Trying to Conceive

Why tweaking your pregnancy test isn't a great idea


JO HARTLEY I have been known to do tests early, and even multiple tests in one day, so I can relate to how tempting it could be.

Why pregnancy tests can show the wrong result


Brooke Tasovac Sometimes even modern pregnancy tests can get it wrong, giving false negative or positive results.

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.


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

sad woman

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


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


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

Egg yolk

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.


Asking the hard questions when trying to conceive


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


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


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 


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.


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


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


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.


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 


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


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

The road to conception (Thumbnail)

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


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


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

old lady nagging

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?

shouting child

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.


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


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


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.


My complicated relationship with pregnancy tests


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


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.



Video: Making healthy lifestyle changes for conception


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


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.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): the facts

health factsheet

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


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

couple holding hands

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

candy jubb

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

kelly burstow

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

jody armstrong

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

christie connelly

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

Woman crying, tears, sad, sadness, depression, grief, depressed.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration