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Why is it that almost 10 per cent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia (PE) in Australia yet it is something that is not a discussion topic among us?

This disease takes lives every day and many babies are born prematurely due to it. Every year in Australia about 200 babies die due to preeclampsia, as a direct consequence of the premature age in which they were born. The only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby.

Around the world, more then 50,000 mothers die every year from eclampsia. That number would dramatically increase if you took into account the other complications of preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a condition that only happens in pregnancy and is the most common medical disorder of a human pregnancy.

It also can be called preeclamptic toxemia or PET and has also been known as ‘kidney fits’. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure (hypertension), leakage of… Read the rest

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“So every time a celebrity is pregnant and suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum the media keeps calling it extreme morning sickness!

I want people to get their facts straight, it’s so much more serious than people realise!

For me, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is physically being unable to eat and drink. It’s losing so much weight and having no energy to stand, shower or be a mother. HG is gagging and vomiting violently when trying to make your daughter a sandwich because the smell just sets you off.

HG is crying constantly because of extreme, unrelenting nausea 24/7 … your body is in starvation mode, everything hurts and you know people think you ‘just have bad morning sickness’ …

HG causes isolation, anxiety and depression along with the physical symptoms. HG is taking drugs used to treat nausea and vomiting in chemo patients and they don’t… Read the rest

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Charlotte and Oliver are once again the number one baby names in Australia, according to the latest Top 100 Baby Names list, released this week.

The list, compiled by social researchers McCrindle, brings together data from the Australian states and territories to show the most popular names from 2018.

There were 1673 baby girls named Charlotte in 2018 and 2134 baby boys named Oliver. This is the fourth year Oliver and Charlotte have occupied the top spots together.

Charlotte took the top position from Olivia in 2015 — the same year Princess Charlotte was born. Oliver has been the number one boys’ name in Australia since it overtook Jack in 2013.

Top 10 baby names for girls in Australia 2018
  1. Charlotte
  2. Olivia
  3. Amelia
  4. Ava
  5. Mia
  6. Isla
  7. Grace
  8. Harper
  9. Chloe
  10. Willow
Top 10 baby names for boys in Australia 2018
  1. Oliver
  2. Jack
  3. William
  4. Noah
  5. Henry
  6. Thomas
  7. Leo
  8. Lucas
  9. James
  10. Liam
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Finding out I was pregnant was just as amazing the second time around. But, for a brief moment, I thought of the heartache I went through with my first birthing experience. I was determined to make this time different.

With my first child, Eli, I had an emergency caesarean. I was diagnosed with placenta previa at my 40-week check up and was taken straight to hospital. My beautiful healthy, baby boy arrived within the hour.

Not able to birth my own baby, I felt something had been taken from me. Then not to have the baby bonding process start until I was out of recovery an hour later didn’t seem right.

I wasn’t going to go through that again!

So, I started researching vaginal births after caesarean (VBAC) and talked to my obstetrician. He was open to the idea, but it was made plain to me from other hospital members, that hospital protocol, insurance, indemnity and bureaucracy, would basically… Read the rest

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All up, I have been pregnant for 113 weeks now.

I’m kind of fed up with the bump small talk. And people are stupid.

Well, perhaps that’s the hormones and aching hips talking. People are well-meaning and kind and want to show their interest in my gestational journeys … by saying the stupidest things. Baby brain is a real thing and apparently us knocked-up types are infecting the nation.

The 6 stupidest things said to me while pregnant “Please, do me a favour. Don’t wash your breasts with soap”

Seriously! My first pregnancy, before my first (atrocious) birth experience and before I was truly aware that pregnant women’s bodies are a public forum for personal and political commentary.
Before I knew that motherhood was a humbling, uniting, universal experience.

Favour? Soap? Breasts? My breasts?

I wish I could tell you this was a grandmotherly type who… Read the rest

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“Have you heard that Meghan Markle is getting a doula?”, I keep getting asked. Well, she’s not the only one.

I’m lucky to regularly hear first-hand of the value of the practical, personal and emotional support provided by doulas throughout pregnancy, birth and early parenting. It’s not just celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Alicia Keys and Alanis Morrisette who are benefitting — birthing parents across Australia are turning to the support of private doulas to help them navigate the complex world of birth planning, maternal health choices.

While doula means ‘servant to woman’ in Greek, I’m certain that in coming years the word ‘doula’ won’t be such a foreign term to us.

Why? Because whoever the new parent is — you, me, or Meghan Markle — when it comes to ensuring respectful, positive birthing… Read the rest

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It’s World Doula Week: a global movement raising awareness about the important role doulas can play in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

The word doula (derived from the Greek word meaning ‘servant of a woman’) is popping up more and more — particularly since news broke of Meghan Markle hiring a doula for the birth of her baby.

There’s now a growing awareness about the function of a doula: to provide practical and emotional support to birthing parents.

But not many people know why a doula’s support can make all the difference.

This World Doula Week, Birth for Humankind is on a mission to educate Australians about the benefits a doula can bring. Birth for Humankind engages volunteer doulas to provide free support to vulnerable pregnant women in Victoria.

In celebration of World Doula Week, we interviewed three of our volunteer doulas, Laura … Read the rest

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If you are scheduled to have a caesarean section, it can be scary if you don’t know what you’re in for.

The best way to curb that fear and stay on top of your nerves is to know what to expect.

From preparation, to how to handle yourself after you’re out of surgery — it really does help to read as much as you can on the topic.

We’ve taken some tips from our learned forum members to help you find out what to expect from a caesarean section — here they are.

19 tips to help you prepare for a caesarean
  • Teach older children before the surgery that they won’t be able to be picked up for a while after –and to be very gentle with mum after the surgery.
  • The surgery theatre won’t be all clinical and scary — the nurses and doctors will be able to talk to you, sometimes they play music, and if all goes well, you can hold your baby straight away.
  • Ask for your
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Meghan Markle is engaging a doula for the birth of her baby and we’re thrilled. This is why…

Firstly, we wish her, and every expectant mother, the best birth experience possible. The research shows unequivocally that doula care increases the chance of positive health and wellbeing outcomes for both mother and baby, so Meghan is giving herself and her baby a great head start.

Sadly, it’s a head start not every mother-to-be has access to. The issue is two-fold.

One: Not many people know what a doula is or how they can help. There’s confusion, even within the health system, about the difference between a doula and a midwife. Midwives provide clinical care and support, though a woman is likely to see several midwives during her pregnancy, birth and post-partum. While the role of the doula is to act as a constant, providing whatever practical, emotional and physical… Read the rest

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Caesarean birth is one of those topics that many mums-to-be would rather not think about. In fact, we don’t get to hear very much about them at all unless one of our friends has had one.

When I was preparing for my first birth, I sat in an antenatal class for five sessions before the word ‘caesarean’ was even mentioned. When it finally was, one unlucky lady was sat on a chair in the middle of the room and the rest of us (11 men and women) were told to crowd around her seat. This, we were told, was the way we would experience a caesarean birth. A few minutes were then dedicated to the perils of anaesthesia and how it could cause problems with feeding and bonding and that was it, “class dismissed”.

Needless to say, having had two caesareans, one planned and one emergency, I can say with total honesty that this is so far from the truth it would be laughable if it weren’t… Read the rest

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