I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

JO HARTLEY 11:39am 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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".

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.

Study delivers good news for home births

Adoption activists say only a small proportion of adoptees who search for their birth mothers are unable to locate them.

Julia Medew Doctors and midwives say more women should be given access to publicly funded home births with hospital back-up after a study found they were associated with low rates of harm for women and their babies.

Midwife crisis: pregnant women to be turned away from hospital

Pregnant

EAMONN DUFF Nurses and midwives at a Sydney hospital will turn away pregnant women from Monday under strict new geographical boundaries that have been imposed to counter critical staff shortages.

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Meet the 'mummy messiah'

Latham Thomas.

Amy Molloy For an "ecstatic birth" mums-to-be should eat raw food, sit naked in front of a mirror and take sex toys into the delivery room, says America's new birthing guru.

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Stand and deliver: upright births best for mum and bub

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Hannah Dahlen What began as a change in birth positions for the convenience of men has been shown scientifically to be an inconvenience for women and babies.

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Trauma pushes mothers to home births

Erin Quinn, with her youngest daughter, Samara, who was born at home in Sydney.

MELISSA DAVEY Women are turning their backs on the health system after being traumatised by childbirth in hospitals, according to a new paper from University of Sydney researchers.

Dads in the delivery room

dad delivery room

Monica Dux The presence of dads in the delivery suite is now all but mandatory. But are they a help or a hindrance?

Why water births work

water birth

Hannah Dahlen “Women aren’t dolphins” is a phrase often bandied about by those who question the idea of water births. But research increasingly points to the benefits of labouring with the help of a birthing pool and H20.

The rise (and rise) of the doula

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Fran Rimrod Gaby Targett, a doula, describes herself as "a guardian of natural birth". She talks about the role she's played in hundreds of births over her career of 17 years.

The rise of the doula2

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Fran Rimrod Gaby Targett, a doula, describes herself as "a guardian of natural birth". She talks about the role she's played in hundreds of births over her career of 17 years.

Doctor threatens to call police and perform forced caesarean on patient

Woman bashed, sexually assaulted in laundry (Thumbnail)

Melanie Mahoney A pregnant woman was shocked when her doctor sent an email demanding that she either have a voluntary caesarean or he would call the police.

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Birth centre guidelines need changing, say midwives

Generic pregnancy photo for post-natal depression story. Picture: Gene Ramirez

MELISSA DAVEY The national guidelines on where women should give birth are based on outdated beliefs that birth centres unattached to hospitals are dangerous, a leading Sydney midwifery expert says.

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Pregnant women being turned away

Last year, Victorian Auditor General Des Pearson revealed more than 200 women had given birth at Sunshine's emergency department due to a shortage of space in its maternity unit.

JULIA MEDEW Overwhelmed public maternity hospitals are rejecting bookings for pregnant women, forcing them to find hospitals further away or to switch to expensive private care.

Australian private hospital birth figures 'horrifying', expert says

hospital baby

MELISSA DAVEY Tens of thousands of Australian women with a low risk of birth complications are undergoing unnecessary medical interventions in private hospitals, a new study has found.

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Forums

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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.

How to tell if your child has a speech or language problem

 Left untreated, children who start school with speech and language difficulties face an increased risk of reading and writing difficulties, more bullying, poorer peer relationships and less enjoyment of school. So, what should parents expect of children at different ages?

Finding your tribe as a new mum

How was my renegade mother's group different from my first? They were my kind of people. My tribe.

Following your child's emotional roadmap

Psychologist Angharad Candlin will guide parents through their child's emotional development during her seminar at the Essential Baby and Toddler Show in Sydney this weekend.

Delivery room surprises: when gender predictions are wrong

Out of all the questions asked of mums-to-be, “Do you know what you're having?” would be right up there in popularity. Sometimes,

The fertility battle we don't talk about

“You’re nowhere near menopausal,” my doctor cheerily informed me, and my heart sank. I don’t want to live with worry about pregnancy anymore.

'My morning sickness was so bad I'm not having any more kids'

“All the horrible stuff was totally worth it to have my son. But there is absolutely no way I could go through it all again.”

The 'no children' wedding invite

It was the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends, and she had invited me to be her bridesmaid. It was quite an honour. But there was one problem.

Baby Dylan recovering well after spending five days alone

 For up to five days he lay alone after his mother died of a suspected drug overdose, but eight-month-old Dylan Micallef has made an incredible recovery.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

The mystery of William Tyrell, little boy lost

The question remains: How does a little boy simply vanish without a trace?

Woman fights off robber, then gives birth

A thief in the US got more than he bargained for when he try to rob a woman who was nine months pregnant because he figured she would be an easy target.

Video: Two-year-old tells mum off for laughing at her

This little girl is not happy that her mum started laughing during her performance - so she tells her exactly how she feels about it.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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