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.

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'

Pregnancy food

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.

considerations

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.

Tot meets his heroes, falls apart with excitement

Two-year-old Quincy finished his potty training last week, and as part of his reward he was able to meet his idols.

Beautiful in our eyes: Georgia's story

I will never deny the fact that grief has a place when you give birth to a child who brings a set of circumstances very different to what you imagined. Because for nine months, I thought I knew my Georgie.

'It's been phenomenal': widower dad of quads thankful for support

There was nothing Erica and Carlos wanted more than a baby.

Vin Diesel names daughter after actor Paul Walker

The actor said there was "no other person" he was thinking about when he chose the name.

How midwives can help women who experience domestic violence

More than half of women who live with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy.

Mum describes giving birth during Cyclone Pam

A new mother was told she must flee Port Vila hospital with her baby as Cyclone Pam bore down.

6 signs you're done having babies

There were a few signs I'm never going back to the land of maternity jeans, breast pumps and bassinets.

Marta Dusseldorp reveals breastfeeding cost her an acting job

Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp has revealed she was forced to withdraw from a Sydney Theatre Company production because a director did not approve of her breast feeding.

Female celebs (or their babies) with traditionally male names

Looking for a name that's a little bit different for a girl? Turn to names that have been traditionally used for males, as these celebs (or their parents) did.

'If you're anti-immunisation ... take a look at this picture of my son'

Greg Hughes is "an absolute shell of a man" as he and his wife Catherine struggle to come to terms with the loss of their newborn son Riley to whooping cough.

How an extrovert can raise an introvert

Introverts are often misunderstood as shy, and sometimes even rude. A timid child can be difficult to build rapport with, but it's important we nurture their sensitive natures.

Sheryl Sandberg's advice

'Choreplay': Help out at home to get more sex, Sandberg tells men

Forget foreplay. The new and improved route to intercourse is "choreplay" - it's good for your spouse, good for your house, and comes with the imprimatur of feminist du jour Sheryl Sandberg.

How to play with your baby

The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.

I'm a single mother by choice

For me, being the best mother I can be means being a mum alone, at least for now. Thinking of my friends with inadequate partners, I wonder why more people don’t choose single motherhood.

Awkward wedding photos

Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.

Four-week-old baby Riley Hughes dies of whooping cough

The mother of a four-week-old Perth baby who died after contracting whooping cough says her family has been left devastated by the loss of her "gorgeous, sweet" son.

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Oh boy! Video shows family's reaction to baby surprise

Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.

How to help build up your baby's immune system

We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?

'Nick, you need to call an ambulance': home birth mum's tragic death

A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.

When dads believe their baby doesn't 'like' them

Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

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Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

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