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?

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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.

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