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Pop Quiz! How Much Do You Know About Pregnancy and Childbirth?

Your baby certainly has plenty of gear. Now it’s your turn. Shower yourself with Mom-approved stuff that will make those first few postpartum weeks fly by.
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Test your bump IQ here—and be even better prepared for your baby’s arrival

True or False: First babies are often late.

True. "The due dates women get from doctors are pretty arbitrary since tracking from the date of your last period isn’t an exact science, and there are limitations to what ultrasounds can tell us," says Kamilia Smith, M.D., an ob/gyn at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. "The majority of first-time moms will not go into spontaneous labor before their 41st week."

True or False: Second babies are more likely to be early.

True. After you’ve gone through one pregnancy and delivery, your pelvic muscles are looser so when the baby’s head starts pushing down, you may go into labor a little earlier, says Dr. Smith. Second- and third-time moms are more likely to deliver in the 39th week, though of course there are plenty of exceptions. "I felt lucky my second arrived a week late," says Ariel Devine, a mom of two from Germantown, Maryland. "During those days of waiting, I went to a tennis match with my dad and apple-picking with my husband and daughter—things I wouldn’t have been able to do with a new baby!"

True or False: When your water breaks, it’s always like Niagara Falls.

False. Though you can occasionally have a gusher when the sac holding amniotic fluid breaks, sometimes it’s just a trickle, and sometimes it doesn’t do a thing until the doctor helps it along. "When my water broke, I thought I was just wetting my pants a little," says Faith Singer, a mom of two from Middletown, Connecticut. "I wasn’t even sure what was going on until my doctor examined me and said, ‘Yep, you’re in labor!’"

True or False: The bigger your belly, the bigger the baby.

True…sometimes. One of the ways your doctor keeps track of your baby’s development is by measuring the growth of your belly at each checkup. "The size of the belly can tell us if the baby is too big or too small, or whether there is a problem with the amount of fluid," explains Dr. Smith.But a mom’s build can also affect the size of her bump: If you are tall and have well-toned muscles, your belly might appear smaller, whereas on a petite woman a belly can proportionally seem much bigger.

True or False: Once a C-section, always a C-section.

False. Because of the low, horizontal incisions doctors make today—which avoid the risk of a ruptured uterus during a later delivery—a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) is a safe option for many second-time moms. "If you needed a C-section because you failed to dilate the first time, then there is a higher chance you’ll need another C-section," says Dr. Smith. "But if you had a C-section because the baby was breech or his heart rate dropped, then you almost certainly can try for a vaginal delivery the next time."

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 7reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My c-sections were because I do not dilate. That makes me so annoyed each pregnancy. I originally thought knowing I have to have c-sections saved me from pre-labor pains like contractions but nope. September 21, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Reinforced things I have heard from others who have been pregnant. Thanks! November 15, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I learned most of this stuff by doing alot of book reading and reading on different websites... But honestly I've been learning the most from my Child Birthing Class at the local hospital (it's free for those giving birth there) and my husband (and coach) enjoys it too...My sister never went to any classes (she has two girls one 7 and one 7 months-2 C-sections) and when I told her I haven't had any Braxton Hick's contractions yet she sceptically asked "How do you know?"...I know because of my child birth class... I know how the Fundus (top of the uterus) is supposed to feel when having a contraction.If you have time go to a childbirth class! It's worth it! September 27, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by The vbac thing... it really depends on the dr. I had a c-section with my first because he was breach, and they took him almost a week early so that i wouldn't go into labor. With my second, I was told that I had to have a c-section because they didn't do vbacs at the hospital that i was delivering at. If i had chosen to go to another hospital, i could have delivered vbac. I'm in the Oklahoma City area, and there are only 3 hospitals in the area, and only 3 dr's in the area that will perform vbacs. i wish i had talked the first dr into waiting till i went into labor and doing an ultrasound to make sure that i was still breech before i agreed to do a c-section.That's one mistake that I won't let my daughter repeat. September 26, 2011
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