Pregnant woman and birth partner

Birth Partner

If you are the partner of someone who is pregnant or you have been asked to be a birth support person, you have been given a privilege and a responsibility: to provide emotional and physical support to a woman who will need your help through one of the most significant and vulnerable experiences of her life...

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skin-to-skin preemie prematurity

The importance of skin-to-skin for preemies

Skin-to-skin contact is the practice where a baby is dried and laid directly on the mother’s bare chest after birth. 

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Preemie Prematurity NICU

What happens in the NICU? An expert and parents share their experiences

Hey baby, so you're entering this big, wide world of wonder early. Now we know you've got that fighting spirit already in your heart so you take the time you need in NICU to get as strong as you can. Mom and dad are going to be extremely worried about you, (and always will be) so we spoke to our friend Lynne Bluff, a Childbirth Educator we've worked with for many years to help give mom and dad the information they'll need about your early arrival.

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nappy change preemie prematurity

Nappy changing tips for your preemie baby

Advances in medical science have enabled younger and smaller babies to survive, which has created the need for preemie diapers that are specially designed to meet their unique needs.

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Man supporting his pregnant partner experiencing labour pains

Inducing Labour

Induction is most often used if your baby is overdue or if your doctor feels that your health or your baby's health are at risk. Your placenta starts to decrease in efficiency after about 41 weeks and may compromise your baby's health by not delivering enough oxygen and food.

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Doctor showing thumbs up to woman in labour

Birth Placenta The Third Stage

The third and final stage of labour is measured from when the baby is born to when the placenta and membranes are delivered.

During third stage, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and the muscles of the womb start to contract tightly around the blood vessels that supplied the placenta throughout the pregnancy to prevent you from losing excessive blood.

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Childbirth - Labour - docate blood

Cord Blood Donation Banking

The donation of your baby's blood from the umbilical cord and placenta may mean saving the life of someone suffering from leukaemia, lymphoma, and even certain tumours. Researchers have learned that transplanting this blood that is high in stem cells to a sufferer of these diseases provides the best chance for a cure.

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Man supporting his pregnant partner

Natural Labour

I have two beautiful girls, aged 6 and 2, with two very different birth stories. After going through your first birth, you think you are MORE ready for the second, but that is not the case.

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Woman experiencing labour pains

Pain Relief

There’s no getting away from it, labour is painful. But it’s often described as ‘good’ pain – like running a marathon or climbing a mountain. It’s also manageable pain.

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Doctor holding a pregnant woman's hand

Pre Labour

According to the medical textbooks, labour has three distinct stages:

The first stage of labour involves the full dilation – or opening – of the cervix, the muscle between the womb and the birth canal

In the second stage of labour (delivery), the baby is pushed out of the womb, through the cervix and birth canal, and is born

In the third stage the placenta is delivered

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Pregnant woman experiencing discomfort

Pre Term Labour

All women should be aware of the signs of pre-term labour. Even if you are not recognised as having a high-risk pregnancy, you are still at risk, as many of the causes of pre-term birth are still unknown. Signs and symptoms of pre-term labour can include, but are not limited to, the following. If you experience any of these symptoms, or feel that something is “not right”, seek medical advice.

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Pregnant woman in the first stages of labour

The First Stages of Labour

The first stage of labour is usually the longest part of the birthing process by far. With your first child, labour is generally longer than your second and subsequent births, with an 'average' labour for first-time mothers around 12-14 hours, although anything from 2-20 hours is pretty normal.

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Mom wearing a hospital gown holding her newborn baby

The Second Stages of Labour

The second stage of labour begins when the cervix has fully dilated, and ends with the birth of your baby. When your cervix has dilated to a full 10 centimetres, your baby's head will have descended deep into the pelvis, with the widest part of the baby's head having passed through the pelvic 'brim' and hopefully also through the narrowest part of the pelvis, the 'interspinous diameter. '

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Pregnant woman with midwife

A Home Birth Midwife

Homebirth midwives are what are known as primary care providers. This means they are the principal healthcare professional responsible for providing healthcare to women and their babies during pregnancy, birth and following birth.

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Water birth room in a hospital

Having A Water Birth In A Hospital

For many women, especially first-time mothers who may be a little anxious about the birth experience, a hospital water birth could be the perfect solution.

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Man supporting his wife in labour at home

A Natural Birth At Home

For some women and their partners, planning to have a homebirth is very important. This may be because it is viewed as a natural extension of the way they live their own lives, or it just sits comfortably with their general philosophies. Many view pregnancy and birth as a normal and healthy life event and not a reason to automatically defer to medical management or hospital intervention.

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Woman showing her caesarean section scar

Casaerean Operation

A caesarean is an operation to allow a baby to be born through its mother's abdominal wall, instead of through the vagina. It's usually done with an epidural anaesthetic so the mother is awake during the surgery and can usually see her baby within moments of birth and cuddle him or soon after.

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Nurse handing a woman her newborn baby

Casaerean Recovery

Every woman is different when it comes to caesarean recovery, depending on the circumstances of the caesarean. If you've had your heart set on a vaginal birth, possibly a natural one at home or a birthing centre, then a caesarean may leave you feeling very upset, cheated and disappointed.

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Dad holding his baby

Coming Home After Childbirth

Talking to your partner and discussing what both of your expectations are for when your baby comes home will help to relieve some of the stress you may experience. You may find that your partner has a different idea of his role than you do. He may see himself as the breadwinner and not responsible for anything around the house, although this is quite an old-fashioned view of fatherhood.

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Childbirth - Post natal - elective caesarean

Elective Caesarean

A caesarean is defined as a surgical procedure, in which incisions are made through a mother's abdomen and womb to deliver one or more babies. It is essentially an alternative to natural birth. An elective is a medically unnecessary caesarean section, where the caesarean section (CS, or c-section) is requested by the pregnant patient or her doctor.

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Childbirth - Post natal - emergancy caesarean

Emergency Caesarean

A Caesarean section is a medical procedure that involves cutting the abdomen and womb in order to deliver a baby. The WHO recognises that around 15% of babies are born through caesarean section. It is also known as a C-section, Caesar or CS. An emergency caesarean section is a caesarean performed once labour has commenced, where a planned or elective caesarean is scheduled to take place before your labour begins.

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Childbirth - Post natal - emotions

Emotions After Birth

Having any weird and wonderful dreams yet? It is common in the second trimester of pregnancy to have some pretty amazing and vivid dreams, which tend to hang around the next day. You could find yourself dreaming of being in the most fantastical situations bearing no resemblance to your everyday life. Your baby may even take a starring role and quite possibly be nothing you were hoping for.

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Childbirth - Post natal - hospital discharge

Hospital Discharge

Your length of stay in hospital will depend on whether you have delivered by caesarean, or a vaginal delivery. Different hospitals also have their own guidelines on the discharge of maternity patients. You should find out in advance what your expected length of stay in hospital will be. Some women choose to leave the hospital quite soon after delivery (of course this has to be approved by a doctor) while others stay for as long as possible.

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Two pregnant women holding their bellies

Multiple Birth Association

When couples first find out they are expecting twins, or Higher Order Multiples (HOM), their initial feelings can be overwhelming. Concerns about how they will manage, money worries, and general anxiety over housing and space can flood their minds. It can really help them to know they are not alone and that many other couples have, and are, experiencing exactly the same rollercoaster of emotions.

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Two pregnant women supporting each other

Multiple Birth Parents

When expectant couples are first told they are expecting multiple babies, a common reaction is shock. Because, even though they may have suspected it or been told that multiples were a possibility, the reality of finding out can be very different.

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Mom and Dad smiling down at their twins

Multiple Births Twins

Twins account for over 90% of multiple births and far outnumber triplets or quads in the multiple birth stakes. Currently almost 3% of all the babies born come in multiples.

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Dad kissing his sleeping baby's head

Paternal postnatal depression

The arrival of a new baby is meant to be a time of great joy and excitement, but for some men the transition into parenthood can be a difficult time. Statistics suggest that up to 10% of new fathers suffer from Paternal Postnatal Depression (PPND).

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Woman doing pelvic floor exercises on a yoga ball

Pelvic Floor Exercises After Birth

After birth, your bladder may still be recovering from the weight of your baby. Rest assured that you are not alone, as 1 in 3 women who have had children will experience some form of bladder weakness.

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Mom holding her baby on her bent knees

Perineal Care

The perineum is the area which lies between the vaginal opening and the anus. Most women aren't really conscious of this region until they become pregnant and start reading about childbirth. Then it can become the topic of much conversation and concern.

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Mom kissing and holding up her newborn baby

Post Pregnancy Bleeding

For women there are many adjustments to be made once their baby is born. There are the challenges associated with coping with a new baby and sleep deprivation. The body is also adjusting to and recovering from 9 months of rapid expansion. One of the factors women have to cope with is postnatal bleeding, which can often be a source of great concern.

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Woman taking to a smiling doctor

Postnatal depression support

Taking the first step is often the hardest. Your GP or local child health nurse will be a great starting point.

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Depressed looking woman holding her baby

Postnatal depression treatment

Sometimes after childbirth, a mother suffers from postnatal depression, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. However it can be treated.

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Man and woman looking lovingly at each other

Postnatal Exercise

The last thing you’ll feel like just after birth is exercise – and in the following weeks, what with all that breastfeeding, settling, bleeding and recovering from childbirth, it’s hard to get motivated to do much else.

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Childbirth - Post natal - health

Postnatal Health

You may find that you need extra help and support after the birth. It helps if you know what to expect – and where to find the information you need.

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Quadruplets dressed in denim and red shirts


Multiple births always attract attention and there is generally a great deal of fascination about more than one baby being born at the same time. But for parents of quadruplets, their initial responses can be far from what can be called happy, at least in the early stages. The practicalities of raising four babies to adulthood can seem utterly overwhelming, which is why other parents of multiples advise to just take things slowly at first and allow the news to settle in, one steady day at a time.

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Woman looking at a laptop screen

After Birth Questions

Once a woman's period returns after having a baby, they may have queastions. Here are some of the common questions asked. . .

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Man and woman looking lovingly at each other

Sex After Giving Birth

Most couples start having sex again by 3 months after the birth, but at the end of the first year, the majority (60%) report they're less active than they used to be. A loss of desire is common in both sexes, especially women.

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Sleeping triplets sucking on dummies


Triplets can be what are known as Higher Order Multiples (HOM), which signifies more than two babies are being carried at one time. Although rare, it is entirely possible for women to conceive naturally with three babies. However, fertility treatment is the strongest influential factor when it comes to having triplets. Triplets can be either monozygotic – meaning they are formed after one fertilised egg has split into three identical embryos, or they are dizygotic – meaning they are formed from separate eggs (i.e. polyzygotic).

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Man supporting his partner giving birth

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean

There are many reasons why it is important for some women to aim for a vaginal birth after having a caesarean (VBAC). The physical recovery after a vaginal birth, when compared to a caesarean, tends to be less complicated, more straightforward, safer and, importantly, less painful. Statistics show that women who have vaginal deliveries are less likely to become depressed and more likely to breastfeed. There is also the significant issue, for many, of needing to feel they have done their best to achieve a “natural” birth.

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Baby born in water

Water Birth

Not so long ago, if you were planning a water birth, chances are doctors, colleagues and even family members would have smirked and scoffed at the idea. But thanks to numerous formal studies proving its benefits for both mother and baby, it is no longer regarded as 'alternative'. These days, a labouring woman immersed in a warm pool surrounded by scented frangipani candles is just as likely to be an inner city accountant as a yoga teacher.

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Mother holding her newborn

Assisted Vaginal Delivery

During delivery there are occasions when it may be necessary to use external medical assistance to help your baby get delivered. Here are a few reasons why it may be necessary to use intervention:

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Midwife standing beside a pregnant woman

Birth Choice

Your decision about how and where to give birth to your baby will be a very personal one. A century ago, nearly all babies were born at home, usually with a midwife attending the birth. But these days, most babies are born in hospitals. A small but growing number of parents choose to have their baby at home or in the more homely setting of a midwife-operated birth centre within a hospital.

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Man kissing his partner's pregnant belly

Birth Plan

Preparing a plan for your labour and delivery in advance allows you to think through your alternatives with a clear and rational mind. Take the time to discuss the issues with your partner, and if possible your doctor and midwives before you make your plan.

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Mother kissing a baby's foot

Birth Without Fear

Most women look forward to the birth of their baby with feelings of anticipation, as well as excitement. Even if their pregnancy has not been entirely straightforward, thoughts of the baby help to sustain them through the long months of gestation.

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Pregnant woman with notepad and pen

Breech Birth

A breech birth is when the baby is born with their bottom, legs or knees coming out first, rather than their head. Currently, it is estimated that around 3-4 % of all babies at term are in the breech position, but not all of them are born vaginally. Between 29 and 32 weeks of gestation, the estimate is 15% of babies presenting bottom first. It is considered normal in the second trimester for babies to be in the breech position. Essentially, the risks of having a breech birth are closely matched to the weeks of

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Childbirth - Labour - prea]paring for baby

Important Decisions

As the time to deliver your baby approaches, there are lots of important decisions you'll be faced with. You can make some of the decisions about what your baby needs in advance, while others may not go according to plan. But it's a good idea to take time to think about some of these things and talk them over with your partner.

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Smiling man and woman looking at baby shoes

Preparing For Childbirth

Try to have your bag's packed by around week 36 of your pregnancy. Knowing you've got everything you need for your baby's birth will make you feel more relaxed. If you take something out before you leave for the hospital, stick a note to the top of your bag to remind you or your partner that it is missing. Check with your hospital or birthing centre to see what they have available for your use while in labour.

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Dad holding mom and newborn baby

Stretch and Sweep

The term stretch and sweep may seem oddly familiar to you, especially if you're the one who usually cleans the kitchen floor. But other than that it is a procedure unique to pregnancy and labour. A stretch and sweep is one way of initiating labour and is considered a gentler, less invasive induction option. It is generally done when a mother is past her due date or when labour needs to be induced because of (minor) obstetric complications. It is an alternative to other induction techniques such as artificial rupture of the membranes (ARM) and/or a Syntocinon drip.

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