How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

“It’s honestly good that everything is being thrown at me

Lenny Bernstein For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

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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?

 Photo: Getty Images

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.

53 creative 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.

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!

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Weekly Guide to Pregnancy

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

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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.

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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.

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The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

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Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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Brain damaged mum receives compensation

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Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

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

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53 creative pregnancy announcements

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.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

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Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we’re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.