Born too early: Shea and Tainn's story

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Jannette Cass-Dunbar In Australia, around 57 babies are born prematurely (before 37 weeks) each day. EB member Jannette tells her story about her twin sons, who were born at 24 weeks.

'I could not be more proud of her': A mum's story of life with a child with ASD

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Erin Law Essential Baby member Erin Law is a mum of three. Her daughter Bailey has autism, and Erin has Asperger's Syndrome herself. A year after her diagnosis, and on World Autism Awareness Day, she shares her story.

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Feature member story: Emma and Big Dog Rescue

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As told to Nic Salinas Essential Baby member Emma Bigwood always loved dogs - and now she's making a difference by helping save the lives of many canines. She shares her story.

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Because of you: what we've learnt from our daughter with Down syndrome

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Julia Watson As part of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we share a story from EB member Julia Watson, who has a daughter with Down syndrome. She recalls the ways her little girl has changed their family for the better ...

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Even though I've never met you, I couldn't do it without you

Mums group

Jane McKay Jane McKay signed up to the Essential Baby forum when pregnant with her first baby - but she didn't expect to make enduring friendships that would carry her through the highs and lows of motherhood.

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Feature member story: a gift for Chloe

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Nic Salinas Per gram, the infusions Chloe receives are worth more than gold, but for her and her family, the contents are truly priceless. Her mum shares why the gift of blood donation has given the family - and Chloe - a new life.

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Feature member story: My son's type 1 diabetes diagnosis

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Nic Salinas Kristy Watts is mum to a 14-year-old boy and lives in Adelaide, SA. This is the story of how her son was diagnosed with the potentially fatal disease type 1 diabetes.

James' brave battle

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Gail Clark In February of this year our entire world crumbled down around us. My beautiful, healthy, strong five and a half year old son James was about to start the hardest fight of his life. He had just been diagnosed with liver cancer.

Feature member story: Feeding Aurora

Martina feeding Aurora

Nic Salinas Diagnosed with Noonan's Syndrome, Aurora Valentine Cunningham was sent to this Earth for only a very short time. Now, during World Breastfeeding Week, Aurora's mother Martina Kerr shares the battle she fought to ensure Aurora received her nourishing breastmilk, despite many obstacles.

Feature member story: Sophie's new liver

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Nic Salinas My name is Jo and I am Sophie’s Mum. Thanks to the life-saving gift she received, from the grieving parents of a child, we have our daughter back.

Our determined little Rose

Feature member story: Rose Thumb

Michelle Irvine Not many people know that babies can have strokes, even unborn babies.

What to expect when you are no longer expecting

Miscarriage

Jayne D'Arcy After my recent miscarriage, I felt that very little has been written about it - which is amazing as it's happening all the time.

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Don't pity me because my child has Down syndrome

Georgia Watson

Julia Watson Julia talks about the joy her children give her and dealing with Down syndrome and the last thing she ever wants is pity.

Feature member story: Surviving suicide

Surviving suicide

Nic Salinas I always thought when I wrote my story; it would be my journey through fertility problems and recurrent miscarriage, not one of losing a family member to suicide.

A touch of hope

After being told having a baby would be near impossible for me - falling naturally at 40 years old was a miracle and a dream come true.

Leearne Hynes After being told having a baby would be near impossible for me - falling naturally at 40 years old was a miracle and a dream come true.

Confessions of an Oprah fraud

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Essential Baby member Kat was an Oprah fraud, bemused she won the ticket lottery and unsure what all the fuss was about. But then she went to the show...

Gift of mobility for Bryce

Long-term EB member Lorraine Daley and her family had their wish granted this week - a wheel-chair friendly car to enable their terminally-ill son Bryce to leave the house and join on family excursions.

Feature member: Auskick family

Auskick family

Amber Robinson What is it like to be an Auskick family? EB member Jacqui Snelgar, whose son Matt has competed in three seasons of the AFL skills program.

Juliana Fridman

Juliana's Triplets

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Here is the collection of blogs from Juliana Fridman. She has documented her journey of falling pregnant, finding out they were expecting triplets. The trials of carrying a multiple pregnancy, and now the birth and after effects of emergency c-section & health difficulties of Juliana and one of her precious triplets.

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Being a ballet mum

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Deanne Duncombe EB member, Deanne's daughter, Erin wanted to be Angelina Ballerina. In her new pristine uniform Erin looked beautiful as I dropped her off for her first lesson. Not permitted to watch, I left her with complete strangers who belonged to a world unknown to us.

Losing my wife, my babies, my dreams...

Bernie

Nicole Salinas EB member Bernie lost his wife and unborn twin babies due to medical complications. Here he shares his tragic story.

Cooper's story

Essential Baby member Bronwyn with son Cooper.

Nicole Salinas When Cooper came into our world it changed everything. It turned our world upside down, it changed us, it changed our family. It was nothing we had expected, and nothing that we knew.

Mortgage free in four years

Feature member Natalie and her family

Nicole Salinas I clearly recall the day we decided to pay off our mortgage. My husband and I were sitting in the computer room with a cup of coffee and we were looking up the weather as we had decided to go to the snow for a day trip.

In nature's hands

Feature member Nicole with her sons Hugh and Julian

Nicole Salinas I was 28 and expecting my second child. All was well with the pregnancy and we were very excited to be adding to our family. So we were shocked when at our 20 week scan they found a mass so large it was displacing our baby's heart.

Twins times two

Feature member: twins times two

Nicole Salinas My name is Sam. I have four children under four. And, I have a confession to make. I’d love just ONE more. Essential Baby member Sam shares her story of life with two sets of twins.

Feature member: Costello syndrome

Feature member Nicola

Nicole Salinas Nicola suffers from a very rare genetic condition called Costello Syndrome. She is the 14th person to ever be diagnosed in Australia, and there are less than 300 people in the entire world that have the same condition.

Paige: Extra chromosome, extra special

Feature member Danni with her daughters

Nicole Salinas At my first obstetrician appointment, my doctor explained about the NT (nuchal translucency) scan and blood test and told me that I could have this test to see what my risk was for having a child with Down syndrome.

My large family: Love multiplies

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Anni Taylor The washing is stacked higher than superman flies, and nappy-changing has been in operation for the past 18 years. Laura shares the realities and many joys of having a family of 11.

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Our large families: EB members share

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With seven, eight and 10 children under their respective wings, Essential Baby members Leanne, Susan and Tanya offer an insight into their large families.

Feature member: Violet's story

Feature member Sarah and daughter Violet

Nicole Salinas Violet was born full term and it was devastating to hear after she was born, that she had been born with health problems.

Beating the odds - our premature arrival

Feature member Sharon and son Maxx

Nicole Salinas My husband Nathan and I started trying for our first baby in 2001. After 6 months and a lot of questions from me, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

A son’s gift

A son's gift

Peter Dubiez Expecting a baby is such a precious gift and my wife, Kylie, and I were awaiting our first. Ultrasounds provide a unique opportunity for dads. For a dad, an ultrasound is our first bonding experience.

Genetic Factor Infertility: Our story

Male factor infertility: our story

Kirrily I had spent almost all my adult life to date falling pregnant, or getting over a pregnancy (as if it were an illness). Yet our home and hearts were still waiting to expand to let in just one special child.

Same-sex parenting: Our story

Feature Member July 09

Nicole Salinas Everyone’s definition of a “normal” family is different. We believe that children in general are very accepting and it’s the parent’s views that influence how other children will treat our son.

Karen's story

Adam in recovery at Westmead Childrens' Hospital.

Nicole Salinas "My 15-year-old son, Adam, has been in Westmead Childrens' Hospital since February 24 after being involved in an accident which left him with burns to 60% of his body. We were told it was very bad and to go home and pray.”

A beautiful but broken heart

Ky and Mark and their children Daniel and Bella.

Nicole Salinas Scratch just below the surface and you will find a family who is grieving the loss of three children.

Ghania's blog

The accident

EB blogger Ghania Dib

Ghania Dib I was in a state of complete shock. But even then, with the world spinning crazily and darkness threatening to engulf me, I knew that I had managed to do the most important thing - ensure both the safety of myself and that of my child.

Homeschooling: Our story

Cody and Heidi doing a Science experiment for 'school'

Nicole Salinas We took our seven-year-old son out of school at the end of third term last year after seeing him becoming increasingly unhappy at school and his behaviour disruptive and uninvolved. EB member and Mum Cindy shares her experience of home-schooling.

My VBAC Story

Anne Anne shares the experience of her traumatic first birth and her successful attempt at a vaginal birth after caesar (VBAC) to deliver her second child.

Liz's VBA2C story

Liz My third child was born after a successful vaginal birth after two caesars (VBA2C) - drug and intervention free at the local public hospital.

Angela's VBAC story

Angela I was just so happy and so proud of myself, not just for having a VBAC but for being able to be in control of my birth experience.

Features archive

My baby was born with no thumbs

Baby Sienna was born with no thumbs.

Katherine Moffett I always dreamed of having two children. A boy and a girl. Perfect, a pigeon pair as some may say. I married the love of my life. We welcomed our first child into the world in 2005, our beautiful son Kobe and our second child Sienna, a little girl in 2008.

My two sons' anaphylaxis

Feature member May 2009

Nicole Salinas My two gorgeous sons have a life threatening type of allergy called anaphylaxis. It's a very severe form of allergic reaction that must be treated as a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.

Schooling through Steiner

Choosing Steiner Education

Nicole Salinas In two years, my bouncy child had become withdrawn, clingy and competitive. She started comparing herself to others—a strategy common in schools focused on producing academic achievers.

A motherless Mothers' Day

EB blogger Ghania Dib

Ghania Dib It wasn’t until I became a mother that I really understood the significance of mother’s day. Unfortunately, that mother’s day – my first – turned out to be mum’s last. And it breaks my heart to know that I didn’t get to share it with her.

The greatest of hurdles: Sophie Smith shares her story

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Tracey Spicer, One2OneConversations Sophie Smith is a person whose story any person can relate to. Sophie faced the greatest of hurdles, loss and tragedy, yet her defiance, her courage; her practicality in each and every circumstance provides us all hope.

Post-natal depression: an interview with Katie Brown

Tracey Spicer, One2OneConversations Katie Brown is a journalist, yoga teacher, infant massage practitioner and mother of three. Her tumultuous journey through work, motherhood and post natal depression has become a book, aptly titled “Mother Me”.

Asperger's - through adult eyes

Feature member Cherry

Nicole Salinas Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, each individual a different ‘colour’ in the spectrum. Essential Baby member, mother and wife Cherry shares her experience.

It's three for me

EB blogger Ghania Dib

Ghania Dib As a mother of young children, I am frequently asked by friends, relatives and even strangers if I will have another child. I was often asked the question after I had just had my first child, shortly after having my second child and again, shortly after having my third.

Diagnosing Dion

Dion

Nicole Salinas Dion was a surprise package from day one. I thought that I was having another girl but out came a beautiful little boy with red hair.

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Famous mums

WDYT?

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Jane Kennedy is EB's Mum in Profile

.. and is mum to 5! - read hers and other famous mums stories here

Mumtrepreneurs

Working mums

Be inspired by Australian mums who have created their own businesses.

Blogger stories

My story - the unexpected journey to have another baby

This time, however, things didn’t go quite as smoothly. This time I would come to learn just how hard it can be to make, and keep, a baby.

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Essential Baby Feature Members - Life Stories

Meet Essential Baby's Feature Members: amazing people who have travelled incredible journeys. They share their inspirational experiences: EB feature member stories.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children’s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we’re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child’s pre-school or day care!

Toddler freed after getting trapped in escalator

A shopping centre escalator needed to be pulled apart to free a toddler's trapped hand.

Why I'm kind of excited about my daughter's nits

Is it weird to say that I am secretly thrilled to find that my daughter Edie has nits?

Baby born at 10:11 on 12-13-14

Well, it's actually 13-12-14 to us over here. But still, Clare Elizabeth Keane's consecutive numerical birth time is pretty special.

On holding tightly and loving fiercely

We can't live in fear. This post is about Christmas and how at this time we should be celebrating life and grateful for what we have: our loved ones who we cherish fiercely.

Babies, relatives and coping with Christmas day

Everyone will love your baby but your baby may not be so happy to be passed around a lot of new people - nor may you want to feed with an audience.

Why I won't be posting pictures of my baby on Facebook

There are pros and cons to this policy.

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

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Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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What's hot on EB

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

WIN an exclusive performance from Sam Moran!

To celebrate the release of children’s musical series Play Along with Sam, out now on DVD, we’re giving one lucky parent the chance to have Sam perform at their child’s pre-school or day care!

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.