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This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Countdown on as royal birth gets nearer

WebMD UK Health News
Medically Reviewed by Dr Farah Ahmed
Kate Middleton

28th June 2013 -- Bookies are taking bets on the sex, weight and name of the UK's most anticipated baby.

The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is officially due on July 13th but there's speculation the actual due date could be earlier.

No one knows for sure, not even the parents! Giving birth isn't an exact science especially as Kate is intending to have a natural birth rather than having a planned caesarean.

But the overnight bag is undoubtedly packed.

Hospital not home

Like most women in the UK, Kate is planning to have the baby in hospital. The child will be delivered in the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in West London.

Diana, Princess of Wales had her two sons there.

In centuries gone by royals would usually have had a home birth - or rather a Palace birth, it wasn't until the last generation of royals that hospital births became more the norm.

Birth partners

William is planning to be there for the birth, like most modern dads.

97% of dads in the UK are at the birth and play a big supporting role for their partners, whereas forty years ago they were often given the cold shoulder in delivery rooms.

Prince Charles was the first royal father to be present at the birth of his sons. Prince Phillip was apparently playing squash when Charles was born!

There are suggestions that Kate also wants her mum Carole and sister Pippa to be with her for the birth.

A special online poll for BootsWebMD by Netmums found that 55% of women would like their mum to be with them at the birth and 45% would prefer it if she wasn't.

Sex of the baby

Speculation is reaching fever pitch about the sex of the baby. Either way if it's a boy or a girl it will be third in line to the throne as the government has changed the laws of succession.

It's reported that even Kate and William haven't learned the sex of their baby preferring to wait until it's born to find out.

Our poll suggests 65% of people would like to keep the sex of their baby a surprise.

The first few weeks

Reports suggest Kate will move back in with her parents when the baby's born for at least the first six weeks after leaving hospital.

Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, have a manor house in Berkshire.

Royal expert Phil Dampier, author of What's in the Queen's Handbag and Other Secrets can understand that choice: "William likes the Middletons' normal lifestyle and knows that Kate is relaxed in that environment and that her mum Carole will help out with the new baby."

Parenting expert and author Liat Hughes Joshi says: "It can be an absolute godsend to have an extra pair of hands, especially if the new prince or princess turns out to be a baby of the more challenging variety - even royal infants can be colicky!"

However, she says Carole will need to balance advising Kate with letting her do things her way.

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