Should you eat during labour?


CATHERINE RODIE Given that that you're going to be labouring for a while, often through times you'd be eating a meal – or at least a snack – is it necessary to eat?

Bond between mother and midwife key to a happy birth

The Quinlan family in their Collingwood home.

CRAIG BUTT  Women who are cared for by the same midwife throughout their pregnancy are less likely to need intervention such a caesarian sections during labour and are less likely to report a traumatic birth, research has found.

How the media can shape our decisions when it comes to labour


JO HARTLEY We all like to think that we make our choices in fair, reasoned and well-thought out ways. Not many of us would admit that we allowed the media to influence us in our life choices.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris, who has written a book about his career as a midwife.

Harry Wallop Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

The truth about dad's role in the delivery room

Dad's need to follow their partner's lead in the delivery room.

Kedric Francis It turns out silent strength was my role. Just shut up and stand there? Turns out, I can do that.

5 things to remind yourself as you approach labour


Sharday Stirton During my first pregnancy, I'd only heard graphic and horrific stories of birth and what to expect. For an impending mother, these were the last things I needed to hear.

#birthjusthappened: the photos changing the way we see labour

Stephanie Bonadio and baby Sienna in Delaware, USA.

CATHERINE RODIE There's no doubt that post-birth photos can have a powerful effect on women. But are they enough to change the way pregnant women feel about their own impending labours?

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What's the best position for giving birth?

Times have changed since women were expected to labour only on their backs.

CATHERINE RODIE If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Mum tries doing 'Thriller' dance to bring on labour


LETITIA ROWLANDS Dancing to Michael Jackson isn't usually on the list of ways to make your baby arrive as soon as possible - but this mum thought it was worth a shot.

How to raise your pain threshold in labour

Your pain threshold isn't actually set to low, high or somewhere in between - it can vary.

Angela Tufvesson Your pain threshold isn't actually set to low, high or somewhere in between. It can depend on range of psychological factors like perception, environment and education.

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour


Nicole Thomson-Pride While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Kristin Dickerson was filmed on her husband's GoPro when she gave birth outside hospital doors.

Angela Tufvesson Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?


Facebook appeal saves labouring woman's life

A Facebook post helped save the life of Clara Sowei Manu' Clare.

LETITIA ROWLANDS A plea for help posted on Facebook helped save the life of a pregnant woman who had spent days in labour in a remote part of Papua New Guinea.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

The 'Pain experience camp' has been a hit with expecting dads.

Natalie Thomas A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Trying to speed up the inevitable

Is there anything keen mums-to-be can do to help get labour started?

GREER BERRY As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.

Birth trauma and the issue of informed consent


Michele Munz There is a perception that women should just be happy they have a healthy baby in their arms. But for women who experienced birth trauma, there's a lot more to it.

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Tearing during delivery: the facts


Staff writers Almost all women will experience bruising, grazing or tearing after a vaginal birth. Depending on the degree of tearing, there are various treatments available.

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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?


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

home birth

Lakshmi Singh Learn what to do if you find yourself about to give birth in an unusual situation or place.

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


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


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?


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


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?


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


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


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!


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.

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.

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What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.


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