. If this is your second or third child, experts suggest having someone you can call to care for your other children when you leave for the hospital.

Labor and Delivery: Fear Your Doctor Will Miss Your Delivery

OK, so you've made it to labor and delivery with time to spare. Now, where's your doctor? The fear that he or she won't arrive in time is a major one for many women.

Relax -- you're never on your own. First, experts say that most doctors live closer to the hospital than you do, so getting there is almost never a problem.

Most importantly, Wilcox says even if your obstetrician ends up in a horrific traffic jam, you will be far from alone on any labor and delivery floor.

"Every labor floor is attended by dozens of professionals -- from very experienced labor and delivery nurses, to attending physicians, to other obstetricians. So you are definitely entering an environment where the level of professional help is high. And that means you will never actually be alone in this respect," says Wilcox.

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