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Birthzilla? I'm happy to wear the badge


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#1 EBeditor

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:11 AM

By Prue Corlette

I love hearing and talking about birth. At mothers' group, playgroup or wherever there is a congregation of newish parents, and the subject inevitably comes up, I am always at the middle of the conversation, asking questions, nodding along or clucking sympathetically.

Despite the traumatic birth of my twins, (you can read about it here) I would love to do it all again, this time with a proper plan in place. But according to writer Mia Freedman, this makes me a Birthzilla. Freedman likens what she calls the 'Birthzilla' to a Bridezilla - a woman whose meticulous plans and demands for her wedding apparently mean she cares more about the ceremony than the marriage. In the same way, says Freedman, the Birthzilla - one who prepares for a baby's birth with a written birth plan - places an undue amount of importance on the birth process than the resulting baby.

I didn't write a birth plan during my pregnancy. I didn't think I would need one, because my midwife and the obstetrician knew exactly what my preferences were. They took notes during our appointments, so I didn’t see any reason to have my own list. I didn't expect to be transferred to another hospital with unfamiliar staff and procedures – a place where I wasn't even “allowed” to wear my own nightgown or have my mother and sister present for the birth.

I carry a fair bit of resentment over the way I was treated during the birth of my twins. I hated almost every minute in that hospital and I completely understand why women choose to have homebirths, especially following a traumatic birth. Do I think having a birth plan would have changed things in my case? Probably not, but having a set of simple requests would have reassured me that the staff knew at the very least, that my husband wanted to cut the umbilical cord, rather than the medical student who was so quick to grab the scissors.

Mia says that for the Birthzilla, it's all about the birth, not the baby, but can't it be about both? Birth is a huge deal for most women. I looked forward to giving birth so much, and I am really disappointed I didn't get to birth the way I wanted. And I don't mean that I didn't get the drug free, natural birth I envisaged, rather that I didn't feel safe, supported or respected by the people looking after me.

My sister, a midwife, would agree in part with Mia. She gave a sad little smile when, early in my pregnancy I floated the idea of a birth plan past her - she has seen many paper plans torn in half once the contractions really kick in – but she didn't try and talk me out of it. She laughed a bit, but when I said it was less about jungle drums in the background, and more about practicalities (let my partner announce the sex, cut the cord, wash the baby etc) she agreed that they can have some merit in the birth suite.

Ultimately, a birth plan is about putting it in writing that a woman's body is to be treated with respect and dignity by her caregivers - not simply as a vessel or incubator for the baby. I care about the baby, but I also care about me. If that makes me a Birthzilla, I'll happily wear the badge.

#2 Summers

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:22 AM

I'd be pretty mad about that med student cutting the cord instead of your husband. Unbelievable your husband wasn't asked first!

#3 Squeekums Da Feral

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:34 AM

I never had one.
Unless having a big red note on your hospital folder saying HIDE ANY NEEDLES - extremely phobic is a plan.

Finding out with 13 weeks to go left me with little time to think about planning the birth, getting my head around being pregnant was enough at the time.

Only after i had dd i heard about birth plans and i'm kinda glad cos if i plan something i freak out if the plan dosen't go to plan.
Given how quick everything went i don't even think i would have rememberd it if i had one either.



#4 fick

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:45 AM

I think there's a big difference between "a few simple requests" and a "Birthzilla".

We didn't really have a plan with the birth of our daughter. We just wanted to make sure that I was the one to cut the cord, that we had plenty of skin-to-skin time and that we got the chance to be left alone with her for a couple of hours after she was born. We were lucky enough to get all those things.

After that? Well things went way beyond pear-shaped and I think we're both still a bit traumatized by it all, but that was through no fault of the hospital. Our path just ended up taking us down a different road. One filled with surgeries and ICU and a lot of not knowing. It was crazy.

I guess we'll just have to see what happens next time. original.gif

#5 Feral_Pooks

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:01 AM

Prue. I'm so sorry.

We should be treated with care and respect, plan or no.

It doesn't always happen and medical people should be held accountable for it.

I just totally understood your points and I'm just so sorry there was such needless disregard for your emotional well being during the birth.

Of course we know plans can go to hell when the health of mum and bubs override some preferences, but things like explaining, keeping you informed, being supportive, doing things like cord cutting etc. when there's no medical reason not to go with the mothers wishes... These should happen whereever possible.

It doesn't.

#6 opethmum

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:16 AM

For my DD, I went in with the attitude of it does not matter how my body is used to get my DD born safely into this world. I did a birth plan a few weeks prior but then I discovered the futility of it, my DD born safely into this world mattered the most. If I was going to be ripped to shreds so be it.
When it did come time for her to be born, I went in the hospital with view to becoming my own discovery channel and it did not matter one bit how my DD was brought into this world as long as she was born alive and healthy.
I had a 19 hour labour and then had to have a caesar due to her being stuck at the beginning of the birth canal. If I had rigidly stuck to my plan and been so invested we may have had a different story. I looked at my futile birth plan post birth and looked how ridiculous some of the "requests" were. I was proud to have a gorgeous baby girl and that I had given birth to her.
In a way birth plans are futile and could lead to devastating outcomes and could set the mother up for deep seated emotional pain especially if you are heavily invested in your birth plan. I am alarmed to see that we are heading towards an ego driven labour experience and making it all about the mother when in essence it should be all about the baby entering in to this world in the safest manner possible. I can understand a few requests be it for religious and personal preferences like skin to skin contact and breastfeeding etc but having erroneous and copious contract like terms on a birth plan really is ridiculous and could put you and your baby in danger. These 'zillas get my goat and they have really missed the point about being a parent, it is about sacrifices and sometimes we have to sacrifice our personal things for the sake of our children.
But each to their own I suppose.

#7 KittyKat1

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

QUOTE (peebs @ 22/06/2012, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wouldn't think that needs to be put in writing.

I'm afraid I agree with Mia on this one, but that's just me. My birth didn't go the way I wanted it to - not by a LONG shot - but the emergency CS likely saved DS's life, and having a birth plan wouldn't have changed a single thing about the way my labour and birth turned out.

All the 'Zilla's' of any kind drive me batty.


I don't see a birth plan as a list of the things that need to happen to get me the perfect birth. I see it as a document that outlines my wishes in the event that things go well or if things go not so well.

Whilst I really wanted to avoid a cs my birth plan outlined what I wanted if it did come about, for example taking baby to recovery with me.

#8 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:25 AM

QUOTE (peebs @ 22/06/2012, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wouldn't think that needs to be put in writing.

I'm afraid I agree with Mia on this one, but that's just me. My birth didn't go the way I wanted it to - not by a LONG shot - but the emergency CS likely saved DS's life, and having a birth plan wouldn't have changed a single thing about the way my labour and birth turned out.

All the 'Zilla's' of any kind drive me batty.


The  sign of someone who HAS been treated with respect by their medical team!!

This doesn't always happen, but sure, so long as YOU were happy with what happened to YOU we should all be happy!

back on topic...

This whole 'zilla' thing really gets to me! Why the **** shouldn't we have a say? Why does that make us some sort of hysterical, shrill narcisist only interested in our health!!?? Jesus wept!

I had a birthplan, they are a GOOD idea, especially if you want something outside normal practice...such as, not wanting pethidine, wanting an epidural as soon as possible, not wanting medical students present...getting these things down on paper BEFORE all hell breaks loose and you're pushing a baby out is a GOOD idea!!

So I'll wear that badge with pride too pru! You can bet your a*se if I ever did it again there'd be an AIR TIGHT birthplan in place to stop the car crash of my twins birth happening again!

#9 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:31 AM

QUOTE (opethmum @ 22/06/2012, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For my DD, I went in with the attitude of it does not matter how my body is used to get my DD born safely into this world. I did a birth plan a few weeks prior but then I discovered the futility of it, my DD born safely into this world mattered the most. If I was going to be ripped to shreds so be it.
When it did come time for her to be born, I went in the hospital with view to becoming my own discovery channel and it did not matter one bit how my DD was brought into this world as long as she was born alive and healthy.
I had a 19 hour labour and then had to have a caesar due to her being stuck at the beginning of the birth canal. If I had rigidly stuck to my plan and been so invested we may have had a different story. I looked at my futile birth plan post birth and looked how ridiculous some of the "requests" were. I was proud to have a gorgeous baby girl and that I had given birth to her.
In a way birth plans are futile and could lead to devastating outcomes and could set the mother up for deep seated emotional pain especially if you are heavily invested in your birth plan. I am alarmed to see that we are heading towards an ego driven labour experience and making it all about the mother when in essence it should be all about the baby entering in to this world in the safest manner possible. I can understand a few requests be it for religious and personal preferences like skin to skin contact and breastfeeding etc but having erroneous and copious contract like terms on a birth plan really is ridiculous and could put you and your baby in danger. These 'zillas get my goat and they have really missed the point about being a parent, it is about sacrifices and sometimes we have to sacrifice our personal things for the sake of our children.
But each to their own I suppose.


I really don't understand your post??

Are you actually seriously trying to say that someone with a birthplan is going to stick to it even if it means their baby dies?? Are you serious!!?? You really are just joking right??

My birth plan had details about pain relief, details about who I wanted with me AND had details about what I wanted to have happen if I needed a section (which I eventually did).

How was ANY of that putting my children in danger!!??

#10 TenYears

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:41 AM

All you have to do to meet Mia's definition of birthzilla is have the termerity to have an opinion over how you'd deliver the placenta.    

Spare me from a world where opinions over how your body is treated make you some kind of demanding shrew.  If I wanted to live somewhere like that I'd move to the American midwest and become a cheerleader for ageing male senators who want to legislate over vaginas, wombs and contraception.

The whole 'it doesn't matter as long as the baby's healthy thing' annoys me immensely.  Only an extremist would deny that the most overwhelmingly important outcome is a healthy baby, but we all have the capacity to hope for more than one thing.  Since when don't a woman's body and emotions matter?  Since she becomes a mother?  I'm more than happy to reject the suggestion that motherhood comes with even a slight loss of personhood.

A healthy baby shouldn't be the gold standard.  A healthy baby and healthy mother should be the gold standard and part of that is remembering the small human touches, even under emergency circumstances,  that can be the difference between a difficult/emergency birth and a terrifying source of ongoing trauma.

I've had two labours with zero birthplans.  The first time I didn't need one, as the entire philosophy of the birth centre encapsulated what I was hoping for anyway, with the procedures for transfer being well explained beforehand if things did go awry.

The second was unpleasant, with unfamiliar staff members talking over me rather than to me, not calling my doctor because they believed incorrectly that I wasn't in labour, not keeping me informed (unnecessarily), and resulting in some genuine moments of terror that could easily have been avoided.

Having had it both ways, I think anyone who would argue that the latter is all we deserve has rocks in their head.  The former doesn't require any extra time, funding, training or anything like that.  Just a little extra understanding from some (not all) staff, that actually yes, the woman does matter too.

Edited by Sevenyears, 22 June 2012 - 09:48 AM.


#11 EBeditor

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:44 AM

You know, women aren't idiots. I'd say 99% of them know that birth is unpredictable and that intervention is often needed to save the life of their baby - if not the mother herself.

The difference is doing that with respect and dignity and then treating a mother the way Prue was treated. I've read enough birth stories on EB to know that hers is not an isolated case, too.

I didn't get my ideal birth the first time around, it was long and delayed and the full cascade of interventions. The difference is that the staff, on the most part, were kind and supportive and implemented the plan where possible, e.g showing me the placenta after birth, which I'd forgotten I'd even put in there! So I felt reassured afterwards that there was nothing else that could have been done differently and achieved the same good outcome (healthy baby, reasonably OK mum).

I was lucky enough that was was a hospital that implements the stuff most people put in their birth plan anyway - no automatic episiotomy, skin-to-skin, no drugs offered unless a woman requests etc.

It is a shame that the public hospital experience of birth can vary so greatly.

ETA: Brilliant post sevenyears!

#12 Ingrid the Swan

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:45 AM

We had a birth plan and I don't think it makes us Birthzillas.

Our plan, which we talked through extensively with our doula, didn't just cover the optimal natural birth DP wanted. It also covered what drugs she was and was not willing to have if the need arose, also what happens in a caesarian and what options were still available to us. Instead of being a rigid document we had to follow, it was for us a way of opening our minds to all the possibilities of the birth and preparing ourselves with knowledge so that any of myself, DP and the doula could make a decision at short notice taking into account DP's wishes.

Further, I have medical and vomit phobias which I only have somewhat under control - having a doula, and having that in the birth plan, meant that DP would have support even if I failed, and also that my needs as partner were considered too.

I think the assumption is being made that birth plan = rigidity = must have natural birth at all costs. That wasn't the case for us. For awhile it looked like DD would have to be born by elective caesar as she was breech - part of our plan was exploring what would happen at caesar and what our options would be.

We did have a complication free birth in the end - whether the plan helped or whether it would have gone smoothly anyway, I don't know - but I felt a lot more confident having it there.

For me, a Birthzilla is someone like a friend of DP's, who had a homebirth against all medical advice, and littered our FB pages with articles about how OBs just wanted to slice you up to fit around their golf games and steal all your money, even after she knew we were happy with our choice of OB. Not someone who thinks things through beforehand.

Edited by Dabri, 22 June 2012 - 10:00 AM.


#13 Futureself

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:52 AM

Prue, I'm sorry for your experience especially at the surprise hospital - it treally beggers belief that you would even need to tell a care team that you want your DH to cut the cord.

BUT I think I know who Mia is referring to when she calls someone a Birthzilla - it's not the woman who has talked through pain relief options with her care team and noted on a plan: "No pethidine, just Gas then  Epidural". Rather the one who attempts to prescribe everything that is going to happen from the moment contractions start and who hasn't even thought about what is actually offered in her hospital or discussed what will happen if the birth deviates from 'optimal'. So everyone who has noted thoughts and has a piece of paper to take with them doesn't need to get offended. I don't think we're wjo she is referring to.


QUOTE (opethmum @ 22/06/2012, 09:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I looked at my futile birth plan post birth and looked how ridiculous some of the "requests" were.

This makes me wonder what you were asking and whether your plan WAS completely unrealistic. Not one of my dot points on my one page plan that covers all stages through to C-section in a few clear points is odd or unrealistic . Rather, they are the preferences I've chosen from what I know are available options in case scenarios such as Pain relief or cord cutting. I have to laugh at those plans I've seen that after every single extreme demand is an "except in emergency" disclaimer. It will obviously be an emergency before you're given a blood transfusion or your baby is admitted to NICU but good thing you noted it in your plan  huh.gif

#14 glasnost

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:55 AM

QUOTE (Sevenyears @ 22/06/2012, 09:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All you have to do to meet Mia's definition of birthzilla is have the termerity to have an opinion over how you'd deliver the placenta.


Yes, I am usually not anti-Mia however one of the things I hate most about her article is the hypocrisy.  On one hand she calls herself a feminist however in this article she resorts to name-calling of any women who wants to have some kind of control over her body. Had your husband with you during your labour? The hospital allowed you to move round during labour instead of being forced onto your back with your legs in strirrups? Allowed access to your own baby to feed and cuddle when ever you liked instead of having them whisked away to a nursery guarded by a scary matron? Well, you can certainly thank the "birthzillas" of the previous generations for that.

#15 TenYears

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE
I have to laugh at those plans I've seen that after every single extreme demand is an "except in emergency" disclaimer.


Possibly that statement is to make it obvious to the 'birth plan = rigid birth fascist' brigade that the writer is actually well aware that some things become impossible once an emergency occurs?

#16 follies

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE (EBeditor @ 22/06/2012, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was lucky enough that was was a hospital that implements the stuff most people put in their birth plan anyway - no automatic episiotomy, skin-to-skin, no drugs offered unless a woman requests etc.


My hospital was the same, they let my partner cut the cord, I discovered the sex myself, they even asked if I would like my placenta encapsulated (the answer was thanks but no thanks by the way). None of these things were requested, they were expected by the staff that this is what the mother wants. Four weeks later when admitted to pediatrics they even offered to send the lactation consultant down to see how we were going.

I received better treatment then many people I know that went private.

#17 Abcde-La-A

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:08 AM

QUOTE (mamasaurus @ 22/06/2012, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, I am usually not anti-Mia however one of the things I hate most about her article is the hypocrisy.  On one hand she calls herself a feminist however in this article she resorts to name-calling of any women who wants to have some kind of control over her body. Had your husband with you during your labour? The hospital allowed you to move round during labour instead of being forced onto your back with your legs in strirrups? Allowed access to your own baby to feed and cuddle when ever you liked instead of having them whisked away to a nursery guarded by a scary matron? Well, you can certainly thank the "birthzillas" of the previous generations for that.
Hear hear. A very good point.

I didn't have a birth plan but that was chiefly because I was in a hospital where I had discussed the "norm" with the midwives and satisfied myself that they routinely manage births in a respectful and empowering way. With that in mind, I was happy to just allow the process to unfold.

I do think women need to be realistic about their birth plans and the fact that life sometimes gets in the way, only because some women experience such excruciating guilt, shame and disappointment if their labour doesn't go according to plan.

But I don't think the term "birthzilla" is helpful or appropriate.

#18 mum201

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:32 AM

I read Mia's article and whilst normally a fan, on this topic I totally disagree. She makes out that everyone who has a birth plan is a birthzilla, who wants their drug free, intervention free birth at any cost to the baby. It simply isn't true.
Whilst there are the women who are set on a birth happening a certain natural, drug free way and are distraught if it doesnt happen like this, most women I know (including myself) who wrote them, are just making their preferences known because when you are in labour you are not in the best frame of mind to make yourself understood. It took the pressure off my DH as well as he could just focus on supporting me instead of answering questions that he had no idea as the answer to under extreme stress.
All my birth plan was, was saying what drugs I was open to the minute I walked through the door. Epidural if really long active labour. Avoid CS unless safest for baby. Active placenta delivery please. Oh and that I wanted the tub filled as soon as active labour kicked in and please offer gas from the get go. What is wrong with that?
I know one woman whose birth plan said get the epidural in my back the minute I walk through the door!

#19 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (peebs @ 22/06/2012, 09:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's true, you're right. I guess because I'd responded to Prue's story in a post of hers months ago I didn't again here, but of course that is very true. Prue's experience was so, so wrong and I am certainly going by my own experience in my reply.

I guess what I'm saying is treating the mother with respect SHOULD be a given in all births, the fact that it's apparently not doesn't mean being a 'Birthzilla' should be necessary, but rather those not treating women correctly should be held accountable.

Does being one of these 'Zilla's' change the outcome (legit question)?


Yeah, respect SHOULD be a given in any situation, but sometimes it's not.

I remember one distressing bit during my twins birth. I was 20 hours in to the induction, hyperstimulated uterus, epidural not working, damaged nerves in leg, throwing up, kidneys failing. This moronic midwife refused to believe the epi wasn't working.

They'd just come in to my room to say they needed to do a section. They insisted on putting a clip on DS head even though DD was in distress. The midwife was elbow deep inside me joking with another midwife about how she might have felt an ear pop out...I was surrounded my medical staff, legs out arm inside me and SHE is having a JOKE with someone else.

Luckily I had an excellent medical team, my OB saw that I was about to use the last of my strength to punch her lights out and asked her to leave the room and not come back.

So yeah, respect SHOULD be a given, but people are people.


As for whether being a 'zilla' changes the outcome...christ I HATE that term!! Does getting cross about my treatment make me a zilla? Is it because I was a female and I had objections to being treated like a piece of meat? Does THAT make me a zilla?

If being a zilla means that I have an opinion, that I am not afraid to voice AND I have a vagina then **** it...I'm a zilla and proud of it!!

#20 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:50 AM

According to a a member on EB I am a Mumzilla for not consulting and sharing every detail of my pregnancy with my extended family - becuase having a baby is not "just about me"   NO its about me and my husband and our baby and making decisions that are best for us.  

First there is Mumzilla, then Birthzilla, then boobzilla.   It will never end. stuff them all.

#21 Tesseract

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:52 AM

If we called it a Birth Preferences list would that help? Because that's what my birth plan was, a list of my preferences. It was good to get them down on paper so DH and I could focus on the task at hand and my caregivers knew from the get go.

While my birth plan had a little bit about my preferences to facilitate the drug free, intervention free birth I wanted (don't offer drugs, please suggest positions if you think I need it, physiological third stage), it was actually more about my preferences in case things didn't go smoothly - ie fetal heart rate monitoring with the wireless thingy if possible (don't remember the exact terms now!), skin to skin after birth unless bubs is in danger, baby with me in recovery if I have a c-section.

It's not about sticking to some ridiculous plan, it's about letting your care givers know your preferences. What on earth is wrong with that?! When we live in a society where the maternity system allows women to have long-term prenatal contact with an individual midwife who has the time and inclination to talk through all this stuff then maybe we won't need birth plans. But until then women have a right to have a say about what happens to them, and the best way to communicate is via writing down your list of preferences - a birth plan.

Imagine this situation: man goes to hospital for surgery. He is stripped, drugged, talk on top of, med students in the room, cut without consent. The next time he has to go into surgery he wants to have a conversation with his care givers about how he should be treated. Does Mia think he ought to get over himself because hey, he's getting health care provided to him, he should stop being so damn selfish, it's not about the experience after all, it's about the outcome.

#22 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 22 June 2012 - 10:52 AM

QUOTE (Chief Pancake Make @ 22/06/2012, 10:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
According to a a member on EB I am a Mumzilla for not consulting and sharing every detail of my pregnancy with my extended family - becuase having a baby is not "just about me"   NO its about me and my husband and our baby and making decisions that are best for us.  

First there is Mumzilla, then Birthzilla, then boobzilla.   It will never end. stuff them all.


Didn't you know

female + opinion = hysterical

It's as old as time...

#23 PurpleNess

Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:12 AM

I totally agree Prue, I had a Birth Intentions doc my midwife had & I believe it played a role in my birth, she was aware of our wishes & respected them to a tee. Of course we made allowances for interventions, emergencies etc but I'm also a believer in positive thoughts & writing it down on paper helped me visualise my birth & mine & babies subsequent care.

I hate the term Birthzilla, but if having a written list of 'wishes or intentions on how I want my body & baby to be treated during labour & birth makes me one then post me the Tshirt - I'll wear it with pride.

#24 feralgreenthumbs

Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:41 AM

I had a whole bunch of points as to why I feel the way I do, but I realised someone would find a way to argue with me.

I had one, it wasn't paid any attention.

I will have one next time too and I'll probably be a 'zilla about.

#25 Procrastinator5000

Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

QUOTE (mamasaurus @ 22/06/2012, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Had your husband with you during your labour? The hospital allowed you to move round during labour instead of being forced onto your back with your legs in strirrups? Allowed access to your own baby to feed and cuddle when ever you liked instead of having them whisked away to a nursery guarded by a scary matron? Well, you can certainly thank the "birthzillas" of the previous generations for that.



That's so true, and so often applies to many social issues that people take for granted, forgetting that previous generations of women fought passionately to get the rights that you now enjoy.

People called them all kinds of names!

Personally, I had a birth plan the first time round but it never came out of the bag and nobody read it. There was too much going on! Thankfully, I had a straightforward birth and nothing to complain about but I really feel for those who felt violated and traumatised.




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What's hot on EB

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss, as it involves toilet talk. But it needs to be talked about.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
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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.