Jump to content

Are midwives supposed to help you cope during labour?


  • Please log in to reply
107 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

Just wondering if a midwife is supposed to help you cope during labour?

When I gave birth last year I end up being induced and DS needed monitoring so was hooked up to a drip and a machine. My midwife mostly spent the entire time watching the machine, although she did help me go to the toilet and got me heat packs.

However when coping with my contractions she didn't really say or do anything or offer any suggestions as to how I could cope, just left me to it and didnt speak to me. My DH was sick during most of my labour so he was pretty useless but I had hoped he would have been more helpful.

Some of my friends who have given birth said that their midwife helped them during their contractions, talked them through, offered them words of encouragement etc. Mine didn't do this.

It didn't bother me at the time and doesn't bother me now, my DH should have been the one supporting me through anyway, but as he was sick I was pretty much left alone. She was a really lovely midwife and left just before I pushed DS out.

So does anyone know if a midwife is supposed to provide support to cope during labour?

#2 seepi

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

Mine didn't. i was crushed. i was really expecting them to.

#3 Onyx

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

Mine did. Then when things went pear shaped 2 more midwives came in.
I started to lose it completely, one midwife told me to stop, calm down and let them do what they need to do, to get my baby out, then they would focus on me.
Exactly what I needed to hear at that point. She brought me back into focus.

Then when being rushed to theatre it was my OB that helped me immensely.

#4 Feral_Pooks

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

I think so. I was ok during the first stage, so I was pretty much left to myself with DP dozing on and off and occasionally running to get a middy if I needed something. I would have thought that if I wasn't coping, she would have helped. Although I wasn't coping at all during second stage and was treated a bit like a farm animal, so I don't know.

I guess part of the problem is that what is supportive for one woman isn't for another? I know I appreciated minimal noise, light and chatter. I couldn't have cared less what anyone had to say. In second stage, I think I needed the same, plus some positivity when I started having doubts. I think if you freak out, it can have bad implications for the birth, so surely part of it has to be about keeping you "coping"?

#5 rosiebird

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

My midwife did - she always had a new suggestion just as I was losing confidence in my ability to cope. When I was exhausted and panicky, she lay me down, put on aromatherapy candles and did visualisation techniques. When I had settled down and contractions slowed, she got me up and walking. When the pain was too much, she ran a warm bath and massaged my back etc etc. she was marvellous and I would not have managed without her.

#6 ubermum

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

I guess they help people the way they think they would like to be helped. I know for me, when I am having a contraction, everyone better shut the hell up. Silence is what I want. Due to my needs during labour, I would probably be quiet during someone's contractions, only offering advice if they were crying out or saying something like "I can't do this". Midwives are people. They all respond to situations differently and are influenced by their own experiences.

#7 lynneyours

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:03 PM

I think they are supposed to get the baby out safely and ensure the safety of the Mum.

With DD1 - the lovely student midwife pressed pressure points on my hand which helped, and massaged my back, really low down, for a bit. The midwife in charge coached me through pushing, made me understand that the baby's heart-rate was almost stopping with each contraction and she needed to come out NOW.... 3 pushes later....

With DD2 - the midwives didn't really listen or help: I told DH to go tell them I had pressure. 10min later I said "go tell them I have pressure AND I delivered my first baby in 45min".  They came fast.  4cm, water bulging.  Broke waters.  Told them I needed to push. Got scoffed at.  11min later I was cuddling DD2.  biggrin.gif

#8 mama123

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:04 PM

I don't know for sure. Technically, she probably did all she had to. I had a similar experience with my 1st.

I had 5 different midwives. biggrin.gif

Anyway the one that was in the room for most of the time, didn't say anything as well. I had an epidural and could not stop shaking. Eventually it was time to change shifts and another older midwife came in. After a little while she looked at me and said to me "you know, if you just slow down your breathing, you won't shake and waste all your energy". I was a little panicked I guess, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. biggrin.gif

Well thank you very much! That's all I needed to know. The shaking almost stopped immediately!

I think full on coaching you through it would be ridiculous but a little tip now and again wouldn't hurt.

#9 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

QUOTE (Pooks_ @ 21/12/2012, 09:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think so. I was ok during the first stage, so I was pretty much left to myself with DP dozing on and off and occasionally running to get a middy if I needed something. I would have thought that if I wasn't coping, she would have helped. Although I wasn't coping at all during second stage and was treated a bit like a farm animal, so I don't know.

I guess part of the problem is that what is supportive for one woman isn't for another? I know I appreciated minimal noise, light and chatter. I couldn't have cared less what anyone had to say. In second stage, I think I needed the same, plus some positivity when I started having doubts. I think if you freak out, it can have bad implications for the birth, so surely part of it has to be about keeping you "coping"?


Yeah that's true. In hindsight and with this next baby I would have liked some more words of encouragement when the contractions got really bad, especially as I couldn't really be active or use water like I had hoped. I really wanted to avoid the epidural but in the end gave in because there was nothing on offer to me and I'd didnt know what to do. Like I said, my DH should have been the one providing encouragement but from conversations with my friend I was just curious if it was a midwives role to provide support as well.

I think next time I'm going to hire a doula!

#10 Goggie

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

In my experience, yes. I gave birth almost 4 months ago through a midwives program at a public hospital. I saw midwives the whole way through and an OB twice.

During labour I had a wonderful midwife who was passing me the gas and rubbing my back and talking me through it the whole way. My DH was on the other side wiping my brow and rubbing my back too. She was amazing. She calmed me down when I was screaming in agony and was there for all 4 hours of labour and only took a 10 min break. She stayed with us after he was born to help me shower and get myself organised before I went up to the ward.  She was inspiring and a true professional. I however, was a screaming mess  wink.gif  I will remember her til the day I die.

I'm sorry you had a crappy experience OP, you should absolutely feel supported during labour and it makes me sad that you didn't get that.

#11 BearBait

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

I gave birth at Freemasons in Melbourne in 2010 & 2012. The midwives were brilliant, but not intrusive. They watched & were available, when I asked for help they gave good advice, when I lost the plot they brought me back, when I needed to just get on with it they weren't fussing around. I think it depends on who you get, I was really happy. They were both more senior ladies too, had plenty of sage advice & clearly had seen it all.

#12 glowlight

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

Mine just told me to breathe rather than scream. A bit hard to follow that advice after 20 plus hours of posterior labour. She left me to it for most of my time at the hospital and was out of the room until the pushing stage when I called her back in. She was awesome when DS was born though. She kept asking me what I wanted throughout but she was there to manage labour not hold me hand through it iykwim

#13 Soontobegran

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

I think midwives often take their cues from their patients Sunnycat because some like to be touched, massaged and rubbed and talked to and others like to be left alone with peace and quiet during the latent stage of labour with coaching just through the pushing phase.

I also gave consideration to how much support the partner is because sometimes they are doing such a fine job that a midwife feels intrusive.

There are some midwives who do struggle with this and knowing their bounderies which can make the patient feel a little neglected as you seem to have been. sad.gif
There is a huge difference when labour is not accompanied by continuous monitoring and an IV because these do need quite constant vigilance, I don't like it when a labour becomes all about the machines and not the person in labour.

Hopefully next time you'll have a more positive experience, if you can get to know your midwife before your delivery it will often mean you are more comfortable in each others company in labour.

#14 Feral-Lausii

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

I have very quick births and tend to go into my own little world where nothing and no one can penetrate it, unless they try to tell me what to do. So no, midwifes have been very unhelpful in most of my births, in fact some of them were just a pita trying to tell me to lay on my back and deliver and then not listening when I was telling them I was going to push baby out now. She told me not to be silly as she couldn't see baby  and turned her back on me to set the tray up. I delivered dd leaning over the back of the bed, it was lucky she fell onto the bed and not the floor.  mad.gif And this was the same midwife I told that all 4 previous births had worked to the exact same quick timetable and I was sure this one would be the same.

I swear if I ever have another baby I will just do it at home~!

#15 littlepickle

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

well by mere definition a midwife is 'with woman' so yes they are there to support you.

They are there to ensure that you and your baby are both coping with labour.
They are there to communicate to you about what is happening to your body.
A good midwife is there when you need them but knows how to back off when you dont.
A midwife is there to help your partner to help you by showing them how to rub your back etc.
A good midwife hands you the vomit bowl ,gives you cold flannels for your face and makes you cups of sweet tea.

A good midwife shares in the excitement of the impending birth............

A great midiwfe can be the difference between a traumatic or empowering birth however it occurs.

You are entitled to ask for someone who will help you to achieve the birth you want.

good luck
littlepickle

#16 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

The two midwives who were there when I was pushing DS out were like my personal cheer squad, so I wonder if they provide different support during pushing and during contractions.

DS was posterior as well. All I wanted during contractions was to hug someone. I bout my soft toy monkey George to cuddle and at one point the midwife took him away to show the other midwives outside while my DH was throwing up in the loo!

Hopefully next time though I'll get to go to the Birth Centre and have my active water birth.

Edited by Sunnycat, 21 December 2012 - 09:10 PM.


#17 Avocado

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:09 PM

The midwife assigned to me held my hand and rubbed my back. She would tell me when the next contraction was coming. Come to think of it i wouldn't have pulled through without her. I got lucky.

#18 Feral_Pooks

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:09 PM


QUOTE (lynnemine @ 21/12/2012, 10:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think they are supposed to get the baby out safely and ensure the safety of the Mum.


I get what you are saying, but a freaked out mum can mean problems for her and baby. Eg. Because of what was happening (which I am not going in to), I completely lost the plot and I *think* that's why they did an episiotomy. With support, I strongly feel this would have been avoided. Also, some PTSD could have been avoided. Which had implications for my and DS's health. IYKWIM.

#19 roses99

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

Mine ran away  laughing2.gif

No seriously, she did.

This was with my second. She was barely there in the early stages but, to be honest, I coped better at that stage just being on my own. Then, after a two hours of labour, I hopped out of the bath, onto the bed and told her I was ready to push. She told me I couldn't possibly be. I told her I was certain I was. She looked panic stricken and just said, "Well I need time to put my tray together". Lol. She examined me, saw that I was indeed about to give birth and ran away.

Thankfully, a much more experienced midwife arrived a few minutes later and took control of the situation. She called my OB, and really helped to put my mind at ease. She was very business-like, rather than hand-holding but that was just what I needed, especially when DD got a bit stuck and it all happened very quickly (DD was born less than half an hour after I felt the need to push).

With my first, the midwife was lovely. Not hugely big on hand-holding either (I think a doula is probably a great option if it's a birth coach you're after) but she was excellent. For me, I was most  comforted by the presence of my OB since I knew him well and trusted him.



#20 katiecoop

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

I was booked at a public hospital birth centre and we were told at the initial info session and first appointment that the midwives would be in and out of the room - I guess I always expected they would be next to me, (figuratively) holding my hand through the whole thing. We hired a doula based on that info, although I was surprised that that was the case.
I would have been twice as surprised and disappointed if they hadn't mentioned it, and I hadn't thought to ask and they just weren't there the whole time.
Definitely get a doula! They are great, will do/say whatever you want them to during the contractions if you tell them beforehand.

#21 Roobear

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:12 PM

DD's labour - I had brilliant midwives - they rubbed my back, offered heat packs/water/flannels. They gave me lots of sympathy which made me feel better lol. And told me that I was doing fantastically. When she left us she gave me and DP a hug, visited the next day to check on how we were doing.

DS's labour - She sat in a corner on the computer. The only things I remember her saying to me (and there is lots I don't remember so it is probably not accurate) was a told her my birth plan and she agreed, when I stood up and lent over the bed she told me I "should do whatever is natural to me" and then I remember her speaking very sternly to me when I was completely out of control saying "You are being silly, you need to pull yourself together and calm down".

She is actually the reason that I am going down the IM path for the next baby. If I could guarantee I would get midwives like DD's birth I would be very happy to go public again. I am just not willing to roll the dice and end up with a crap midwife like last time as it really effected me.

#22 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:13 PM

I did not want cheerleading but would have liked a practical suggestions on positioning every few hours. I was having a hard posterior labour and aside from having a birth ball rolled at me early on, did not receive any positioning suggestions at all. My midwives were totally passive in that regard.

I have changed to my public hospital for my next birth (VBAC attempt) and while I have heard the midwives are much more hands on at this hospital, I am hiring a doula just in case.

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE (Sunnycat @ 21/12/2012, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The two midwives who were there when I was pushing DS out were like my personal cheer squad, so I wonder if they provide different support during pushing and during contractions.


I'd like to think that their level of support would vary according to need. The pushing stage requires a totally different type of support than first stage labour and even then this varies from mum to mum.
Some like to be quietly whispered to when it comes to pushing, others like the cheer squad and the counting.
A good midwife should be able to recognise what type of support you require and know when and how to get you back on track if necessary without the delivery suite sounding like a football match.
I admit I was better at it after I had delivered my own children. original.gif

#24 Lifesgood

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

QUOTE (littlepickle @ 21/12/2012, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
well by mere definition a midwife is 'with woman' so yes they are there to support you.

They are there to ensure that you and your baby are both coping with labour.
They are there to communicate to you about what is happening to your body.
A good midwife is there when you need them but knows how to back off when you dont.
A midwife is there to help your partner to help you by showing them how to rub your back etc.
A good midwife hands you the vomit bowl ,gives you cold flannels for your face and makes you cups of sweet tea.

A good midwife shares in the excitement of the impending birth............

A great midiwfe can be the difference between a traumatic or empowering birth however it occurs.

You are entitled to ask for someone who will help you to achieve the birth you want.

good luck
littlepickle


I would also add a good midwife doesn't leave just as you are about to push the baby out, regardless of whether her shift has finished! OP I would think it a bit heartless of your midwife not to stay for the birth when you were so close. With DD I had a 19 hour labour and my midwife that was with me for the last 8 hours of that stayed beyond the end of her shift to see DD born. I know it must become a bit humdrum after several hundred births, but that would have upset me and made me feel a bit irrelevant.

Edited by LifesGood, 21 December 2012 - 09:18 PM.


#25 Madeline's Mum

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

My midwife was amazingly supportive, she was completely supportive of my birth plan, kept all the lights off, only monitored my intermittently when she needed to and always asked my permission first (I was induced), encouraged me to have showers or baths and have great words of encouragement to push me through transition.

She also knew how much I wanted to do it completely natural and during transition when I lost my zen and total focus she offered me an epidural knowing I would turn it down and give me the confidence to keep going.

She and my doula were so amazing, they made my birth choice possible and I am so grateful to them. It can make such a difference. I highly recommend a doula if you can afford it.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

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.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

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.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Sign up now!

30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.