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.

First look at Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Baby

Bridget is now in her 40s and is a successful publishing executive - but also has a pregnancy to contend with as well.

Newlyweds send bill to no-show guests

Planning a wedding can be stressful – and, as most newlyweds can attest, it can be very costly, too.

Claire Danes: acting out postnatal depression was difficult

Actress Claire Danes found it difficult pretending to have postnatal depression in Homeland, as she had just become a new mother herself.

Sneak peek: Geleeo self-cooling pram & high chair liners

We just spotted Geleeo, a brand new self-cooling pram liner you can buy in time for summer.

The moment a 92-year-old meets her great grandaughter

It's a heart-warming photo this family will treasure forever.

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're still pregnant

While every woman's breastfeeding journey is different, many hurdles are shared. Knowing what to expect will enable you to make informed decisions if - or when - you meet challenges along the way.

Sneak peek: new Love Mae bamboo dinnerware designs

We do love ourselves some brand new designs in tried and true products. The renowned bamboo dinnerware from Love Mae has just had several more members join the family, in addition to a brand new website.

Mum who killed paedophile gets reduced sentence

A mother-of-five who killed a paedophile has had her jail sentence reduced by a judge who described her case as a "truly exceptional" one.

Toddler's silent debate with mum about naptime

He might not utter a single word - but this toddler is having a great debate with his mother about nap time.

Silence is golden ... or is it?

Silence is golden, or so the saying goes. But when it comes to children, quite the opposite is true.

Awards 2015: Vote now for a chance to win $2000

Vote for your favourite pregnancy, baby and toddler products for your chance to win your share of $2500 in cash prizes.

Scientists identify potential birth control 'pill' for men

Two drugs that help suppress the immune system in organ transplant patients may have a future as the long-sought birth control "pill" for men, new research suggests.

Running for beginners: taking the first steps

It's that time of year when the weather warms up and there's more opportunity to get out and go for a jog.

Tips for turning yourself into a morning person

Mornings are a great time to spend time in reflection or to get outside and get moving.

Thousands sign petition for unborn babies killed by domestic violence

Almost 8000 people have signed a petition calling for a law to recognise unborn babies killed by domestic violence in NSW.

Pregnant Sarah Harris tells body-shamers to 'get stuffed'

Television presenter Sarah Harris has a message for anyone who tries to body-shame pregnant women or new mums.

In defence of 'brexting'

Mums spend literally hours a day with a baby attached to their boob, or giving them a bottle. Surely they don't all need to be spent looking at the baby?

How a fellow passenger made a mum's day on a flight

As any parent who has ever travelled with a baby knows it can be a daunting experience. The stares and attitude of unsympathetic fellow travellers only serve to make the journey even more stressful. 

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What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

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

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

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.


What are your favourite baby products?

The Essential Baby Awards are on now, and we need your help! Have your say on your top picks and you'll go in the draw to win a share of $2500.