I had a caesarean and it was beautiful

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Jo DuMond Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.

What pregnant women around the world pack in their hospital bag

Hazel from Tanzania, Katy from Australia, and Agnes from Tanzania.

LETITIA ROWLANDS WaterAid has photographed the contents of the maternity bags of expectant mothers around the world.

Nose spray relieves childbirth pain, study finds

Lead researcher Dr Julie Fleet with the spray.

AAP Women may soon be able to use a nasal spray for pain relief during childbirth following successful trials by an Australian midwifery researcher.

Large birth weight forecasts often inaccurate, leading to more caesareans: study

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Roni Caryn Rabin Fewer than 8 per cent of babies born in the United States meet the medical definition of a large baby - but mothers aren't told that.

Birth trauma

How a traumatic first labour changed my second pregnancy

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Priscilla Blossom Losing my daughter after a highly traumatic hospital birth left me open to anything that might result in a different outcome.

Photo honours baby and his placenta

Baby Harper with his placenta.

Brittany Mann A black and white image of a newborn baby next to his placenta draws attention to the sacred link between the organ and the land. 

What you need to know about using TENS in labour

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EVELYN LEWIN Thinking about pain relief options in labour? It's worth considering TENS, says a mum of three.

Tocophobia - the fear of giving birth

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JO HARTLEY For many women, giving birth is a right of passage. But for others, the thought of childbirth and labour is nothing short of petrifying.

Caesarean delivery doesn't harm baby's future health, study finds

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Staff writers An Australian study has found that caesarean section delivery is not linked to a higher risk of health problems during childhood.

5 qualities every midwife should have

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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

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

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6 common questions on cord-blood banking answered

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Delay clamping babies' umbilical cords for better health and development

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.

Wondersuit heaven: Bonds & Disney launch exclusive collection

Bonds and Disney fans with babies to buy for will be celebrating this news. Bonds and Disney have just released collaboration Wondersuits.

Town welcomes first baby in 28 years

Since the 1980s, the Italian town of Ostana had not seen the birth of a single baby.

Great-great-grandma delivers great grandchild in her own home

''I've delivered calves, lambs, dogs and cats, but nothing like this.'' This 'Super Gran' calmly peeled the amniotic sac over her great-grandson's head before discovering the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck ... twice.

How to start teaching your kids road safety

It's something that can be taught as early as possible and reinforced as they get older and more mobile - even from toddlerhood.

Just announced: Bugaboo Cameleon³ Classic+ Collection update

Meet the brand new understated chic model from Bugaboo.

The emotional moment a mum hears her late son's heartbeat

It's been two and a half years since Heather Clark's seven-month-old son Lukas passed away.

Nine reasons why you have 'brain fog'

One minute your productivity is skyrocketing and the next you're sitting there trying to focus – just like that you draw blank, your brain, mush.

I had a caesarean and it was beautiful

Guess what? Despite not pushing him out, I cried, and my heart skipped, and I felt the rush of love and pride when I saw him for the first time.

Microcephaly still a mysterious condition around the world

For parents, having a child with microcephaly can mean a life of uncertainty.

7 baby firsts you won't see on milestone charts

Here are a few 'other' baby firsts you may not have been expecting, but you'll want to be ready for.

Why it's important to vaccinate on time

My son was born on the 1 July 2014. It's a fabulous birthday, don't you think? Not only does the first of July ring in a new financial year, but it also means we've hit the year's half way mark.

Naturopath treatment allegedly left baby "days from death"

A naturopath whose treatment of a baby boy allegedly led to the infant being severely ill has pleaded not guilty to charges against her. 

Andy Murray's emotional speech to pregnant wife after Australian Open

A teary-eyed Andy Murray promised pregnant wife Kim he'd be on the next plane home after his turbulent two weeks at the Australian Open came to an end.

This toddler and his duck BFF will melt your heart

A small boy in the US has struck up a quacking good friendship with an unlikely companion ... his pet duck. 

Great news for coffee drinkers - caffeine is good for your heart

Researchers have found that, contrary to prior belief, caffeine does not cause health-threatening heart palpitations.

I always wanted children - but I've found other ways to be maternal

I've always been one of the most maternal women I know.

When only one parent wants to know the gender

For some couples you either both want to know the gender of your unborn baby, or you don't. For others, it's not that simple.

'No jab no play' could hurt disadvantaged children, experts fear

Tough new "no jab no play" laws could hurt children who have not been immunised due to family dysfunction, poverty, or poor access to medical support, experts warn.

Zika virus: Airlines offer refunds to pregnant women

Airlines and cruise companies across the world are offering refunds or travel credits to pregnant women who are scheduled to visit countries struck by the devastating Zika virus.

#meditateonthis: Mums fight back against PND ignorance

Not all women will require medication, but many will. And there isn't and shouldn't be any shame in that.

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