Medicine: Special Delivery

With even a little labor music

Mickey Johnson, 24, was naturally anxious: she had never had a baby before. But everything seemed pleasantly reassuring. Instead of a cold, sterile delivery ward, she entered what might have been a cheery, yellow-tinted bedroom in suburbia furnished with rocking chairs and an old-fashioned walnut armoire. Well-tended plants hung from the ceiling. There was even a stereo to play Mickey's favorite music. During the long, painful hours of labor, she was free to get up and pace the corridors. Her husband Bruce was at her side during the...

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