How to use gas effectively in labour

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Evelyn Lewin Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

World Health Organization issues c-section warning

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Scott D'Arcy Women should only give birth by caesarean section if it is medically necessary, the World Health Organization has warned.

I had a home birth, and I'm not stupid - or brave

Sarah with her partner and second baby after her home birth.

Sarah Bregel While most people might think home-birthers are just a bunch of hippies, I was not blase about my son's birth. I was informed and prepared for it.

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Taking a look at birth centre care

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Belinda Peters Deciding where to have your first baby is a personal, and often confusing, decision.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

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CATHERINE RODIE While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

It's time to stop the home birth stigma

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Kim Lock It's not healthy or helpful for expectant mothers.

Dads in the delivery room apparently make birth more painful: study

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Sarah Knapton He might think he is being helpful as he holds your hand while you are in the throes of labour, but he could actually be making the pain far worse.

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Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have been described as the “unkindest cut” by some and “just a little snip” by others.

Hannah Dahlen Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

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Sold on natural birth? Read the fine print

In the excitement and anticipation, I ignored the fine print: some women, some of the time.

LIBBY HAKIM In the excitement and anticipation of a first pregnancy, I ignored the fine print: some women, some of the time.

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Homebirth film prepares for redelivery worldwide

Ricki Lake while filming a follow-up to the original <i>The Business of Being Born</i>.

Christine Haughney One of the most talked about and provocative documentaries about childbirth is having its own rebirth.

ACT a step closer to publicly funded home births

home birth

NATASHA BODDY A growing number of experts are calling for more funding and midwifery support to allow more ACT women to have properly supervised home births.

Preparing your child to attend a sibling's birth

Thinking about having your kids at the birth of your baby? There are some things to consider.

JO HARTLEY Thinking about having your kids at the birth of your baby? Here are some things to consider.

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Premmie guidelines are under review

Tough call: Associate professor Kei Lui says it's harder deciding for a baby than for yourself.

HARRIET ALEXANDER The guidelines that determine which premature infants to resuscitate and when to administer palliative care are under review.

When to ask for an epidural

Decisions about an epidural should be made by the labouring woman.

Andrew M Seaman When to start epidural pain relief during labour and delivery should be up to the mother, researchers say.

What not to do when your partner is in labour

man blowing up glove

CATHERINE RODIE Robbie Williams stole the show during his wife Ayda's labour, pretty much demonstrating everything on the "what not to do when your partner is in labour" list.

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Would you want your mother-in-law at your baby's birth?

grandma

Catherine Rodie Here is a surprising statistic: according to a poll carried out by the UK Baby Show, one in five women say that they would like their mother-in-law to be present when they give birth.

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The facts on inductions

induction

Staff writers Here's what you need to know about inductions, including the common reasons for having one, how they are done, and the risks.

I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

JO HARTLEY To say I became obsessed is something of an understatement. Everywhere I went I found cause to be reminded of my impending pain.

8 celebrities speak out about their home births

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Jenny Schafer Hollywood is having a baby boom - and some of our favourite celebrity mums are welcoming their little ones at home.

The lowdown on male midwives

male midwife

Julia Cahill How would you feel about having a male midwife assist your baby's birth? For a growing number of mums, the idea is a reality - and the experts all agree that it's something that should be encouraged.

What you need to know about inductions

baby iv

JODI GIBSON One in four women face being induced to bring on labour. There are many reasons for it, and a few ways to make it happen, but it's always best to ask your doctor lots of questions before going ahead with an induction.

Labour pain relief may reduce risk of postnatal depression: study

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Letitia Rowlands Postnatal depression is a complex condition, but researchers say pain relief during labour may help some women.

How to use birth pools safely

birth pool

Elizabeth Cluett The recall of hired home-birthing pools after a baby contracted Legionnaires' disease will have some parents-to-be worried, but there are guidelines about how to best - and safely - use a birthing pool.

Link between mums' weight and overdue babies

Future mother waiting.

Kate Hagan Researchers have discovered why overweight women have higher rates of induced labour and caesarean births than other women.

Tips for choosing a birth partner

Pregnancy, childbirth, labour

CATHERINE RODIE Deciding who is going to support you during the birth of your child is an important decision and one that needs a lot of careful consideration.

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How music can help when you're in labour

music

JO HARTLEY Research has shown that listening to music during birth can help reduce pain and decrease anxiety. Mums share their advice on the music that helped them in labour.

'Born in the Wild' takes reality TV down to a whole new level

Pregnant woman

A new reality TV show is taking women into the wilderness to give birth.

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Making skin-to-skin after caesarean the norm

baby skin to skin

LIBBY HAKIM Despite its benefits, many women who have caesareans don't have skin-to-skin contact following the births of their babies - but there are ways to help increase your chances of it happening.

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Are private hospitals worse for babies?

Suzette Meade

LUCY CARROLL Babies born in private hospitals to healthy mothers are significantly more likely to experience trauma and medical problems immediately after birth, a landmark study has found.

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Mum sues over forced c-section delivery

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Anemona Hartocollis After two caesareans, Rinat Dray wanted to give birth naturally. The mum of three is now suing the hospital that she says forced her into a caesarean against her will.

Push for more home births in the UK

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KIRAN CHUG New guidelines suggest that women who are pregnant with their second or subsequent children should be encouraged to give birth at home, as long as they aren't considered medium or high risk - but a lot needs to change before that can happen.

Does swearing during labour help reduce pain?

Childbirth and labour pain

CATHERINE RODIE During my child's birth I had cursed like a sailor. It wasn't just the odd F-Bomb - it was more like an F-Annihilation.

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Delayed cord clamping no barrier to skin-to-skin contact

new baby

LETITIA ROWLANDS Delayed umbilical cord clamping has been shown to benefit babies, but until now the practice had been cumbersome.

Birth photos

Birth photos on the rise

Birth photos

KATE FRIDKIS New research shows that one in five expectant parents would consider hiring a birth photographer - but do we need photo evidence of one of the most intimate and memorable experiences of our lives?

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New drug to replace pethidine as birth pain relief

baby

JULIA MEDEW The use of pethidine to relieve pain during birth may be on its way out as a small but growing number of doctors recommend a more powerful opiate that appears safer for babies.

Water birth a good option despite warnings, midwives say

water birth

LETITIA ROWLANDS Doctors in the US have released a statement advising against water births, but Australian midwives say the practice remains safe for low-risk pregnancies.

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Despite costs, cord blood rarely used

Jamie Memis baby Leyla

LUCY CARROLL It can cost thousands of dollars and parents are flocking to do it, but the storage of umbilical cord blood is proving to be a concern after very few families have ever used the full service.

Babies, not burgers: why we need better designed labour wards

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Athena Hammond Women have reported that the birth environment is a key factor in how easy or hard it is to give birth. So why does McDonalds have mood lighting but a labour ward doesn't?

Birth, blokes and 'the business end'

Robbie Williams

CATHERINE RODIE Robbie Williams famously compared watching his wife give birth vaginally to 'watching my favourite pub burn down'

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Pain free labour: fact or fiction?

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LIBBY HAKIM It’s a question that runs through the mind of every first time mum-to-be – how will I know when I’m in labour? And if you actually ask the question, you’ll usually get the same reply: “Oh, trust me, you’ll know”.

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An elective caesarean saved my sanity

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Donna Webeck It's a divisive parenting debate that flares up often: natural childbirth versus an elective caesarean. But for me, there was only one option that would help my physical and mental wellbeing intact.

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Caesarean sections on the rise in ACT

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GEORGINA CONNERY More women are having caesarean sections than ever before in the ACT, reflecting national trends, according to a new report.

The delivery room guest list

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LINDY ALEXANDER During labour, a woman’s partner may be very good at giving physical support, but may not feel so confident at the advocacy part - or vice versa. So who will you choose into your delivery suite?

Mechanic invents device to help mums in labour

Jorge Odón

The idea came to 59-year-old Jorge Odón as he slept - and now his invention, based on a You Tube video of a cork being extracted from a wine bottle, is on track to save tens of thousands of women in childbirth every year.

A doctor's dilemma: when to save a premmie

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Gautham K. Suresh Today, premature babies around 25 weeks are routinely provided intensive care, but those at 22 or fewer weeks usually are not. Between those are babies in the "gray zone".

Premature birth: don't do it alone

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Josefa Pete Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns in Australia. One group is doing what it can to support those who go though it, and their annual walk brings parents of prems together.

Do modern dads cut the cord?

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Libby Hakim With the increasing role many dads play in the care of babies and children, has the symbolic act of cutting the umbilical cord become redundant? Or are fathers still keen to carry on the tradition?

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Free-birthing on the rise

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Jo Hartley It’s a controversial practice that has been branded both dangerous and irresponsible, but there's a growing trend among Australian women who are choosing to birth at home, free from any medical intervention or assistance.

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Midwife on the run

Akal Khalsa.

PAUL BIBBY The website of independent Sydney midwife Akal Khalsa is awash with glittering testimonials to her home-birthing abilities and pictures of newborn babies she has brought into the world. But Ms Khalsa has had a warrant out for her arrest since March.

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Forums

Labour & Birth Forum

Forum to ask and share advice on what to expect on the big day.

Homebirth Forum

Read information, questions, answers and experiences of homebirth as a birth option in our forum.

Your birth stories

Share and read EB member's birth stories. Stories of all kinds - some to make you cry, and some to make you laugh out loud, but all to make you proud of womankind.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there’s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it’s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

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What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.