Meconium stained liquor and meconium aspiration syndrome: the facts

health factsheet

Staff writers Not all babies who are born with meconium staining will develop meconium aspiration syndrome, but both must be watched and treated carefully.

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?

Dads in the delivery room

Father with newborn

Thea O'Connor Most Australian men are present and active at the birth of their children. But amid talk of trauma, not everyone believes this is a good thing ...

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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

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.

Labour & Birth Forum

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

Tools

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.

'Tired' mum dies of undiagnosed diabetes

New mum Nicky Rigby thought her exhaustion was due to the demands of looking after her baby. But the 26-year-old was seriously ill with diabetes, and died due to her condition not being diagnosed.

20 signs of a great relationship

The secret to a perfect relationship is admitting you are wrong after an argument, five kisses a day and sex twice a week, a new survey suggests.

Video: emotional 60-second Robin Williams tribute

Take a minute to remember some of the greatest films of your childhood ... and have a few tissues close at hand.

The realities of escaping domestic violence

“Why doesn’t she just leave?” is the common question people ask when trying to understand domestic violence. For many, leaving the relationship is far from straightforward.

Home truths: the DIY dos and don'ts

A professional renovator gives advice on which jobs you should do yourself, and which you should outsource.

Parenting lessons I’ve yet to learn

Instead of writing about the stuff I do know since becoming a mum, I thought I'd share some of the things I don't. These are the lessons that motherhood hasn't taught me.

Will I be wrecked 'down there' after birth?

Did you worry about how you would look "down there" after giving birth? This mum-to-be found plenty of women willing to share their knowledge.

The new weekend playgroup for working mums

Playgroups are great for kids and parents alike - but the downside is that they often meet during the week, leaving working mums out of the loop.

Letting your toddler be the boss at bedtime

Sick of spending hours trying to get your toddler to sleep? These experts say giving your child more of a say at bedtime might be the answer.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

Consulting 'Dr Google' when you're pregnant

We're all guilty of turning to the internet for a quick answer when we need medical advice, but Dr Google should be approached with caution - especially when you're pregnant.

16 ways to tie a scarf

Scarfs are the perfect winter accessory. Whether you're freezing at soccer training or wanting to add a splash of colour to a monochrome top, the right scarf will sort you out in no time. Just ask Nina Proudman.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

The simple way to support other parents

We may be raising children of different ages and sexes, with different personalities, but we, as parents, aren't that different - we all have similar struggles, fears, doubts, responsibilities.

Seeing the big picture when it comes to parenting

Sometimes it feels like hundreds of tiny cracks are spreading across the surface of our lives, creeping slowly into the foundations and threatening to make them crumble. How do we hold it all together?

How to spot a lactaboobiephobia sufferer

Lactation consultant Meg Nagle refused to stay silent when Facebook removed two photos of her breastfeeding. Instead, she coined a term to describe those who don't recognise breastfeeding for the natural and non-sexual act that it is.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs’ Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

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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Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs’ Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ‘no more tears’ shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they’re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Smiggle is painting the town red!

We have 3 Red Smiggle prize packs to give away! Enter by posting a photo of something red to your Instagram.

Mum gives birth at school

Most kids have their own personal brand of oddity. Others, like these 10 weird habits, crop up again and again.

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.