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

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

pain

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

surgery

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.

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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

labour

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?

pregnant

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

caesarean

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

birth partner

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

prem

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

premature baby

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?

cut cord

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

labour home

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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Caesarean rate not just a result of ageing, overweight mums

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Hannah Dahlen The rising caesarean section rate is not as ''inevitable as the weather'', as a urogynaecologist controversially stated this week; instead, we should be looking at the models of care and environments in which women give birth.

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There's no right or wrong way to give birth

Baby.

Benison O'Reilly A few weeks ago, I mentioned to a fellow health worker that I'd co-written a book on postnatal depression. ''Really? I have an interest in postnatal depression,'' she said.

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Caesareans up, but not at this hospital

Audrey Tamburini.

AMY CORDEROY Previously unreleased figures from the NSW Ministry of Health show the state caesarean rate rose to 31.3 per cent of women in 2011, but one hospital is bucking that trend.

Kate's natural delivery

kate cambridge

Fairfax NZ with staff writers Kate Middleton delivered her son completely naturally, with no painkillers, according to new reports.

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Delivery room makeovers

Victoria Beckham.

Julia Teen There's a new trend for childbirth - booking in your blow-dry and spray tan before you hit the delivery suite.

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Doctors turning on breech caesarean trend

3rd July 2013
Courtney Hargreaves with nine month old daughter Ava who was a breech birth.
The Age/News, Picture Michael Clayton-Jones, Eltham, Story Kate Hagan

Kate Hagan More pregnant women are being given the option of vaginal birth for breech babies.

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