Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon.

DANIELLE COLLEY It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

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Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Max Knoblauch Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Is it too late to change my midwife?

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Emily Yoffe My wife is nine months pregnant and we are planning a home birth - but we've had late problems with our midwife team.

Making the most of maternity leave

The first weeks of maternity leave are a time to enjoy the calm before the storm.

GREER BERRY One relaxed mum-to-be tells how she plans to spend her days in the last weeks before her baby arrives.

The problem with elaborate pregnancy announcements

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KERRI SACKVILLE These days, it seems that so many expecting parents think, "What’s the point of announcing your pregnancy to your friends off-camera? What's the point of being pregnant if you can’t document every minute online?"

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Pregnancy progression photo ideas

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Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

When pregnant women are most at risk of car crashes

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Karen Kaplan Pregnancy is not without health risks, and now researchers have identified a new danger: serious car crashes, especially in the second trimester.

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Pregnancy essentials for the second and third trimesters

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Natalie Feulner 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.

The delights of the first trimester

GREER BERRY It's hard to shrug off the effects that major pregnancy hormone changes have on one's body, to just say 'Pregnancy is beautiful and wonderful' and all those things. Because, quite frankly, there are some terrible side effects in this first trimester.

What to wear when you're pregnant

Lisa Lyford Pregnancy can be a magical time ... but it can also be a challenging time to find the right clothes. Here are some tips on buying well for your pregnancy and beyond.

How your baby is learning skills for life in the womb

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Nicole Thomson-Pride During pregnancy, your baby does much more than just grow and develop – she’s practicing vital skills to ensure its survival in the big bad world.

The best Instagram pregnancy announcements

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Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family on Instagram.

Perks of being pregnant

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Some talked about and not so talked about perks of being pregnant were shared in our forums. Click through to find out what they were.

Beating baby name anxiety

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Donna Webeck For some parents, naming a baby is a challenging but fun process. For others, it just brings anxiety and stress. But there are ways to cope with the indecision and decide on a name you're happy with.

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Fun ideas for announcing pregnancy

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So you've found out you're expecting ... how are you going to break the news to your friends and family? Here are a few ideas to help you break your exciting news.

Pregnant bikini contest

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An American radio show recently held a bikini contest for expectant women. Fourteen Houston mums-to-be took part in the annual competition, which included 'parenting skills' and swimsuit rounds. Click through the gallery to learn more.

A touchy subject: perineal massage

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As your pregnancy nears its natural conclusion it’s normal to start thinking a lot about the birth. You’ll probably start wondering if there’s anything you can do to make it easier, and, well, not as painful as it could be. This is where perineal massage comes in.

Why am I experiencing more vaginal discharge?

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No, it’s not your imagination – now that you’re a mum-to-be, you’re probably noticing more vaginal discharge than before. This is a common side effect of pregnancy, and is totally normal.

Is it postnatal depression or just the baby blues?

Crying baby mum

Melanie Mahoney Up to 80 percent of women will experience the 'baby blues' in the days following their child’s birth. But for some women, the feelings of sadness aren’t just about ‘feeling a bit down’ – they’re a sign of postnatal depression.

Bleeding after birth

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Being a new mum is fantastic, but sometimes there are some not-so-glamourous things that come with the territory. One of these things is bleeding after birth. This can come in the form of lochia or your returning period – but it’s all completely normal.

Secrets to a strong pelvic floor

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Amber Robinson One out of every three women who have had a baby wet themselves - that is, they experience bladder leakage. The good news is you can do something to try to avoid being one of them ... and it's never too late to start.

Things to look forward to in pregnancy

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Melanie Mahoney Carrying a human being in your body for nine months is a pretty amazing experience. Here are a few of the things you can look forward to now you’re pregnant.

Bleeding in pregnancy

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Brooke Tasovac Bleeding isn’t always a bad sign when you’re pregnant - in fact, for most women, it’s nothing to worry about. Learn more about spotting and when it becomes something to see your doctor about.

Back in the saddle: sex after baby

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Whether your baby is a few weeks old or has been around for a while now, you may find the idea of sex creeping into your life again. Here’s what you need to know about having sex now you’re a mum.

Jessica Simpson's last minute pregnancy news

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Jessica Simpson’s pregnancy must be one of the most talked-about pregnancies in the history of Hollywood. From early bump-spotting to celebs counting down to the birth at the end, there's been no shortage of things to talk about.

Couple film entire pregnancy in stop-motion

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Staff writers Couple introduce baby daughter with 90-second video from conception to birth.

Great expectations

Colour illustration by Jamie Brown

Not sure about the next nine months? Emily Dunn gives a rundown what to expect as new life looms.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 4

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When your egg is fertilised by your partner's sperm, the genes or chromosomes from each of you combine to create a cell. This cell then starts to divide, becoming a collection of cells, or blastocyst.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 5

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It is at this stage that you may become aware that you could be pregnant, particularly if your period hasn't arrived and your menstrual cycle is regular and usually appears every 28 days.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 6

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This week you may start to develop other more noticeable signs of pregnancy, such as nausea possibly accompanied by vomiting (especially in the morning), breast soreness or tenderness, the need to urinate more frequently, fatigue, and constipation.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 7

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It is essential to eat a nutritious diet during pregnancy. This will provide your growing baby with all the nutrients required for its development.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 8

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Your uterus is increasing in size, and while you may not have a definite or visible bulge, you will probably notice that your clothes have become tighter around the waist, breasts or thighs.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 9

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As your baby continues to grow, your uterus increases in size and you will probably find that your waist is beginning to thicken. Before pregnancy your uterus is about the size of your fist. After six weeks it will grow to about the size of a grapefruit.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 10

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Although your baby can now respond to touch, you won't yet be able to feel it move. Nutrients pass from your body into the placenta and umbilical cord to feed your baby and support his/her rapid growth.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 11

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You should be eating a healthy diet from all food groups. An extra serve of calcium per day is really the only extra intake that is needed during pregnancy.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 12

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From this week onwards your baby is recognisable as a human being and is now called a fetus as opposed to an embryo. Now, or close to this time, you should be able to hear your baby's heartbeat with a Doppler (a special listening device).

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 13

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You may notice slight weight gain as the baby and its support system grows rapidly. Your uterus now fills your pelvis and future growth will mean that your uterus expands up into your abdomen. Your fluctuating hormones may also start to settle down, allowing you to feel less emotionally unbalanced and sensitive.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 14

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By the end of this week, your baby is fully formed. From here, he/she needs to mature. When provoked (eg by prodding of your abdomen), your baby will respond with active movements, however you still can't feel your baby moving yet.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 15

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It is important to maintain a regular, daily exercise routine during pregnancy. Walking, swimming and yoga are particularly recommended.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 16

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You may start to feel the baby move from now (termed quickening), although this is more common in women who have had previous children. The majority of women will start to feel movements some time between Week 16 and Week 20.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 17

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By the start of week 17 you will be noticing an increase in the size of your abdomen. Some people may still be able to get by wearing looser clothing, while others will be wearing maternity clothes.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 18

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Backache can occur at any time during pregnancy but it is more likely to happen later. Try to get rest when you need it, and use heat to alleviate pain. Good posture is essential and lessens the strain on your back. Try to stand up straight.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 19

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Backache can occur at any time during pregnancy but it is more likely to happen later. Try to get rest when you need it, and use heat to alleviate pain. Good posture is essential and lessens the strain on your back. Try to stand up straight.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 20

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You have now reached the half way mark in your pregnancy!

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 21

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Your baby has been growing rapidly, but over the last week and during this week, growth slows down and your baby continues to develop and mature in other ways while continuing to gain weight.

Newsletter

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy

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

Tools

Due Date Calculator

Congratulations, you're pregnant! So when is the baby due? Calculate your expected due date using Essential Baby’s Due Date Calculator.

Pregnancy Guide app

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Forums

What month are you due?

Join a due in group (DIG) and travel the pregnancy journey with other expectant mums at the same stage as you.

Chat to other mums

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

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

In a bizarre bid for relevancy, Former Opposition leader Mark Latham has deduced that because one female journalist had this week light-heartedly thanked antidepressants and caffeine for getting her through a medical degree while raising two small children, that ergo, all 'inner-city feminists' are selfish harridans who despise their offspring.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

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

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

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 one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

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