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/ A roundup of recommended Web sites

Baby Talk

August 03, 2000|MICHELLE MALTAIS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If the house feels so empty with just you, your spouse and your pet newt that you can hear the old biological clock echoing in every room, there's no dearth of Web sites to help.

For those just starting out, you can figure out the most fertile times of the month at http://www.babydata.com. The site offers, among other things, a conception calendar, indicating when ovulation is expected. Another ovulation tracking site,

http://www.io.com/~brenda/cycles, encourages tracking your period for a few months for a more accurate read, since women's menstrual patterns can differ.

Already pregnant, or trying to plan around the broiling summer months? Check out the Mayo Clinic's http://www.mayohealth.org/mayo/common/htm/duedate/duedate.htm, which includes a due-date calculator, a timeline of the baby's development and reference materials.

In addition, these sites can help you figure out what to expect during the next nine months--and 18-plus years:

* http://www.verybestbaby.com details how Mom's body changes and offers various development-tracking tools for mother and child.

* http://pregnancy.yahoo.com lets you create a personalized pregnancy calendar, send out birth announcements, find a name, create a shower wish list and chat with other parents-to-be.

* http://www.babycenter.com provides a timeline to find information specific to the stages of pregnancy and helps parents anticipate baby's first year.

* http://www.pregnancycalendar.com/first9months offers a guided tour through a Nashville woman's womb with a multimedia view of pregnancy from conception to the father's frantic rush to the hospital and the pitocin-induced labor.

* http://www.thebabycorne.com has numerous helpful articles and tools covering everything from pregnancy symptoms to naming baby to checklists.

* http://www.babysoon.com has information ranging from planning a pregnancy to preparing for childbirth. It also links to MomsOnline.com.

For moms with short-term memories, EPregnancy lets users sign up for e-mail reminders of medical appointments at http://epregnancy.com/directory/tools. The site also helps you create a pregnancy ID card, which lists contacts and key medical information.

Just for kicks, you can use http://www.chinagold.com/baby.htm to determine whether you will have a boy or a girl. The site claims to determine the ideal conception days for either sex based on the mother's "virtual age," usually two to three years more than her actual age.

It was right when I tried it using my mother's birthday and mine, predicting she'd have a girl; but it was wrong when I checked it out for an older male cousin.

Or check out http://www.childbirth.org/articles/boyorgirl.html. The mother answers questions such as whether hubby is getting chubby with her or whether she's carrying the baby low or high. Based on myths, the site evaluates the answers and figures odds for both genders.

Dad feeling a little left out? Both http://www.dadsworld .com and http://www.babyzone.com/father.htm offer Pop a womb of his own. Speaking of which, he could glimpse what pregnancy is like at http://www.malepregnancy.com. It's a highly unlikely look at a man experiencing everything from morning sickness to cravings.

Before the little sprout arrives, parents get to decide on how he or she will meet the world. For those considering alternative birthing options,

http://www.dona.com offers information on doulas, including what they are. Along the same lines, http://www.midwifeinfo.com explains the role of a midwife and can connect you with one.

As you're deciding where you'll give birth and who will help, making a birth plan might be a good idea so everyone involved is clear about your wishes; http://birthplan.com lets parents-to-be put those wishes on paper.

Another choice: Name the joyous bundle Egbert after your uncle or Enid after your mother-in-law?

Luckily, there are tons of sites to help. Many of the sites above feature name lists and tips. Here are a few more:

http://www.babynames.com offers free lists of names and their meanings, but for $20, the folks there will "personally" research and choose potential names for your baby.

* http://www.hylit.com/info/Names focuses on Irish names.

* http://www.homepagers.com /names searches for the meanings and origins of names and has links to pregnancy and parenting resources. Enid, for instance, means "faithful or abused wife" in Arthurian legend.

* http://www.babyzone.com/babynames/babynames.asp lists tons of names, from popular to Shakespearean to international, and creates some unique ones by randomly recombining the letters of real baby names.

* http://www.go.to/babynames translates English names into Hawaiian. Michelle becomes Mikala.

* http://www.indiaexpress.com/specials/babynames lists Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain names, such as Samir, which means "wind," and Kalpana, which means "imagination."

As D-day, or delivery day, arrives, family and friends of the parents-to-be can check out http://allaboutshowers.com/baby, which offers ideas on baby showers, including themes and games.

When the bundle--or bundles--of joy makes a grand entrance, instead of getting on the phone, the family can get online and let everyone know with e-mail announcements from, among other sites, http://www.babyannounce.com. This helps get the word out, without all the labor.

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Got a topic you'd like us to explore or avoid? E-mail click.here@latimes.com.

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