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Thank you for subscribing to Pregnancy Health, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about having a healthy pregnancy. To learn more about our services and pregnancy class schedules, or to find a physician, visit

To your health,

The Avera Staff


As your due date approaches, it's normal to feel some anxiety about childbirth. Taking a tour of your birthing center can help ease your nervousness and prepare you for birth.

Call your birthing center to make an appointment for a tour at least a month in advance of your due date. A tour typically allows you to see the delivery rooms, equipment, recovery rooms and the nursery. This is also a good opportunity to meet some of the staff members.

A tour is a good time to ask questions you have about your childbirth experience. Be sure to ask about visiting hours, available services, items to pack, hospital policies, childbirth classes and so on. While the staff member showing you the birthing center may not be able to answer all your questions immediately, he or she can direct you to others who can. Your doctor can answer any questions you might have after your visit.

Call 1 (888) AT-AVERA today to schedule a tour.

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Before labor begins, it can be helpful to have a birth plan ready. A birth plan is a list of preferences you and your doctor formulate that guides you, hospital staff members and your partner or labor coach during labor and delivery. Birth plans are important because they let your doctor know what an ideal delivery would be for you.

As you learn and read more about labor and delivery, you will have a better idea of what you'd like your experience to be like. Some women prefer to have their physicians make many of the birthing decisions, and that's fine, too. While it can be useful for a woman to know her preferences before labor, it's important to be flexible. Many times, birth plans are not followed exactly because of certain medical conditions, or the mother may change her mind during labor.

Some of the points to think about before labor and delivery include use of pain medications, people present during delivery, role of your birthing coach, items or ambiance that would help you feel more comfortable during delivery, assisted delivery methods and your feelings about holding the baby immediately after birth. There are many more options to consider, and your doctor can discuss these issues and more with you. 

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In Great Health online archive.