'My mother-in-law found out our baby's gender behind our backs'

baby scan

Emily Yoffe My husband and I mutually decided that we didn’t want to know our baby's sex before the birth, but his mother couldn't handle that.

Comments 6

She really didn't know she was pregnant?

pregnant

KERRI SACKVILLE Here we go again: another headline story, another woman giving birth without even knowing she was pregnant. How is that even possible?

Your best friend during pregnancy

bellies

Nicole Thomson-Pride Your best friend in pregnancy could well be another pregnant friend, says a first-time mum-to-be.

Smoking bans cut premature births

baby blanket

Kate Kelland Banning smoking in public places has helped to cut premature births by 10 per cent, according to new research from the United States and Europe.

Blessingways: bringing back 'women's business' in pregnancy

blessingway

LIBBY HAKIM Some women are choosing to reclaim a small part of pregnancy as strictly women’s business, and are holding ceremonies named ‘blessingways’ to tap into the power of the feminine and celebrate motherhood.

Choosing a midwife

belly

GREER BERRY In a weird conversation that vaguely resembled some kind of pregnancy dating service, the midwife agreed to take me, my husband and the embryo on.

'From bump to Buzz' pregnancy video goes viral

tom fletcher

Melanie Mahoney Buzz Michelangelo Fletcher was welcomed into the world by his proud parents on March 13 – but not before his parents made this very sweet video during the pregnancy.

Comments 1

Three things that surprised me about pregnancy

pregnant belly

Melanie Pinola There are some things we don't discuss very readily when it comes to pregnancy - and it's time to spill the beans.

The baby shower guest of honour who went too far

baby shower

Melanie Mahoney A mum-to-be has gift-shamed the people she’d invited to her baby-shower – even those who hadn’t attended.

Comments 32

Why I have mixed feelings about our happy news

pregnancy test

GREER BERRY We did something that, at times, I never thought was possible: we conceived. But part of me still thinks this is all an elaborate hoax.

Comments

Top pregnancy and baby myths busted

music

Mel Hearse Ever wondered if Mozart will really make your baby smarter, if baby brain is real or if your pregnancy diet affects your child’s tastes? A new book reveals all on popular pregnancy and birth myths.

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When pregnancy seems like a nine-month guilt trip

pregnant

KERRI SACKVILLE Pregnant women feel guilt about practically everything. And now, to add to the burden of guilt, is the news about paracetamol and pregnancy. So what are we supposed to do?

Comments 5

Pregnancy after miscarriage

miscarriage

CATHERINE RODIE Women preparing for pregnancy after miscarriage can experience a wide range of emotions including grief, guilt and anxiety.

Comments 2

Sweet as: giving up sugar during pregnancy

eb-sugarfree-thumb

LINDY ALEXANDER Pregnancy has many mums-to-be reaching for sugary snacks to satisfy their cravings. Growing numbers of women, however, are turning their backs on the lolly jar, and avoiding sugar while they are pregnant.

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Science

How your Twitter feed can predict postnatal depression

Twitter

Sarah Knapton The risk of a new mother suffering from postnatal depression could be predicted weeks before birth by monitoring her Twitter feed, scientists say.

It's OK to put on weight while pregnant

pregnant

SAMAN SHAD The pressure to be slim and glamorous is robbing us of the joy of pregnancy.

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Parents horrified by 'fake' photos of their unborn babies

Spot the difference: the left picture was provided to family, the right is from Google Images.

Anne-Maree Leonard A group of mums is horrified that ultrasound photos of their unborn children appear to be fakes after a social media post triggered widespread alarm.

Comments 7

Grandma showers, 3D baby models, and more: the latest pregnancy trends

3d fetus

LETITIA ROWLANDS Pregnancy trends are always changing. We look at what's new in the world of mums-to-be, including grandma showers and 3D baby prints.

Comments 1

Is the future of antenatal learning online?

online pregnant

CATHERINE RODIE Seeing the need for an alternative to what has been available in the past, three midwives have created Australia's first online antenatal classes. Is this the future for pregnancy education?

Brain dead pregnant woman kept on life support against family's wishes

Pregnancy

Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm At 33, Marlise Munoz was diagnosed as brain dead. Her husband and family prepared to have her life support turned off - but then the law stepped in.

Comments 2

How to share pregnancy news with infertile friends

fertile

Greer Berry How do you tell someone you care about that you've fallen pregnant while they've been trying for so long? Here's advice from someone who's been through it.

Comments

'Embrace your changing body': Mum dances throughout pregnancy

bowers dance

Melody McCabe "My [dance] company is built around celebrating the strength and femininity of the female body - for me, pregnancy has just been an extension of that," says pregnant ballerina Mary Helen Bowers.

Comments

Gifts for the mum-to-be or new mother who has everything

gift

Jo Hartley In order to be a little bit different and think somewhat outside the usual gift box, why not give one of these to the pregnant woman or new mum who seemingly has it all?

Comments 1

Thandie Newton admits to pregnancy shock

thandie newton

Thandie Newton has admitted to panicking about her two children, a new cat and her job when she learnt she was pregnant again at 40.

Eating disorders in pregnancy

drink water

Jo Hartley A recent study found that eating disorders in pregnant woman are more common than you might think. A mum shares her story as two experts speak about disordered eating in pregnancy.

The pregnant woman's guide to Christmas eating

beach xmas

Livia Gamble Christmas turkey, seafood or ham; however you decide to dine this Christmas, if you’re pregnant there are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.

When is the 'right time' to announce a pregnancy?

tummy

KERRI SACKVILLE It's always wonderful to hear someone else’s pregnancy news, but I'm keenly aware of miscarriage rates - so I worry about the consequences for the woman involved if the worst case scenario arises.

Comments 1

Zoe's law passes the NSW lower house

Zoe_TN

The controversial bill known as Zoe's law has passed the NSW lower house after being put to a conscience vote.

Children given pro-life foetus dolls at agricultural show

Silicone model of a foetus.

Parents have voiced concern after pro-life campaigners exhibiting at an agriculture and produce show gave children rubber foetus dolls.

Why losing my daughter means I don’t support Zoe’s law

Hannah Robert

Hannah Robert As a feminist legal academic, I have professional insight into the prospective law. But I also have personal insight as a mother who lost her unborn child in a car accident.

Comments 23

Exercise in pregnancy boosts babies' brain power: study

Pregnancy

Moderate workouts three times a week are enough to help your baby's brain development.

'Womb tubing': Announcing your pregnancy on YouTube

womb

Sandy Smith Thousands of women are revealing their pregnancy test results live on camera and posting the videos on YouTube - even before they have told their partners.

Comments

The four words that made me not so afraid of birth

preg

KATE FRIDKIS In an excerpt from her memoir, Kate Fridkis recounts how she started to come to terms with labour.

Comments

New dad creates magical photo series

magic-show-thumb

Livia Gamble When Anthony Stuart found out his wife was pregnant, he decided to create a photography project that would showcase her pregnancy in a fun and memorable way.

Pregnancy sleep tips

preg sleep

Melody McCabe You know that sleepless nights await you once your baby arrives, so it seems cruel that getting a good nights’ sleep during pregnancy is so hard.

Comments

Why every woman should have a choice: disability and termination

georgia

Julia Watson I’ve been known to say that every family could benefit from a child with Down syndrome in it - but I also believe that no woman should have to give birth to any baby she doesn’t want.

Comments 37

Dressing for pregnancy in 'the awkward stage'

anna guy

I am now at that awkward stage of pregnancy where I am getting too big for my "normal" clothes but am not quite big enough to fit pregnancy clothes just yet. What now?

Comments 1

Video: A second a day for nine months

9 months 5 minutes

It doesn’t sound like much, but filming for just one second a day throughout a pregnancy can lead to a pretty amazing result, as one new dad’s video shows.

Natural killer cells play role in recurrent miscarriage

miscarriage

Jo Adetunji Researchers have discovered that natural killer immune cells are to blame for some cases of recurrent miscarriage - and have also helped clear up a controversial area of research.

Bloggers share anger over twin pregnancy

cry twins

Amanda Hess An expecting mum and dad have written about how, after two years of IVF, they are now pregnant with twins. But they're not happy about it.

Comments 16

Unplanned pregnancy? Don't panic

test pregnancy

MANDY LEE There's something utterly bewildering about an unplanned pregnancy; even if you welcome the news and look forward to being a parent, there's a lot to adjust to.

Comments

The TMI facts of pregnancy

preg flowers

Nicole Salinas There's one word that comes to mind when an expecting mum of two thinks of pregnancy ... and it's one not many people like. But for her, it's the not-so-glamorous truth of the matter.

Comments 4

One-day babymoons for busy parents-to-be

massage

Jodie McLeod The idea of escaping for a full week or more to a luxury resort before bub arrives is heaven, but not everyone can afford the time or money. Some couples have found another way to relax together before the big day arrives.

Four more to adore for Melbourne mum

24 weeks quads

Effie Mann and staff writers Kristie Hoskins set up a Facebook page to keep friends abreast of some surprising news - she was pregnant with quadruplets. But she was even more surprised when the site gained supporters in their thousands.

Overcoming a fear of birth

belly black and white

Catherine Rodie Blagg Tokophobia - a fear of childbirth - is thought to affect as many as one in 10 women. Here are ways to deal with it, and stories from women who have experienced it.

Comments

Rachael Finch: 'I can't wait to meet my baby'

rachael finch

Now expecting her first child, Rachael Finch spoke to us about her pregnancy, her maternity style, and what she's looking forward to as a mum.

Letting nature take its course

thiele

JULIA MEDEW While most women abort pregnancies after diagnosis of severe or lethal conditions, specialists say a small but increasing number want to let nature take its course - but the system doesn't know how to deal with them.

Teen mums find help in a holistic approach

Skye Lindsay.

MARIKA DOBBIN A program at Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital, especially designed for teen mums, has proved very successful for the young mothers and their babies.

Five reasons you need this plan more than a birth plan

career

Libby Hakim Like a birth plan, a career plan can be a useful for gathering information, thinking through potential issues, and making decisions about your preferences. But here are five ways a career plan is an even more important document for your life.

Domestic violence hits beyond womb

domestic violence abuse women

JILL STARK Pregnant women who experience domestic violence are increasingly having children who suffer serious behavioural problems and learning difficulties.

Forums

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Chat to other mums

Ask questions or offer advice to other expectant parents in our forum for mums.

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Australia's top baby names of 2013

Essential Baby has compiled the data available from government records around the country to bring you the list of Australia's top baby names of 2013.

Sara James: fighting for my daughter

Sara James was a high-profile New York journalist, but it was her own daughter's story which raised the most questions.

Siblings and best of friends

I know we'll have some tense moments. I know there will be arguments. But I also know these two will always have this most beautiful bond.

In defence of mums on the phone

I know news stories always attract a range of opinions, and I know they're a place for people to have an anonymous dig in. However, I also know that this mum bashing has to stop.

Rescue dog Zoey and BFF Jasper star in adorable pics

Photographer, self-professed "crazy dog lady" and mum Grace Chon takes photos of rescue dog Zoey and her 10-month-old son Jasper together. The results are just too cute. See more on Instagram @thegracechon.

Pregnancy essentials for the second and third trimesters

So you're through the first trimester of pregnancy - congratulations! Here are some tips for getting through the next six months as comfortably and happily as possible.

Coles Easter eggs recalled due to presence of tree nuts

An allergic reaction has lead to the urgent recall of a variety of Coles brand Easter eggs.

The ultimate travel stroller: the Mountain Buggy nano

We tried the Mountain Buggy nano and give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. As the ultimate travel stroller, it's practical, has great features, and looks fab, too.

Why I love the small age gap between my kids

Six months after our son turned one, we welcomed son number two into our lives. Yes, the small age gap had been planned - and there are things I love and hate about that small gap.

Parents warned about posting kids' photos online

Parents could be putting their kids at risk by posting images and information online which give away personal details, such as where they go to school and which parks they frequent.

Easter gifts for babies, no chocolate in sight!

If this is your little one’s first Easter you might want to mark the occasion with something a little extra special. Here are 10 Easter gift ideas, which won't harm little teeth.

Mum's the word when it comes to baby news

The arrival of a baby is big news, but friends and family need to understand it is not their news to share.

What’s in your parenting toolbox?

So often as parents, we don’t really talk about our ‘parenting toolboxes’. But you need to be aware of what you and your partner are working with, and to decide what does and doesn't fit in your lives.

Classroom pregnancy prank goes viral

An American college professor has had to rethink his strict rule about answering cell phones in class after being the victim of an April Fools' prank that has gone viral.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

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

Win the brand new phil&teds vibe

Check out the good looking new release of the Vibe 3 and the Verve 4-wheeler inline strollers. To celebrate their release, we have a Vibe with double kit to give away.

Baby sleep

From birth to one year and beyond, read about baby sleep, soothing techniques, routines, and sleep school experiences.

Australia's top baby names of 2013

Essential Baby has compiled the data available from government records around the country to bring you the list of Australia's top baby names of 2013.

Video: Dad turns son into action movie hero

Many kids would love to be an action movie hero in real life, but very few will ever be able to see themselves in movies like these.

Toilet training in winter

There’s no need to stop thinking about toilet training just because the temperature is dropping: winter is a good a time as any to start the process.

What do you do all day?

It's the question all new mothers dread. For Kate Fridkis, it's a question that strikes to the heart of what it is to be a woman.

Easter gifts for babies, no chocolate in sight!

If this is your little one’s first Easter you might want to mark the occasion with something a little extra special. Here are 10 Easter gift ideas, which won't harm little teeth.

Video: Baby starts his day with a dance party

Few people start their day the same way this little guy does – dancing, smiling, and generally having an awesome time.

IKEA announces bed canopy recall

IKEA has recalled its range of bed canopies designed to suspend above children’s beds following reported cases of injuries and entanglement.

Free Printable Activities

Keeping little hands busy

Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.