5 qualities every midwife should have


Sharday Stirton My midwife was an indispensable part of the whole childbirth journey for me, and when newly pregnant friends ask if they should book one, I can't say yes quickly enough.

Pregnant woman plans to have dolphin as midwife


Staff writers One woman has an interesting idea of what a midwife should do.


6 common questions on cord-blood banking answered


Mayo Clinic News Network Blood from a newborn's umbilical cord was once considered a waste product, but it actually contains potentially life-saving cells.

Mum dances her way through labour

Yuki Nishizawa had fun entertaining the nurses in labour.

Staff writers There are a fair few ways to distract yourself and beat pains while in labour, but it's probably a rare woman who chooses her dance her way through it.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

Louise after her baby's birth.

DONNA WEBECK It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

Three truths about C-section mums


Monet Moutrie Lately I've been thinking about the caesarean stories and the brave women who birth their children with strength and beauty.

The birth entourage: when there's a crowd in the delivery room


Anna Maxted The average new mother now has several people with her in the delivery room - including her mother-in-law.

Natural breech birth is low risk for babies: study


AAP The risks of a baby dying or suffering complications during a natural breech birth are "very small", experts say.

Gauze seeding: the bacteria-breeding birth trend


JO HARTLEY A number of women having caesarean deliveries are now taking steps to give their baby a better 'microbiome' start in life.

In praise of midwives


CATHERINE RODIE These women will always have space in my heart. Not just because they helped bring my children 'earth side', but because of the way that they cared for me during the vulnerability of my labours.


Delay clamping babies' umbilical cords for better health and development


Hannah Dahlen There is no dispute that we need to clamp and cut the umbilical cord, but there remains controversy over how soon after birth this should occur.

Police officer helps deliver baby by roadside

Senior Sergeant Paul Henry (at back) with Fiona Cowell and her baby Matilda.

AAP A police officer who responded to reports of screams coming from a parked car has helped deliver a baby in Melbourne's east.

How to use gas effectively in labour


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


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


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

The case for inducing at 37 weeks


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


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

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


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.


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?


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


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

alsyon hannigan

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


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


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.


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


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

home birth

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.


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?


New drug to replace pethidine as birth pain relief


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.


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.


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.

First look at Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget is now in her 40s and is a successful publishing executive - but also has a pregnancy to contend with as well.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Win a Family Farm Trip with Shaun the Sheep

To celebrate the Home Entertainment release of Shaun the Sheep Movie, Essential Kids and Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are offering one winner and their family a holiday to a farm.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Win a Justine Clarke Pyjama Jam! prize pack

The Pyjama Jam! tour will see Justine Clarke returning to more intimate venues around Australia, creating the perfect comfy and cozy atmosphere for a PJ party.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.

Silence is golden ... or is it?

Silence is golden, or so the saying goes. But when it comes to children, quite the opposite is true.

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

Scientists identify potential birth control 'pill' for men

Two drugs that help suppress the immune system in organ transplant patients may have a future as the long-sought birth control "pill" for men, new research suggests.

Running for beginners: taking the first steps

It's that time of year when the weather warms up and there's more opportunity to get out and go for a jog.

Tips for turning yourself into a morning person

Mornings are a great time to spend time in reflection or to get outside and get moving.

Thousands sign petition for unborn babies killed by domestic violence

Almost 8000 people have signed a petition calling for a law to recognise unborn babies killed by domestic violence in NSW.

Pregnant Sarah Harris tells body-shamers to 'get stuffed'

Television presenter Sarah Harris has a message for anyone who tries to body-shame pregnant women or new mums.

In defence of 'brexting'

Mums spend literally hours a day with a baby attached to their boob, or giving them a bottle. Surely they don't all need to be spent looking at the baby?

How a fellow passenger made a mum's day on a flight

As any parent who has ever travelled with a baby knows it can be a daunting experience. The stares and attitude of unsympathetic fellow travellers only serve to make the journey even more stressful. 

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Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.


What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.