Preparing for Pregnancy

If you think you are ready for a baby, preparing for pregnancy means getting your body as ready to conceive as you can, and that may mean healthy eating and maintain physical fitness.

Check out our Guide to Pregnancy for an overview of what to do when including starting your folate supplements which is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida.

Dad-to-be's heartwarming reaction to pregnancy news

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When Doug Price's wife found out she was pregnant, she was determined to get her husband's reaction to the exciting news on camera.

Dads' smoking before conception increases asthma risk

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Fathers who smoke are more likely to have children with asthma even if they quit the habit before their baby is conceived, according to new research.

The benefits of pre-conception genetic testing

Julie Cini, spinal muscular atrophy disease carrier whose twin daughter died of the disease at one year old.

Nicky Phillips and Amy Corderoy A new Australian company is offering pre-conception genetic testing for 145 diseases so couples can learn if they are unwitting carriers of disorders which may be passed on to their future babies.

The test you should have in pregnancy - or even before conceiving

The CMV test isn't routinely offered in pregnancy, but you can ask your doctor.

LINDY ALEXANDER It is one of the most common viral infections, but few people have heard of it.

Video: Husband surprised by sweet photobooth pregnancy announcement

Parents-to-be: Jessica Devins and her husband Michael.

In this video, photographer Jessica Devins surprises her husband Michael with some happy news – just as they’re in a photobooth.

Dealing with an unexpected pregnancy

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Danielle Colley If you'd decided you didn't want any more children, what would you do if you accidentally fell pregnant? Four women share their stories.

When you want a baby but your partner doesn't

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Cassy Small My husband and I have enough to disagree on. Whose turn is it to do the dishes? Big Brother or Masterchef? However lately it’s the decision of whether or not to have another baby that is causing the most trouble.

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'I was born with a double uterus'

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Sandra G Boodman and staff writers Allison had severe pain in her tailbone and hip, was in agony once a month, and had no appetite. But doctors had no idea about what the 16-year-old's body was hiding.

Folate reduces risk of severe autism, finds study

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AAP and staff writers A new study that shows a link between taking folate around the time of conception and a reduced chance of severe autism could have implications for other brain disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Bar sells pregnancy tests in toilets

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An American bar owner has installed a pregnancy test vending machine in the ladies’ toilets in an effort to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol.

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Can you ever be ready for a baby?

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Brooke Tasovac Before you get pregnant, you might have all the boxes ticked - with your career, home and travel plans all sorted - or you could be the ' let's just see what happens' type. No matter what your style, it can help to think about the emotional aspects of parenthood.

Oriri maternity wear

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Oriri maternity wear celebrate the incredible journey of pregnancy … and beyond.

The decision - I want a baby

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Juliana Fridman We want a little version (hopefully a better version) of the mix between us. We have so much love to give and sharing with another one it will only make it bigger. So let’s go for it!

Quick workplace safety check

Workplace safety check

If you're pregnant or planning on conceiving it's time to give your work space a quick once over with this handy guide.

Low B12 mums 'up birth defect risk'

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Babies whose mothers had low levels of vitamin B12 just before and after they were conceived could be up to five times more likely to be being born with a congenital defect, a study reveals.

Your menstrual cycle

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It’s probably been a good few years since high school biology and chances are your memory is a little hazy when it comes to explaining your cycle in detail.

For optimum pregnancy

Optimum pregnancy

Your maternal instincts have kicked in and you are planning to start a family. In looking forward you have thought of everything from due dates to midwives, from names to parenting magazines; but have you thought about your body’s need to prepare for the best possible conception?

Reproductive Health Diet

Nutrition for Pregnancy

Establishing good nutrition and health not only supports your chances of healthy conception, but also means that you are set up for continued healthy habits for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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Ready to start a family?

Are you ready for a baby?

Having a child is almost certainly the biggest responsibility you will face. They turn your life (and house!) upside down and all of a sudden you have a small life whose existence depends on you.

Baby don't wait

Contraception alternatives

Louise Hall Women will be urged to work out a reproductive life plan from the age of 25 to prevent the agony of not being able to have children.

A man's guide to conception

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There are some pretty important basics that you should be aware of if you want to successfully conceive.

See your GP when thinking about getting pregnant

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Make an appointment to visit your GP to discuss getting pregnant, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Drugs and conception - preparing for pregnancy

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Make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss whether any medications you are taking could cause problems with conception.

Limit caffeine intake

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If you drink a lot of coffee it is better to reduce your intake now than to try and stop suddenly once you're pregnant.

Healthy eating habits

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Nutritional status of both parents prior to conception can influence the health and well-being of your baby and its chances of optimum health throughout life.

Achieve a balanced diet

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To achieve a well-balanced diet you just need to follow some basic guidelines.

Develop and maintain physical fitness

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Moderate exercise is important for good health, whether you are trying to become pregnant or not.

Getting healthy for mums and dads-to-be

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It is just as important for men to prepare their bodies for pregnancy as it is for women.

Quit smoking

Quitting Smoking

We're all aware of the damage that smoking does to our own bodies, so the best thing you can do for you and your baby is quit.

Your Guide to Pregnancy

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Essential Baby The following guide offers helpful advice and suggestions about what you need to do next.

Books to read on pregnancy and parenting

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Essential Baby sources the best books on conception, pregnancy, birth, diet, baby care and women's care.

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.

Resources

Books to read on pregnancy and parenting

Essential Baby sources the best books on conception, pregnancy, birth, diet, baby care and women's care.

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.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Is your family's car part of the world's biggest safety recall?

More than 50 million vehicles recalled for potentially lethal airbag fault - is your car affected?

Why drinking water can be deadly for babies

H2O is one of the necessities of life, but for babies a seemingly harmless amount of water can be fatal.

Mother-in-law faceplants during proposal

He had it all planned: a romantic proposal on a windswept beach. The whole family would be there so they'd all be able to celebrate the joyous moment together.

A preschooler suddenly goes mute - and it's not just shyness

When our son stopped talking, our sense of loss was painful and acute.

The mums who ask for a 'wife bonus'

They run their homes like domestic CEOs and work tirelessly to improve their family's social standing. And now, according to a new book, they want an annual perk from their husbands.

Woman shares photo of dimple on breast to warn others of cancer risk

A widely-shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle breast cancer symptom.

Starting a family despite a low sperm count

"I'd never really failed a test - how could I fail this particularly manly test?"

It's official: we must better protect our kids from toxic lead exposure

New guidelines have been released, aimed at reducing children's harmful exposure to lead. But they still don't go far enough.

Trouble-shooting toddler social skills

Chances are your toddler's behaviour is all completely normal - but here's how to tackle some common social problems.

Helping your first-born welcome a sibling

We did sigh with joy at the arrival of a royal princess - but, mostly, we sighed with pity at the sight of Prince George being taken to meet her.

Farewell, daytime nap

I've been in denial and I'm not too proud to beg, but it appears I must accept the fact that you have gone. I need to let you go.

The identical triplets who are one in 50 million

The father of identical triplets born in a Texas hospital says his three daughters, including conjoined twins, are "a miracle" sent by God.

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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Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

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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.

Top baby names

Baby Names

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