Jump to content

VBAC Buddy Group #14

  • Please log in to reply
160 replies to this topic

#1 Nee

Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:19 PM

New thread time.  original.gif

Link to last thread.

#2 Leha

Posted 06 July 2010 - 10:16 AM

Hi Girls

Just thought I'd pop in and update everyone on how things are going. Has been a hell of a week as DD has been really sick since Thursday and I probably only had a few hours sleep in total for about 3 nights. Anyway had my meeting with the maternity manager and unfortunaley wont be able to take my own birth pool in which is a bummer. Showed her my birth plan and seems ok with everything else (no continuous monitoring, no cannula etc). Think I will aim to stay home as long as possible and try and get there with hopefully only a few hours to go. Have requested GBS at 39 weeks instead of 37 and am probably going to try the tea tree oil or garlic thing that one of the other posters mentioned.

Baby is still head down and hopefully wont turn now. yay!!! Had my obs appointment and he seemed very confident that I had a good chance and very positive so was happy with that. I am starting to feel I have a real shot at this. Will start using my epi-no this week. Cant wait for that (not!!!).  Now I just have to practice my breathing and work on positioning and I will be ready.

Also Melissa F and I are going to try and meet up next Monday. If anyone from Sydney wishes to join us let me know.


#3 Belly82

Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:07 PM

i will join this group soon....well techinically i can  wink.gif  BUT as its early days i want to make sure its sticks sooooo i will lurk and stalk a little while longer till i get my dating scan done in 2 weeks to confirm and see bubs hearbeat etc....

im hoping to achieve a VBA2C....

Edited by Belly82, 11 July 2010 - 06:11 PM.

#4 JennAN

Posted 12 July 2010 - 08:24 PM

Hope your little girl gets better soon Leha.  Being pregnant is tiring enough without being up all night with a sick child.

Thought I'd give an update too.  I had an appointment with the ob today.  I am 37 weeks on Wednesday so it is getting close.  All things are looking good for the VBAC, so it is just a matter of waiting to go into labour now and seeing how it goes.  Hopefully I won't go too far over due (if at all) as the baby is measuring on the larger side.

I'm starting to get pretty anxious and am having some pretty strange/scary dreams about being in labour.

Anyway, we will see what happens.  Hope everyone else is doing well.

#5 ackel

Posted 13 July 2010 - 05:09 PM

Hi all, I thought I would introduce myself and join this group. I am 21 weeks and really hoping for a VBAC... My ob is really supportive and low interventionalist so lets hope my body can do it.

Last labour - spont @ 40+9, baby never engaged... waters broke at 4cm, fully dilated 6 hours later, never got that pushy feeling like I hear you get, baby still to high to vacuum out so c-section. I did have a epidural which I am going to try and avoid this time for a more active birth... I think I need that to birth this baby vaginally. Hopefully babys head was in a funny position, she wasnt posterior though.

So is anyone heard of things we can do to help birth vaginally? I am keeping fit (walking daily with the dog and toddler), seeing chiro, will head off to see acupunturist at about 30 weeks, looking into calm/hypno birthing (which is the Aust version?), will be bouncing on my fit ball in the last trimester. I took rasperberry leaf last time from 36 weeks, is anyone else doing the same? What do you all know about sage oil and evening primrose?

Goodluck to you all who wish to birth vaginally, I hope we all succeed... I know this time if I dint I will be really disappointed so need to make sure I have researched all I can so if it soesnt happen at least I have tried.

Will be thinking of you JennAn over the next few weeks

Edited by beingmumisgreat, 13 July 2010 - 05:10 PM.

#6 SpiltMilk

Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:17 PM

Hi everyone,

It was great meeting up with you, Leah!

JennAN - Do you listen to any pregnancy relaxation CDs? I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing anxiety about labour. I've popped a link in to Julie Clarke's CDs, which I've been listening to nearly every night. In particular, CD #2 and CD#3. Very positive, relaxing, helpful for getting back to sleep if you are awake in the middle of the night.

beingmumisgreat - calmbirth is the Australian version. Either is very helpful, but if I had a choice I would do calmbirth. It's newer, and I think more real than some of the hypnobirthing course material.

Welcome belly82!

I'm getting closer to my due date now. 34 weeks today! Hooray! Only 3 more weeks until I am okay to have a waterbirth in the birth centre (i.e. you must be 37 weeks). I'm in a bit of a hurry. My belly is so uncomfortable!

#7 Akeyo

Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:27 PM

Hi everyone,

Gee it's been a bit quiet in here lately! I've been a bit MIA myself as DS (19mths) has fallen into a terrible sleep hole the past 8-9 weeks and it's taken a huge toll on me as the ONLY person he will allow to settle him day or night. But I do think we may be turning a corner at long last.

Leah - Sorry to hear about your sick little one and I empathise with the lack of sleep. It’s a killer when you’re this pregnant isn’t it? That’s a shame about not being able to take your birth pool in too. I suppose at least this way you can have it set up and, more importantly filled up, in plenty of time for you to get the most out of it at home. It’s great that bubs is head down and that you are feeling so strong and positive. I’ll be interested to know how you go with the Epi-No. Are you doing it as part of that trial?

Belly82 - Welcome. Have you had your dating scan yet? Hope everything is going well.

JennAN -  Wow, you are close! I can understand some nerves might be setting in and those full on pregnancy dreams don’t help sometimes. Just remember all the preparation and work you’ve put in towards this labour and birth and that each one is different. I second Melissa’s suggestion about listening to relaxation CDs. I have a birth affirmation one by Marie Mongan (Hypnobirthing) that really helps to calm me down. I’ll be  ph34r.gif  for news...

beingmumisgreat - Sounds like you’re doing all the right things. I definitely recommend doing either the Calmbirth or Hypnobirthing course. DP and I did the latter and got SO much out of it. It really helped alleviate a lot of anxiety I had from DS’ birth and gave us fantastic tools to use in labour. Are you reading any books on natural childbirth?

Melissa F -  You’re getting pretty close too, can’t wait to hear some baby news! You've just reminded me that I need t have a chat to the MWs at my next appt about a possible waterbirth. I'm not sure if it depends on whether the MW on duty is accredited or not. I don't know yet if I will feel like birthing in water on the day but everything I have read and watched (LOTS of waterbirths on youtube!) makes it seem like such an amazing way to bring your baby into the world.

AFM: I’m 34 weeks now and my preparations have definitely kicked into a higher gear. I have been devouring everything I can get my hands on with regards to books, articles, videos, forum threads etc, to try and better prepare myself. I’ve been taking copious notes, with ideas for birth posters and affirmation cards and birth positions. Occasionally panic kicks in a little because I get the fear that there is something I’ve missed, something so obvious and huge and it’s going to affect my labour and birth terribly. Which just sends me into a whirl of yet more reading and researching! Just baggage from DS’ birth I guess. Just as well I’ve been listening to my relaxation CDs every day to balance myself out a bit!

DP and I really need to sit down and talk about things a bit more. It’s been a bit crazy because he has just started a new and pretty exciting job as well facing some big freelance writing deadlines so he has been working like a madman around the clock and I’ve been trying to support him as much as I can as well as battling it out with DS every night. I’m feeling a bit ragged to tell the truth.

Hopefully things will start to calm down a little and I will be able to focus a bit more on the baby and how we can prepare ourselves for it as a team.

I had my first acupuncture session at about 31 weeks which was so lovely and relaxing. The acupuncturist has decided to treat me weekly from 36 weeks though as everything seems to be going well otherwise so I’ll be heading back in 2 weeks.

Bubs is also head down, has been for several weeks now, and favours the left side just like DS. So far so good!

#8 SpiltMilk

Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:24 AM

Hi everyone!

Wondering whether Leah has had her baby yet. I am pretty sure she was next, and weeks ahead of me. I'm 36 weeks today! ddance.gif

missemm -  I bet I've already said this, but water birth is awesome. I believe you can labour in the water without a water birth qualified midwife, but can only birth in the water if there is a qualified water birth midwife available. It's a shame to have to get out of the bath, but better than no water at all! It is so relaxing if you get in at the right time. (As in, not in early labour, but in established labour).

That's great news that your baby is head down and on the left. Mine still seems to have enough room to swivel around from left to right. It is painful when she does that though (her head grinds against my pelvis, or at least, that's what it feels like).

#9 Akeyo

Posted 29 July 2010 - 09:31 AM

Yes Leah, you must be 39 weeks at least by now? Any news?? Will be  ph34r.gif

I have just bought a VBAC Preparation CD Set online - as recommended by a VBACer in the Active Birth thread. It has a fear release meditation on one CD, similar to HypnoBirthing, and a Birth Preparation meditation on the other. The Birth Prep is a guided meditation through the labour and birth in really good detail. I have just started listening to it and definitely recommend it. The voice is soft and English which makes a nice change from the American hypnobirthing CD I'm listening to.

I got it from Natal Hypnotherapy in case anyone is interested.

36 weeks, how exciting Melissa! Do you know it's a girl or is that a hunch? Hope she settles down on the left. DS did a few switcheroos from left to right and it is more and more painful at this stage isn't it? (ETA: Oooh just realised I called bubs DS! Perhaps it's another boy in there after all!)

I agree with you about the water - I am definitely keen to at least labour in water, if not give birth. I can imagine how much it would help to keep me relaxed and calm.

I had a MW appt earlier this week and I asked to stick my head into one of the birthing suites as a refresher. Just walking into that homely space felt so good! So different to the delivery ward where I laboured last time. It was good to remind myself of what I am working towards. Bubs has even started to engage (just 4/5) which surprised me. DS didn't begin to move down till at least 38 weeks. Hopefully that is a good omen!

Edited by missemm, 29 July 2010 - 09:33 AM.

#10 Leha

Posted 30 July 2010 - 08:15 PM

Hi Girls

Still pregnant sad.gif  unfortunatley. Im 38.5 weeks now and really wanting this baby to come out. Had my first accupuncture induction session on Wednesday to start ripening my cervix but nothing as yet. In the last week 3 of my friends have had their babies so you can imagine Im pretty keen. I feel like I have at least a week to go but you never know. Important thing is I have finally shaken this cold and flu and am excited and ready to go into labour and have a good birth.

Melissa F, you are almost at your target of 37 weeks which will allow you into the birth centre. Hope bubs continues to stay put for a few more days.

Missemm - how far are you now? Congrats on bub starting to engage. My bub has dropped as well but not sure if engaged. At my 37 week appointment I had a trainee midwife so she wasnt sure if bub was engaged but was definitely still head down.

Anyway wishing everyone well and here's hoping I go into labout over the weekend.


#11 Leha

Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

Hi Girls

Just wanted to let you know my baby boy "Jasper" was born on Tuesday morning. It was a very fast 6 hour natural labour with no drugs or intervention. Bub was 3.42kg and 50cm long and I didnt even tear despite having an episiotomy last time. 2nd stage was only 20minutes!!

Anyway just wanted to drop in and share. Will post full details over the next few days.


#12 Akeyo

Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:59 AM


Wow Leah, that is such wonderful news! Such a fast labour and only a 20 minute 2nd stage! This is exactly what us VBACers need to hear. Can't wait to hear all the details. In the meantime rest up and enjoy your new little man xx

Edited by missemm, 06 August 2010 - 09:59 AM.

#13 Bluey04

Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:07 AM

Congrats Leah!!! Awesome effort. I am so jealous - i hope my next VBAC only has a 20 minute second stage original.gif

Edited by Bluey04, 06 August 2010 - 01:24 PM.

#14 sparkle77

Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:58 AM

Hi ladies,

Can I join?  I am due April 2011. I had a c/s in March 2008 as DD was footling breech.  It was the most horrible thing, and I plan never to have another c/s again!

Right now, I want to surround myself with positive people who believe my body can give birth even if I had a surgical birth last time.

#15 SpiltMilk

Posted 07 August 2010 - 11:48 AM

Congratulations, Leah! Looking forward to hearing all about it soon!

Welcome sparkle!

#16 Hannahbanana

Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:57 PM

Congratultions Leha on the arrival of your little man!!

#17 Akeyo

Posted 10 August 2010 - 08:33 PM

Hi guys,

Welcome sparkle77  original.gif

Melissa, only 2 weeks to go, how exciting! You're a bit of an old hand at this VBAC business by now aren't you? Can I ask if you were overdue for either of your VBAC babies?

I had a MW appt at the BC today and to my surprise was told I HAD to have a cannula. This is news to me as there was no mention of a cannula at my booking appt where we discussed hospital policy in depth nor at my OB appt where we did the same. I was always told I would be treated like any other labouring woman. How does a cannula fit in with that?? The MW said they didn't like to do it but they had no choice - implying neither did I - and that if it made me feel any better they would delay putting it in until as late as possible and if I arrived fully dilated then it probably wouldn't go in at all as there wouldn't be enough time.

I thought I would go away and process this and discuss it again with them next week. The implication was if I don't agree to the cannula then I can't give birth in the BC. Would this be true? Surely I can just refuse?

The good news was that I can have a water birth there, regardless of which MW is on duty. They are all accredited. 30% of all births in the BC are in water apparently. I still don't know if that's what I will want on the day (though I know I will definitely want to labour in water) but it's nice to know it can happen if I so desire.

I had another session with our doula on the weekend. This time DP was able to be there which was great as he hasn't really had a chance to get to know her that well yet. We covered a lot of ground and I felt so READY afterwards, like we are doing everything we can to prepare for this birth. It was a great feeling. We're going to meet one more time in 2 weeks to do a Fear Release meditation together. I am so glad we decided to get a doula this time, and am even happier with the choice of doula I made. It was such an instinctive thing really. Initially I was focused on finding someone who was experienced with VBACs but in the end, she and I just clicked so well and I felt instantly calmer and more relaxed in her presence and I thought, well that has to be a good thing!

Leah Hope everything is going well with Jasper and you're all settling in beautifully together.

#18 SpiltMilk

Posted 11 August 2010 - 12:39 AM


Still waiting.

Missemm - I haven't gone over yet. Boys both born at 38.1 and 37.5. Hoping very
much that this little one will follow suit, but hope is starting to wane to acceptance that there is not much to do but wait. My midwife has been very reassuring that she doesn't think I'll go anywhere near 40 weeks, but how she knows, I have no idea.

With my first, I turned up to hospital practically crownng, and inserting a cannula was never an issue. For second VBAC, midwife's attitude was that if she needed to get one in, she would. So basically it didn't happen. Hasn't even been mentioned this time, but I'm actually not all that fussed about cannulas anyway. No big deal as long as the most competent person available is doing it. No way someone who is unsure of themselves. The competence makes a big difference to the pain on insertion. Anyway, it sounds like the midwife you spoke to is sympathetic, and willing to delay sound promising.

Great news about waterbirth option for you! I'd better try to get more sleep. I had a go with the Epi No a couple of nights ago, just in case that was what my subconscious needed to get started, but I think I am just waiting for baby to be ready.

Edited by Melissa F, 11 August 2010 - 12:42 AM.

#19 Guest_lizzylou82_*

Posted 11 August 2010 - 01:30 PM

COngratulations to those how have given birth:)

I don't pop in here often but couldn't help but comment on the cannulation issue.

I passionatley researched cannulation as part of my research on vbacs being allowed in a birth centre. The one thing that pops up is there is no research to say it improves outcomes. CANA actually researched for me as well and their opinion is that it is unnessesary, not evidence based and can hinder a birth which needs to be left unhindered original.gif Yes some women find them okay, but for others it can deaden your whole arm. Especially if you have been in hands and kneesfor 4 hours wink.gif

Also, I know an ER nurse who flat out told me it is a load of bollocks that they *need* it in in the case of a bleed out. She said people who are bleeding out being rushed into emergency can be cannulated. She also told me they can get a line into your neck if need be, since your julgular is as round as a 10 cent piece.

Anyway. If I were you, I would sign a conscientious objection form and take this to the Research Midwife or your local maternity coaltion rep if they try to boot you out. It's not okay for them to omit the truth about their requirements and threaten to dumpyou if you don't comply.

As a consumer of a product its important to stand up for what you want original.gif

Change in policy never comes from the inside, becuase it's often harder on them. It comes from consumers demanding better care of their births and their bodies original.gif

Blah. Rant over! lol

#20 Akeyo

Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:40 PM

lizzylou - this is my issue as well. I don't like that they have just sprung this on me at almost 37 weeks and the offer to delay it doesn't impress me either as I'm not going to want anyone trying to stick it in while I'm in transition or pushing. I don't have an issue with needles in general, it's having the thing in my hand while I'm in labour. I don't want it to affect my choice of position - ie I can't go on my hands and knees because the cannula is in the way.

On the grand scale of things it's not a deal-breaker by any stretch - I was far more concerned about continuous monitoring - but it's a bit frustrating nonetheless to be thrown a curve ball at this late stage. Makes me wonder what else they're going to pull out of their policy hat between now and the birth.

I'll bring it up at my next appt - as I will most likely have a different MW - and discuss it more in depth.

Melissa, did you have your babies at the same hospital? Any niggles yet? With your other little ones who came early, did you get a sign/feeling that labour was imminent or did it just start out of the blue?

Any news from JennAN? I know she was overdue a week ago, poor love. Hope she has had some positive developments since then.

#21 Akeyo

Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:22 AM

ph34r.gif for news MelissaF....

#22 Belly82

Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:27 AM

Hi girls...i think i might officially join the group but i am still very early...10wks... booking into the Royal Womens in Sydney where they will let me vba2c! under Dr Andrew Bisits when he joins as the head of the Birthing Unit in October!

Meeting my independant midwife on tuesday so things are moving along....still hesitant to tell everyone till the magic 12wks passes... not long now....

Good luck to all the girls that are ready to pop!


#23 SpiltMilk

Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:25 AM

Hi everyone!

My lovely new baby girl arrived on Sunday, at 1:36am. I had a waterbirth at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney. A few quick details. I was just short of 39 weeks. Regular contractions started at 9:30pm, about 10 minutes apart and 1 min long. I called my midwife (Midwifery Group Practice) around 11pm (lucky she was on nights this week!), when they were getting closer, to see if she thought I should try to go to bed, or keep upright and try to keep it going. She said go to bed. I had a shower and went to bed, but it was no use in the end. Called her again at about 12:30am to go to hospital. DH and I were there 10 minutes later, and a lovely delivery suite midwife let us into the birth centre and started running the bath. Got in the bath. More labour... and then DD born at 1:36am. Very short 2nd stage (pushing) of 6 minutes. So in the end, it was pretty quick, and all the painful prelabour paid off. No vaginal examinations at any point. Went with my instincts this time.

I had a minor scrape (first degree only), but my midwife used the opportunity to tidy up the damage from the last couple of births, and my vagina looks better than it has since DS1! (Midwife this time around is a dab hand with patchwork.) I have a little bit of vaginal wall prolapse, so will have to get stuck into pelvic floor exercises straight away. It's not serious, only cosmetic.

missemm - you asked about prelabour. Each time I have had drawn out prelabour (i.e. painful Braxton Hicks) of a couple of weeks before labour really kicked in. This time, I also had awful indigestion in the afternoon and after dinner. On the other hand, I have been longing for labour to start, and had no idea when it would be this time. I was VERY uncomfortable since hitting 37 weeks. DH said that when I was in established labour, I looked happy for the first time in ages. happy.gif

I've had all 3 VBACs at the Royal, in the Birth Centre. Anyone who wants to know who my midwife was, just PM. Can't recommend her highly enough.

Belly82 - awesome news about your VBA2C book in. There are some wonderful midwives at the Royal, if you choose to have midwifery care. The Midwifery Group Practice (midwives in teams of 4 or 5) VBAC success rate is over 70 or 80%. (My midwife told me the exact figure, but I was getting a few stitches at the time...)

ETA: Good luck everyone. I will monitor this thread for news, but may not be checking in every day anymore :-( PM if you need to ask me anything.

ETA #2: The last few contractions before transition - I started to doubt my ability to give birth. I thought I'd just share, to help anyone having their first VBAC. I kind of knew it was transition. I said to my midwife, "A caesar would not be better, right?" and "An epidural wouldn't help, would it?" She told me I'd have the baby before the anaesthetist turned up. And then it was time to push. Transition...

Edited by Melissa78, 19 August 2010 - 12:34 AM.

#24 Puggle

Posted 19 August 2010 - 12:37 AM

Oh, congratulations Melissa! What a lovely birth you had, thank you for sharing.

QUOTE (Melissa78 @ 19/08/2010, 12:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ETA: Good luck everyone. I will monitor this thread for news, but may not be checking in every day anymore :-( PM if you need to ask me anything.

laughing2.gif you edited this while I was in the process of replying, I was going to say I wasn't surprised you had a busy week, it is August after all wink.gif :

DD1 - August 2004 (c/s at 35wks with placenta previa grade IV)
DS1 - August 2006 (VBAC ~ natural birth)
DS2 - August 2008 (VBAC ~ water birth)
DD2 - August 2010 (VBAC ~ water birth)

That is some amazing pattern you have there!

Congratulations again, and welcome to the world little girl.

#25 SpiltMilk

Posted 19 August 2010 - 02:04 PM

Thanks, Puggle!

I've got one more thing I have to share with my VBAC buddies. My waters didn't break before DD was born, and I never had a show. DD was born in the caul, as they say.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


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.


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.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

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.