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Childbirth Quiz: What Do You Know About Labor?

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Pregnant woman in labor

You can be in labor even if your water hasn't broken.

Pregnant woman in labor

You can be in labor even if your water hasn't broken.

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Despite what you may see in the movies, many women don't have a big gush before they go into labor. Some women's water never breaks. A baby can even be born in its amniotic sac.

If your water does break, call your doctor and tell her when it happened, how much there was, and what it looked like. Losing your mucus plug is another sign that labor is near.

Pregnant woman in labor

What can trigger false labor?

Pregnant woman in labor

What can trigger false labor?

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What you think is a contraction isn't always one, and it doesn't always mean you're in labor. Not drinking enough fluids -- being dehydrated -- can cause false labor, often called Braxton Hicks contractions, which aren't really contractions at all.

Even though Braxton-Hicks can be regular, especially late in pregnancy, they don't lead to birth.

Braxton-Hicks come and go, and you might notice them more when you are resting. If changing position or taking a walk makes them go away, you're probably not in labor. If you're not sure, call your doctor.

Pregnant woman in labor

How many stages of labor are there?

Pregnant woman in labor

How many stages of labor are there?

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The first stage of labor starts with regular and intense contractions. It ends when your cervix, the lower end of your uterus, is fully opened, to about 10 centimeters. On average, this stage lasts 12 to 19 hours. No two women are alike, and the length of early labor can vary a lot.

The second stage, when you push the baby out, lasts from 20 minutes to two hours. The placenta, or afterbirth, comes out in the third stage.

Pregnant woman in labor

Eating spicy food can cause labor.

Pregnant woman in labor

Eating spicy food can cause labor.

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Eating spicy food can cause one thing for sure: heartburn. But there's no proof that having a curry or a few chili tacos can jump-start labor.

Even if it were true, trying to force labor is not a good idea. Your baby grows and develops all the way through pregnancy, even in the final weeks. The best thing that a woman with a healthy pregnancy can do? Be patient.

Pregnant woman in labor

Which is the strongest sign that you are in labor?

Pregnant woman in labor

Which is the strongest sign that you are in labor?

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Losing the mucus plug and feeling that your baby has dropped lower are signs that labor is close. But regular, strong contractions are the surest signal that you are in labor.

Contractions could be 15 to 20 minutes apart in early labor. They'll get longer, stronger, and come closer together. Call your doctor when your contractions are 5 minutes apart.

Pregnant woman in labor

How many women in the U.S. have C-sections each year?

Pregnant woman in labor

How many women in the U.S. have C-sections each year?

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During a C-section, the common name for cesarean delivery, a doctor takes the baby out through the mother's belly. Some are scheduled ahead of time, but most are not.

A doctor might decide to do a C-section if labor stops and there is a health risk to mom or baby, if the baby's head or body is too big to fit through the birth canal, or if the baby is in danger.

Pregnant woman in labor

Your chance of having a baby born too early is higher if:

Pregnant woman in labor

Your chance of having a baby born too early is higher if:

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If you've had one baby born too early, your chances for another preemie are higher than average. A baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is preterm.

Premature babies have a higher chance of having birth defects and other serious health problems. Your doctor may order a hospital stay or special medicines to try to stop early labor.

Pregnant woman in labor

What does a doula do?

Pregnant woman in labor

What does a doula do?

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Doula is a Greek word that means a woman who serves. A doula supports and helps a woman relax and breathe correctly during labor. Doulas work with midwives, nurse-midwives, and doctors. They must be certified and have professional experience, but they don't provide medical care and don't deliver the baby.

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Your Score:    You correctly answered   out of   questions.

This was your crowning achievement. Great job!

You pushed through and delivered. Well done!

This labor was a bit taxing. Relax and take a deep breath before trying the quiz again.