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

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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

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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.

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

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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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.

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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.