Labour the second time round - is it easier?

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Josefa Pete Pregnancy and labour go hand in hand with old wives tales. But while we may be able to dispel old ways to predict the sex of the baby, or labour inducing home therapies, is there any truth to labour being easier the second time round?

Myth busting: 'childbearing hips' and birth

preg belly

Caroline Homer and Allison Cummins While the old adage about having “childbearing hips” isn’t usually a compliment, many women consider it an advantage when it comes to childbirth - but giving birth is never as black and white as saying small women can’t give birth to large babies.

Stages of labour

stages of labour

Brooke Wells Find out what each stage of labour entails, from dilation of the cervix to meeting your baby, and then through to the afterbirth.

Could orgasmic birth be for real?

pregnant heart stomach

Catherine Rodie Blagg We all had a good laugh when birth 'guru' Latham Thomas claimed that labour and childbirth can be a truly 'ecstatic' experience. But could she actually be right?

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Watch: Baby born in MRI machine

baby head

It dosen't sound like a great place to give birth, but in 2010, researchers from a German hospital used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine to record a woman in labour.

Women who fear childbirth labour for longer

Scared sad depressed pregnant woman

Women who are afraid of childbirth spend longer in labour than those who aren’t – and also have a higher chance of needing an emergency caesarean, according to new research.

How to prepare for an unexpected birth

Surprise birth

Lakshmi Singh Perhaps you’re at home and haven’t had contractions for very long, or you’re in the car on the way to the hospital; whatever the case, you're going to be giving birth then and there. Learn what to do if you find yourself in this unusual situation.

Women labouring longer than they did 50 years ago

Study: Women are labouring longer than their grandmothers did.

Nicholas Bakalar and staff writers A US study has found that women are spending longer in labour than they did 50 years ago, a trend that may be caused by increasing maternal age, weight and changing delivery room practices.

Unnecessary inductions raise risk of complications

Induction

Pregnant women who are induced for “non-recognised” medical reasons have a higher chance of birth complications than other mums, a study has found.

While I laboured, 639 women died

Woman with flower in front of pregnant stomach

Jo Pride In Australia, a woman dying during labour is a newsworthy event. In other parts of the world, it's just another part of the pregnancy process. So what can we do to help stop the deaths of these women?

Push to get new babies home in four hours

Fiona Lewis with her son, Jess.

Rachel Browne Hospital to home in four hours? It would have been unheard of a generation ago but in NSW maternity wards of the future, it is not unusual.

Assisted delivery

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Brooke Tasovac About 11% of births in Australia are assisted deliveries (also referred to as instrumental or operative vaginal deliveries) which require an obstetrician or midwife to use instruments and methods that help a baby to be born.

Best positions for labour

Labour position thumb

Brooke Tasovac Once labour is underway, the positions the mother decides to take will certainly have an effect on comfort level!

Pain relief options in labour

Gas during labour

Brooke Tasovac There are various types of pain relief available to women during labour, although there are several factors that will influence what types can be administered.

Tweeting during childbirth? Why not?

Woman labouring in childbirth

I’ve been criticised for sharing too much and I’ve been criticised for not sharing enough.

When should I go to hospital?

pre-labour

Brooke Tasovac There are several signs that labour may have begun but knowing when is the right time to go to the hospital can still be difficult to tell ... perhaps you should familiarise yourself with the signs.

Myleene's little Hero

Myleene

British singer-turned-TV star Myleene Klass became a mother for the second time on Friday, welcoming a little girl named Hero.

Do dads belong in the labour ward?

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Tim Elliott Fathers now regularly attend the births of their children, but their presence isn't always welcome.

Miranda Kerr joins fight against fistula

Miranda Kerr

A very-pregnant Miranda Kerr has fronted a new video campaign to raise awareness of fistula, a birth complication which can spell death developing countries.

Birth from the business end

dad

Troy Jones A dad spills on what childbirth is really like - for men.

Easing labour pain naturally

Birth de-briefing

Julia Medew Terrified by memories of her sister giving birth, Chantal Stravens learned hypnosis so she could stay calm during her own labour.

Rise in induced births worries doctors

Newborn

Kate Benson One in three pregnant women in NSW has her labour induced - a rise of at least 15 per cent in the past 10 years - with almost half of inductions done without a medical reason.

Orgasmic birth an old midwives' tale

Avril Moore Hippie claptrap aside, childbirth is far more agony than ecstasy says Avril Moore.

Packing your hospital bag

Birth Boom

Essential Baby members The days of grabbing your keys, mobile and wallet and heading out the door are soon to be over, and it all starts with the birth! Here is a comprehensive checklist devised by Essential Baby members to help you with your first step on the journey of parenthood!

Forums

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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.

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

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Announce your Baby's Birth

Congratulations on the birth of your little bundle of joy. We hope you enjoy this special time together! EB will help you share the news with friends and family, click here to enter the details of your new family member.

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Toddler pleads for return of "stolen" nose

A two-year-old's reaction to a game of "got your nose" shows it doesn't take much to make a toddler cry.

The 15 photos new parents share (and five they don't)

From the first scan photo to the baby covered in cake at their first birthday party, there are 15 photos most parents seem to share - and some they don't.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Breastfeeding friendly café goes viral

A photo of a breastfeeding-friendly sign in a cafe has been posted to Facebook and shared by hundreds of mums around the world.

First look at the Bugaboo Bee3

The newest Bugaboo Bee – the Bee3 – offers a variety of improved features, including a much asked-for bassinet and a rainbow of colour combinations.

Childcare costs, not paid leave, the real issue for parents

Given the choice between maintaining their wage for six months to have a child, or having a reduced rate of pay for a time but a better deal on childcare when returning to work, there are no odds on what most working parents would choose.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We’re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

We lost three babies in two years

Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.

Family turned back from doomed flight MH17

'There must have been someone watching over us and saying, 'You must not get on that flight,' says mother who narrowly avoided boarding the Malaysian Airlines flight which exploded in mid-air over the Ukraine last night.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Adorable Skeanie loafers for kids

Your little toddler or preschooler can now get their nautical on with a new range of classic loafers by Australian show brand Skeanie.

My baby is hypermobile

For months, I have been telling myself not to worry that Jasmin isn't crawling or walking. This week I heard the term hypermobile for the first time.

When you don’t bond with your baby

They say that there is no bond greater than the bond between a mother and her child. But for some women, the mother-baby bond takes more time and effort to develop.

Yumi Stynes: Having a baby after a 10-year break

After a long break, Yumi Stynes gets a reminder of the pain - and the pleasure - of giving birth.

Grieving father asks for help to Photoshop his daughter's image

When Nathan Steffel's daughter Sophia died from a liver condition at just 6 weeks old, he reached out for someone to create a beautiful image of his little girl.

Raising kids in a 'low media' home

Can you imagine a life without TV or computers? Some parents are opting for a low-tech, screen-free life for their kids.

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Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We’re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

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Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

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The Nappy Collective starts new drive

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Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

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Dads meet their newborn for the first time

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