Articles on Birth

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Recent studies have revealed an emerging understanding of the benefits of birthing relationships through the childbearing process. Shutterstock

Speaking with: Hannah Dahlen on pregnancy care

Dallas Rogers speaks with Hannah Dahlen and Jacqueline Nelson about the importance of the relationship between a midwife and an expectant mother.
Birthing on country generally refers to an Aboriginal mother giving birth to her child on the lands of their ancestors. Skylines/Shutterstock

Why we need to support Aboriginal women’s choice to give birth on country

Where birthing on country is not offered, women leave their families weeks before birth. Or she can choose to give birth in her community without skilled birth attendants, which is risky.
Around 85% of Australian women have a repeat caesarean, but it’s often not necessary. Kati Molin/Shutterstock

Explainer: vaginal birth after caesarean

We've come a long way from the first documented successful caesarean. In 1500, Swiss farmer Jacob Nufer operated on his wife after a labour of several days. She went on to have five more vaginal births.
During the first few minutes after birth a baby can receive 80-100 millilitres of blood – nearly a third of their blood volume. Paul Hakimata Photography/Shutterstock

Delay clamping babies’ umbilical cords for better health and development

One of the most common surgical procedures undertaken in the world today – one that every human alive has undergone – is the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord at birth.
Any information about birthing women are exposed to influences their expectations long before they directly receive maternity care. Raphaël Labbé/Flickr

Women’s magazines could play a role in promoting natural births

Medical intervention in birth is normalised by both maternity care providers and all kinds of media. Our research shows information about the benefits of natural birth help women make better choices.
Legislating for commercial surrogacy would enable Australia to overcome concerns about poorly regulated clinics overseas, such as this one in Thailand. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Commercial surrogacy in Australia: rethinking notions of ‘natural’

Often emphasised in discussions about children’s best interests is the idea that certain ways of having and raising children are “natural”. For example, this word appears frequently in reference to how…
Inuit women carrying their kids in traditional hooded parkas. Indigenous midwifery programs have expanded across Canada and are linked to excellent health outcomes. Spencer/Flickr

Birthing on Country could deliver healthier babies and communities

Tony Abbott spent most of this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. In the final of our Abbott in…
If you’re born underweight, like this little baby on the left, it can make a world of difference to your lifelong health. Menzies Health

Australia’s 7 Up: the revealing study tracking babies to adults

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Australia’s southern grass skink gives birth to live young and a valuable species for understanding placenta evolution. Jacquie Herbert

Lizards help us find out which came first: the baby or the egg?

Have you ever wondered why we give birth to live young rather than lay eggs? Scientists have pondered this for a long time and answers have come from an unlikely source: some of Australia’s lizards and…
Babies born in private hospitals are more likely to have a problem following birth and to be readmitted to hospital in their first 28 days. Martin LaBar/Flickr

Birth intervention – and harm – more likely in private hospitals

Australia has high rates of medical and surgical intervention (including caesarean section) during birth, especially in private hospitals. While these interventions can be harmful if overused, people working…

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