How to Prepare for Major Health Challenges

Catching Up with the Triplets
Triplets Erica (wife of Jay McGraw, executive producer of The Doctors), Jaclyn and Nicole became pregnant within months of one another. They learned the gender of their babies together on The Doctors!


"We want to capture this incredible moment being pregnant, much less as triplets," Erica says. "Every woman should be proud when they're pregnant. Nobody ever explains how great it is, and then when you have your sisters to go through it with you, it's such a blessing."

Photos courtesy of Linnea Lenkus Fine Art Portrait Studio.

Three's Company
All in their third trimester, the triplets are preparing to give birth and are bursting with questions about what to expect. OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson is on hand to help the anxious moms-to-be.

Preparing for Labor

The triplets take a class to prepare them for labor.


Labor Intensive

Dr. Lisa explains what to expect from the birthing process. 


How to Initiate Labor

Dr. Lisa has tips to usher labor in and baby out! 


Meet Charlie!

Nicole delivered her baby girl just weeks ago. Charlie makes her debut on The Doctors!


How to Initiate Labor
By the end of gestation, most women are eager to give birth and meet their child.
• Walking -- can stimulate the cervix
• Intercourse -- prostaglandins in male's semen help stimulate contractions
• Nipple stimulation -- can stimulate contractions

*Editor's note: Jaclyn welcomed her little girl, Chanel Elizabeth, weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces on February 3rd.

What to Expect When You're Expecting MORE ...

Infant CPR
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears demonstrates what to do if your baby is choking or in need of CPR.

"The reason it's so important for all parents to be CPR trained is because minutes count," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. "Within four minutes [without oxygen], a baby's brain can start to have permanent damage. Those seconds count."

Parenting Books
When it comes to parenting, there are many styles and approaches to choose from. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the plethora of information, books and guidelines available. So how do you know which ones are right for you? The first thing to discern, says Dr. Michelle Borba, child and teen expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, is to verify the educational background of an author.

"Who's the expert that wrote the book?" Dr. Borba says. "You're looking for the person's credentials, and they better be in child development and medicine."

Additionally, be sure the book's research is no more than five years old.

Going Under the Knife

Community member TiredRN wrote in to, concerned about how little patients know about preparing for surgery. Plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon, who has logged many hours in the operating room, suggests the following guidelines to prepare for any surgery:

Before Surgery
1. Familiarize yourself with the surgical facilities. Ask to see to the operating and recovery rooms that you'll be in.
2. Meet as many of the staff who will be involved with your case as possible.
3. To allay anxiety, it is important to have confidence in your surgeon. Trusting in his or her skills can help you relax.
4. Refrain from smoking and alcohol intake both before and after surgery.
5. Buy all of the medications and supplies that you will need ahead of time and set them up prior to your surgery. That way, everything is in place when you come home.
6. Follow the hospital or clinic's diet instructions. In many cases, patients are not allowed to eat prior to surgery.

Day of Surgery
7. On the day of surgery, be comfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothing and leave valuables at home.
8. Bring a copy of your medical history as well as a list of medications that you're taking.

After Surgery
9. In most cases, doctors encourage patients to start moving as soon as possible after surgery to increase circulation and stimulate the healing process.
10. Appoint a friend or family member to stay with you after the procedure to make sure you're OK.

Prepare Your Child for Surgery

Six-year-old Devon is nervous about undergoing an upcoming procedure to remove a birthmark on his face. Since children take their cues from their parents or guardians, Dr. Jim says that setting the tone for the operation starts with the parents. "You need to be confident in the surgeon and the hospital," he says.

Showing your child where the surgery will take place and bringing toys that that he or she can play with, both before and after surgery, can help alleviate fears.

Safety Preparedness
A home fire or natural disaster can strike at any time. Are you prepared? Eric Stromer, host of HGTV's Over Your Head, demonstrates what to do in case of an emergency.

At-Home Fire Drills

Craft a well-thought-out plan and exit strategy with your family ahead of time.


Prepare for Natural Disaster

Once a natural disaster hits, your family will need immediate food and shelter.


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OAD 2/9/10