The 2015 flu vaccine: what’s new, who should get it and why

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Aeron Hurt For certain members of the community, catching flu can lead to severe illness or death. A vaccination can be lifesaving.

4D scans show how smoking affects babies still in the womb

A baby being affected by cigarette smoke (above) and a baby of a non-smoker (below).

Sarah Knapton The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, research has found.

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Sarah posing for modelling campaigns at 7 (left) and 8 months pregnant.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

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Pregnancy and your blood type

Do you know what your blood type is?

Brooke Tasovac The blood type and Rh factor of a pregnant woman and the father of her baby has all kinds of implications for their unborn child.

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Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Kelly Donnolley and son Jackson.

LETITIA ROWLANDS 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.

Twins saved by surgery before birth

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AMANDA DUNN Just 15 weeks into her first pregnancy and carrying twins, Jo and her husband Troy were given a terrible choice: terminate the pregnancy, or have surgery on the twins in utero in an attempt to save their lives.

Dads wear empathy bellies to 'experience pregnancy'

LETITIA ROWLANDS Mums-to-be exhausted from the physical demands of pregnancy often lament how they wish men would have more appreciation of the difficulties that come with being heavily pregnant.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

Health worker Trudy Allende examines Deeana Russell at the Malabar clinic.

Fiona McGill A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

Paying pregnant women to quit smoking pays off, study says

Women who were offered financial incentives were 2.63 times more likely to be nonsmokers: study.

Karen Kaplan Researchers have identified a common substance that makes smokers much more likely to kick the habit - money.

5 pregnancy myths that just won't go away

Avoid the sun, don't eat nuts, don't dye your hair? Not so fast, say the experts.

Angela Tufvesson When you're expecting, it often seems like everyone is keen to offer advice about what you should and shouldn't do in the interests of your health and wellbeing.

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Passing on taste: how your mum’s diet affects what you eat

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Emma Beckett and Zoe Yates Our parents teach us what to eat, but this process begins well before the fight to get toddlers to eat their vegies - even back in the womb.

Study links pollution exposure to autism

Air pollution exposure during pregnancy has been linked to autism.

Michelle Fay Cortez Women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution during their third trimester of pregnancy may be twice as likely to have an autistic child, a study found.

Pregnant women warned about non-medical ultrasounds

US experts have advised against having additional ultrasounds purely to create keepsake images.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Most mums-to-be consider it one of the best parts of pregnancy - taking a peek as your growing baby wriggles and kicks during ultrasound examinations.

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

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

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Being mindful of the bumps: app to help pregnant women and new mums

Mind the Bump is a free app to help women manage the stress of pregnancy and early motherhood.

LETITIA ROWLANDS Mental health support organisations BeyondBlue and the Smiling Mind have launched Mind the Bump, an app which aims to help manage the stress of pregnancy.

Video: Timelapse captures 42 week pregnancy in 1 minute

pregnancy

Jen Ng Video: Timelapse captures 42 week pregnancy in 1 minute

It's possible to workout while pregnant

There's a few things you need to consider when exercising while pregnant.

Jamie Hancock Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Pregnant and fighting cancer, but not giving up

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Monica Tischler "It's been devastating but it just means there will be a bit of a fight, that's all."

Eating ice may give mental boost to the iron deficient: study

Craving ice? It could be your iron levels, a new study says.

Meeri Kim A new study proposes that, like a strong cup of coffee, ice may give those with insufficient iron a much-needed mental boost.

Why we need to change the way we talk about pre-eclampsia

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Catherine Rodie Health professionals have been baffled by the causes of pre-eclampsia for decades. But new research may be able to shed some light on it.

Oligohydramnios: the facts

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Staff writers Oligohydramnios is when the amount of amniotic fluid is too low in pregnancy. Learn what the symptoms are and how it is treated.

Polyhydramnios: the facts

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Staff writers Polyhydramnios is when the amount of amniotic fluid is excessively high. Learn what the symptoms are and how you can treat it.

Prenatal testing: the facts

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Staff writers Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

The app to help you monitor your baby's heartbeat

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Babyology Connect with your unborn baby and allow your family to do the same, by monitoring their heartbeat with the Unborn Heart Fetal Doppler and app.

World first: woman with transplanted womb gives birth

The baby boy was born prematurely but healthy last month, and mother and child have now gone home and are doing well. (Generic image).

Maria Cheng A 36-year-old woman in Sweden has given birth after receiving a uterus from a close family friend last year.

The pros and cons of bed rest during pregnancy

Experts say bed rest might not always be the best option during pregnancy.

Marie McCullogh Experts say bed rest may not always be helpful for women trying to avoid pre-term labour.

Decrease in stillbirths in late pregnancy and older mums

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Letitia Rowlands There has been a fall in the number of stillbirths among some groups of women despite the overall rate remaining stable, a new report reveals.

Awareness needed for the child victims of alcohol

Marty Sharpe Of all the harmful acts attributed to alcohol, little is known about the "sleeping giant" among them, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) - yet it inflicts serious and increasing damage.

'I survived placenta percreta'

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LINDY ALEXANDER When writing her birth plan, Simone Pavil included an item most women wouldn’t even think about: what should happen if she was put on life support. The mum had the potentially fatal condition placenta accreta.

Doctors remove foetus from 'medical marvel' after 36 years

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Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years.

Pumping iron while your belly grows

There's no need to abandon your exercise routine when you fall pregnant.

Danielle Douglas You might need to make some changes to your workout, but there is no need to abandon exercise while pregnant.

When pregnancy takes you down memory lane

Pregnancy can bring up unexpected emotions.

GREER BERRY One mum-to-be discovers pregnancy hormones can give rise to some surprising emotions.

Pregnancy highs: should you ditch the heels when you're expecting?

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JO HARTLEY For many women, no outfit is complete without a pair of high heels. Then pregnancy comes along, and they have to decide when - or if - they'll turn to flats.

Where Australia's child mortality rates are too high

Child mortality is quite high in Australia.

Harriet Alexander Children in some parts of Australia have a higher chance of dying before they turn five than they would if they were born in Romania, Sri Lanka or Lebanon.

Mum sacrifices an eye for her unborn baby

Chantal Gauthier-Vaillancourt

LETITIA ROWLANDS Motherhood is full of sacrifices, but this woman has made a life-altering one - and her baby hasn't even been born.

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New test identifies premature birth risk

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Miranda Prynne Women could find out whether they are at risk of a premature birth during their first three months of pregnancy using a simple urine test, according to a study.

Pregnant Queenslanders to get free vaccines

pregnant

Pregnant women in Queensland will become the first in Australia to be given free vaccines for whooping cough.

Healthy mums the key to baby size around the world

babies

Newborn babies born to healthy, well nourished mothers are strikingly similar in size the world over, scientists have shown.

Athlete competes in 800m race while eight months pregnant

Alysia Montano.

Alysia Montano finished last in her heat in the 800 metres at the US track and field championships. She was, however, the story of the race.

Aspirin may hold key to preventing miscarriage

Miracle cure? Aspirin

Rebecca Smith Blood-thinning drugs such as aspirin could hold the key to treating a faulty gene that triggers miscarriages, new research shows.

Short gap between babies increases chance of premature birth

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Women who have their babies less than a year apart are twice as likely to give birth prematurely, a new study suggests.

Mum has mastectomy half an hour after giving birth

sarah williams

LETITIA ROWLANDS A mother of two says she "feels blessed" after undergoing live saving surgery less than an hour after her son was born.

Junk food linked to premature birth

l-r  7yo Anna and 9yo Claire Stendell from Glebe have a sneak peak at some of this years Royal Easter Show show bags. For a story on the health effects on children who consume so much junk food over the Easter holiday break.
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Rebecca Smith Women trying to become pregnant should avoid a diet high in junk food because it is linked with an increased risk of giving birth prematurely, scientists are warning.

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Speaking out about stillbirth

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Around six babies arrive stillborn in Australia every day, so why is this still a taboo topic? The mum of a stillborn baby, an obstetric social worker and an artist who creates keepsakes for parents of lost babies have their say.

10 pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore

Pregnant woman

Elena Donovan Mauer Most pregnancy symptoms aren't fun, so which ones are no biggie and which are worth a call to the doctor?

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Advised to abort, but 'miracle baby' Liam defied the odds

marinda brits

Monica Tischler Marinda Brits and Norman Holleman wouldn't have their baby son if they'd gone against their instincts and had instead followed a midwife's advice to have an abortion.

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The twin my baby will never know

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Julie Cook Julie Cook had never heard of vanishing twin syndrome - until it happened to her. She shares her story.

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Pregnant women jailed for drug use under new US law

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LETITIA ROWLANDS In a move that has experts concerned and outraged in the US, Tennessee has become the first state to pass laws allowing the jailing women for their drug use while pregnant.

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Pregnant woman dies after doctor removes ovary instead of appendix

maria de jesus

LETITIA ROWLANDS When a UK woman went to hospital suffering appendicitis, doctors mistakenly removed her healthy ovary - with tragic consequences.

Aspirin advised for women at high risk of pre-eclampsia

blood pressure pregnancy

Catherine Saint Louis Pregnant women who are at high risk of developing pre-eclampsia should take low-dose aspirin daily, an influential US government panel said Monday.

Forums

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Get involved - support a pregnant woman in your life, and raise money to help wipe out FASD in Australia.

Pregnant Pause challenges Aussies to support someone they care about through their pregnancy by taking a break from alcohol.

Pregnant Pausers will be sponsored by their friends, family and co-workers to raise much-needed money and awareness for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

FASD is the most common preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia, and it solely happens because of prenatal alcohol exposure.

Learn more at pregnantpause.com.au.

Pregnancy after loss forum

Experiencing a loss is a very tough time, share your thoughts with other EB members who have also experienced loss. It may just help you in your grieving process.

Pregnancy after problems conceiving forum

Share your experiences with other EB members, get some thoughtful insights, tips and advice to help you deal with pregnancy after problems conceiving.

Newsletter

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy

A comprehensive, Australian week-by-week guide to your baby's development and the progress of your pregnancy.

Tools

Pregnancy Guide app

EB's iphone app has had an update - Pregnancy Week by Week updates straight to your phone - Now with a Contraction Timer!

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.

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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.

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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.