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.

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 22

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This is a comfortable point in your pregnancy. You are visibly pregnant, but you will not yet be as uncomfortable as you might become later in your pregnancy. So right now (and over the next few weeks) is a good time to start all your shopping for the baby, and finalise any hard work on that nursery!

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 23

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Your abdomen is looking rounder this week! Normal weight gain for the weeks up to and including Week 23 is between 4 and 7 kg (10 and 15 pounds).

Weekly Guide to Pregnancy: Week 24

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Feeling your baby move - you first becomes aware of your baby's movements some time between Weeks 16 and 20. Initially the movements feel like little "flutters", as your baby is small and floats in the amniotic fluid. As your baby grows, the movements become stronger and more pronounced.

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

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

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.

Win Coles Little Explorer nappies for your toddler

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

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.

5 things to do with your baby’s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby’s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

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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Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

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.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

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.

Weird trend

'Why we called our daughter Wyatt'

Ashton Kutcher has spoken about how he and Mila Kunis chose their daughter's name - and why they've set up her social media accounts.

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.