Trying to Conceive

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Can you really influence your baby's gender at conception?

Brooke Tasovac Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

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Why dads-to-be should quit smoking, too

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Armin Brott A lot of men put off quitting - or asking their partners to quit - out of fear that withdrawal might lead to some marital tension. Bad choice.

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When a friend's baby joy is a painful reminder

Celebrating a friend's pregnancy can be difficult if you are struggling to conceive.

Melody McCabe It can be difficult to celebrate other people's pregnancies when you are struggling to conceive.

Dealing with the emotional impact of infertility

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Melody McCabe I’m generally a pretty positive person, but I’m battling with my infertility. It was time I saw a counsellor about how I was coping - or not coping - with it all.

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What is the best age to have a baby?

COSIMA MARRINER We speak to mothers in their 20s, 30s and 40s to find out the answer.

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Danish couples told to take a holiday and make a baby to win a prize

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LETITIA ROWLANDS A Danish travel company has come up with a unique way to tackle their nation's falling fertility rate.

The man's role while trying to conceive

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Justin McCabe I honestly can think of nothing that kills the passion and excitement more than Excel intercourse. Thermometers, graphs and demands of performance put a lot of stress on everyone - including us men.

'Egg yolk' treatment ends mum's miscarriage heartbreak

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Lorraine Donakey thought she might never become a mum after six miscarriages. But after undergoing a new treatment which involves the use of a substance containing egg yolk, she now has a healthy baby girl.

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Asking the hard questions when trying to conceive

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Melody McCabe A poignant moment on holidays, 13 months after we started trying to have a baby, has got me thinking about the hard conversations that lay ahead.

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8 reasons why having kids is awesome

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VICTORIA BIRCH If you’re looking for some reproductive benefits, avoid parenting blogs. If you’d like to create a mini you it’s not all excretions of bodily fluids. There are some brilliant upsides to this kid business.

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Some lubricants could harm conception chances: study

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Ronnie Cohen Couples trying to conceive may want to avoid using certain common sexual lubricants, which a new study says can reduce the chances of pregnancy.

Why don't we talk about infertility?

Greer Berry When you talk about infertility, you're essentially talking about your sex life, your internal organs, the state of your relationship. But I think we need to talk about it more, not less.

The myth of the 12-month referral wait

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Greer Berry It's now 2014. I thought I would have had a baby or at least be pregnant by now. But at least I'm now rounding the first corner, rather than still waiting to line-up at the start line.

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Dads need folate too: new study discovers importance of male diet in preventing birth defects

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Good Living Lynne Mullins Dishes Pic of the the Mandarin, pistachio and Herb Salad Friday the 20th of July 2012 Feature SMH Picture by FIONA MORRIS 

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Men, as well as women, need to have adequate intake of the important vitamin B9 (folate) before conception to ensure the health of their future children.

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Fit dads can help kids avoid obesity

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LARISSA NICHOLSON Men who are slim and healthy when their children are conceived could be helping generations of offspring avoid obesity.

Being a parent is a privilege

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There are times during the trying-to-conceive journey when things seem unfair. You just can't help but look at situations sometimes and wonder how things happen the way they do.

A man's view of the TTC journey

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Justin McCabe His wife blogs regularly about their journey of trying to conceive, but this time it's Justin McCabe's turn to share how he feels about the monthly tests and their impact on their relationship.

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Bacon bad, fish good for sperm

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Spectrum Dining Review Breakfast at the Opera Bar at the Opera House in Sydney Pic of the Eggs on sourdough, poached or fried, bacon, tomato Saturday the 27th of July 2013 Feature SMH Picture by FIONA MORRIS 

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Laura Donnelly Researchers have identified a few dietary changes that could help improve sperm count.

The weird and wonderful history of the pregnancy test

From Ancient Egyptian agricultural trials to Hippocrates' honey tests, and the 'Piss Prophets' of the Middle Ages through to today's digital versions, pregnancy tests have come a very long way.

Trying to relax while trying to conceive

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Melody McCabe I'm getting into the right frame of mind to give up the charting, to just "relax", while trying to fall pregnant. It’s just not up to me and thinking about it has gotten absolutely exhausting.

Video: Baby timing

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In the fifth episode of the Essential Baby/Elevit with Iodine ‘Conception Series’, we ask the question: is there really an ‘ideal’ time to have a baby?

Video: The road to conception

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In the sixth and final episode six of the Essential Baby/Elevit with Iodine ‘Conception Series’, we look at the difficulties that can come our way on our journey to parenthood.

Study: Supplements can improve sperm count

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Michelle Robinson Men could do a lot to help their partners conceive by taking nutrition supplements, but it's not as simple for women, new research shows.

Free download: Elevit's Guide to Conceiving

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Falling pregnant is one of the most exciting things that can happen to a couple. But sometimes the process can be difficult, so Elevit has created a guide to help you along the way.

Video: Old wives' tales and fertility

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In episode four of our ‘Conception Series’, we look at the stories you’ll hear when you’re trying to fall pregnant, and how to tell fertility facts from fiction.

Is parenthood really that bad?

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Melody McCabe Melody McCabe looks on the bright side as she tries to fall pregnant amid a media landscape filled with parenting doom and gloom.

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Video: Keeping the spark alive

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In episode three of our 'Conception Series’, we look at maintaining relationships while you’re trying to fall pregnant.

Video: Tracking your fertile times

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If you’re trying to make the most of that small monthly window of opportunity to fall pregnant, it’s a great idea to learn how to keep track of your most fertile times.

The ABC of TTC

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Melody McCabe As if trying to get pregnant isn't difficult enough, there is a whole language of acronyms out there to get your head around too. Let me (try) to explain.

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My complicated relationship with pregnancy tests

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Melody McCabe Anyone who is trying to conceive will tell you that the companies that make pregnancy tests must make a fortune.

When everyone else is pregnant but you

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Melody McCabe Fertility counsellor Megan Downer says feelings of grief when trying to conceive are not unusual. Here's what you can do about them.

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SPONSORED FEATURE

Video: Making healthy lifestyle changes for conception

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From pre-pregnancy cleanses to giving up some of our less-than-healthy habits, there's a lot to think about before trying to conceive a baby.

Shhh, we don't want to hear it

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Melody McCabe I've heard a lot of ‘advice’ as I try to fall pregnant, but honestly, I don't want to hear it. Here's what people like me would like to hear and experience instead.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): the facts

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Staff writers Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can impact dramatically on a woman's health - especially her fertility. Here are the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of PCOS in pregnancy.

Myth busting

Can you influence your baby's gender?

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Monique Robinson The Shettles Method, the Chinese lunar calendar, following a special diet ... do any of these actually influence your baby's gender? We look at the research to find out.

Things I'm thankful for after my miscarriages

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Hannah Cherry I’ve come to realise there are positives in negatives - even in repeat miscarriages. So here are the things I'm grateful for.

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The road to conception

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Dr Debra Kennedy, clinical geneticist When it comes to conception and fertility, old wives’ tales and myths abound. Here are some truths and down-to-earth advice from Australian clinical geneticist Dr Debra Kennedy.

Organising now makes it fun later

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Sponsored feature Candy Jubb is former country police officer who retired from law enforcement to lay down the law at home. A mum of seven who also blogs, she shares her advice on gettibng organised before you have a baby.

Putting the fun back into conceiving

Steph Bond Hutkin

Spsonsored feature Steph Bond-Hutkin enjoys a busy family life with her husband and two young daughters. Here, she shares her tips on how to make trying for a baby fun.

Celebrate your relationship

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Sponsored feature For Kelly Burstow, having a baby was about celebrating something she and her husband already had: love. Here are some of her ideas for investing in your relationship while trying tor a baby.

Making a baby is as fun as sex

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Sponsored feature Jody Armstrong lives on the NSW South coast, where she blogs about life as a mum - and her current pregnancy. Here, she shares her tips for conceiving.

An L-shape to success

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Sponsored feature What's the secret to making babies? According to the parents of Fig & Cherry blogger Christie Connelly, it needs to be hot ... and one of you has to try very hard.

Should people with depression reproduce? I did

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Shannon Chapman I was certain I wouldn’t have kids because of my depression, right up until the day the biological clock kicked in and demanded I make babies immediately. I rolled the dice twice, and some would say I lost one time out of two: my eldest son has depression.

What is my luteal phase?

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Knowing the length of your luteal phase allows you to more accurately predict at what point in your cycle ovulation occurs - and makes getting pregnant easier.

Fertility is not infinite

Prue Corlette

Prue Corlette Sex-ed may have taught us how to avoid pregnancy, but not once was it mentioned that if you wanted kids, you better get cracking before 35.

Nicole Kidman opens up on pregnancy struggles as she reveals appreciation for surrogate mother

Nicole Kidman

After a "roller-coaster ride" with fertility problems, Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman says she feels love for the woman who carried her second child.

Kylie's feeling broody

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue is keen to start a family of her own, and says she has considered "various options" to help her fall pregnant.

Sexual positions for conceiving

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When it comes to conception there is a lot of discussion about successful positions for ‘making babies’. Unfortunately there is no widely-accepted ‘best position’ but here are some answers to common questions surrounding the act of conceiving.

Life gets tough for big daddy's little girl

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Deborah Smith Men may have to rethink that extra hamburger and chips for the sake of the health of their unborn daughters. New research reveals that a father's high-fat diet can lead to diabetes in his female offspring.

Conception - the facts

Conception

Prior to conception, an egg was released from one of your ovaries and began to travel down the fallopian tube. At the moment of conception, one of your partner's sperm met, entered and fertilised your egg, which then sealed itself off to exclude all other sperm.

Tools

Conception App

Download our FREE Ovulation Calendar; EB EggTimer iphone app to track and record your cycle, symptoms, & temperature.

Ovulation Calculator

Increase your chances of getting pregnant by determining when you are most fertile with Essential Baby's Ovulation Calculator.

Forums

Discuss conception with EB members!

Are you thinking about trying to conceive (TTTC) or trying to conceive (TTC)? Perhaps you're after information on assisted conception or donors? Ask for tips or help others in the Essential Baby conception forums.

Resources

Sexual positions for conceiving

When it comes to conception there is a lot of discussion about successful positions for ‘making babies’. Unfortunately there is no widely-accepted ‘best position’ but here are some answers to common questions surrounding the act of conceiving.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Trying to understand why your baby is upset

Working out what’s underlying your baby's fussiness can be a case of trial and error. Here are a few common causes and how you can remedy each one.

When those you love judge your parenting

In today's society, never has it been harder to parent without judgment. But what about when judgment is coming from closer to home?

Don't play the victim blame game with family violence

It's not a woman's job to teach violent men how to behave.

11 truths about having two under two

When I told my mothers’ group that my husband and I had started trying for our second baby they told me I was crazy. Now I can see why.

'How do you say goodbye to someone you've only just started to get to know?'

New mum Sarah Sutton was faced with a shattering scenario no person should have to endure.

It's a ... boy! Couple welcomes son number 13

"It's a boy!" That's the phrase Kateri Schwandt has heard in labour delivery ward for the 13th time in her life.

Six reasons to go for a walk

Can't find time to get to the gym? It could be just as beneficial to put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there’s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it’s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

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Where are the childcare places?

It’s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

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A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

Toddler styling

Seven things my toddler taught me about my home

My standards at home were never that high but having a two-year-old has taught me to be cool with chaos.

Australia's top baby names of 2014

The numbers have been crunched and it's official: Australian parents are having a bit of an 'O' moment.

How to set up the perfect nursery for your baby

You'll soon be meeting your baby, but you've got one big task to get done first: setting up a comfy, calming nursery you'll both be able to enjoy.

Childcare rebate: tougher rules for stay-at-home mums

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Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.