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If anything is universal when it comes to childbirth, it's pain. It's discomfort. It's agony. It's euphoria. It's bliss. It's pure joy. You start the process with severe pains that are clear signs that your baby is ready to be free of the dark. But as you go through pain that you've never experienced before, there's a buildup of euphoric joy that will be released once your baby is placed into your arms.

You get to see the little face, the little feet, the little toes, the little ...

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if-you-could-change-your-labor

When I was admitted to the hospital, in labor with my first child, I didn't know what to expect. I had been to the childbirth classes, and I had read up on the natural processes of labor, complications that could arise from it, and my pain relief options. I had it set on early on that I would request an epidural to aid with the pain. (I was plagued with kidney stones through my pregnancy, and I was so over pain at that point.)

My labor was scary, and the birth was scary, too, due to ...

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5-mad-dad-skills-main

A typical day for me includes a lot of juggling. But there are some things that my husband is just plain better at. And while at one point in my life I might have found this humbling, today I feel nothing but gratitude for the fact that he is a baby whisperer and a potty training genius and that our kids have dubbed the vacuum “Daddy’s.” Five moms share the things they’re grateful that their husbands are pure fabulous at. ...

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young pregnant woman enjoying life outdoors in summer

When you're pregnant, people are just nicer to you. They hold doors, offer to cook for you, and give up seats. Among all the nice things you received while you were pregnant, there were likely some gestures that were nicer than others. Hear some stories of kindness from fellow mamas!

[ A friend] walked with me at the mall during their lunch break when it was too hot outside and I was past my due date! -- Laurie Hice Michaelson

While on complete bed rest with my fourth pregnancy, ...

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stressrelief

Kids experience stress for various reasons. My kids are generally mellow little beings, but when their dad is on the road for long periods of time, the stress creeps in. Sometimes they have trouble falling asleep; sometimes they have trouble staying asleep; other times they seem to cry for no reason. And that's not the only source of stress that crops up from time to time. Believe it or not, I've seen academic stress completely change the demeanor of my 8-year-old.

Common sources of ...

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Autism continues to be one of the most puzzling conditions of our time.

While it only seems to be on the rise, scientists still aren't sure what is causing the disorder, and although many agree that there must be some sort of environmental trigger in combination with a genetic link, the jury is still out on what that trigger is. 

But a new study released in JAMA Pediatrics may have found one possible missing piece of the puzzle.  

The study found that when looking at ...

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woman child

When our children were born we lived in Los Angeles, which, of course, was a wee bit more expensive than living in our current southern, small town location.

When hubby and I decided to finally enjoy a date night (over a year after having our first daughter), I gathered together a list of referred babysitters in our area and started making calls.

I was surprised to discover babysitters charged, on average, $15 per hour! I figured it was just my thrifty mindset and the ...

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best books for children from 2014

2014 is a wrap, but don't bid everything farewell -- it was a great year for children's books. With several months of cold weather and lots of indoor time ahead now is a great time to check out some of 2014's best books for babies through tweens. Some have no words, some have no pictures, but all are fantastic choices that the whole family can enjoy.

A follow-up to the gorgeous Alphablock, Countablock has vintage-inspired illustrations that have been described as "coffee-table worthy" ...

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weird birth facts

You might think giving birth is something that women have been doing since the dawn of time. And you would be right about that, of course.

Not much has changed about the fact that a woman gets pregnant and has a baby.

But what has changed is the way that women have given birth. Click through for some surprising facts about childbirth throughout history!

Weird Fact #1: They gave birth on bricks

In Biblical times, women were assisted by other women to stand on two ...

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throwback-baby-names-00

These names were topping the charts around the turn of the century - the 20th century that is. From 1890-1910 the names listed here could be found in the top 50. If old school is your thing, be my guest and bring one of these throwback names back into use. Every name listed here is one that I feel is worth consideration. Which are your favorites?

Florence

I absolutely love Florence, Italy so this follows my rule of if you name baby after a place, it should be somewhere you've ...

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