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Analysis and Comment (20)

Most parents we interviewed described having “unrealistic” expectations about baby behaviour. Robyn Lee/Flickr

‘I didn’t know who I was anymore’ – myths vs realities of early parenthood

Becoming a parent is commonly imagined to be a joyful and “natural” life event. The reality is often very different. In the early weeks and months of life with a first baby, parents must master new skills…
The proportion of women experiencing depressive symptoms is higher among mothers of four-year-olds, than among mothers with a newborn baby. Arjun Karkhanis/Flickr

Mothers' mental health worse four years after giving birth

Becoming a parent is a journey into unchartered waters – the physical and emotional demands of looking after a newborn are exhausting and constant. Not surprisingly, depression and anxiety are common among…
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…
Recommended for me? Milk appreciation group? LIKE. c r z

New mums shun Twitter and stick to baby-friendly Facebook

Although it might sometimes seem that your Facebook feed is overrun with chatter about babies, research from Microsoft has suggested that mums actually spend less time on the site after they have had children…
New mothers make a lot of decisions to improve their babies' welfare. Megan Myers

Does becoming a mother make women ‘greener’?

Stop press! Actress Julia Roberts has been spotted in a Prius and is reportedly into reusable coffee cups and solar panels. According to media reports, it was the birth of her twins, rather than her Oscar-winning…
Mothers are best placed to make decisions about what to do with the life within them. Flickr/Peej's photos

Why losing my daughter means I don’t support Zoe’s law

A bill currently before the NSW Parliament attempts to criminalise harm to late-term foetuses that die due to injuries inflicted on their mother. But is foetal legal personhood the best way to recognise…
It can take some time for women to come to terms with the conceptual as well as physical change of giving birth. Remy Sharp

One body becoming two: how women experience childbirth

There is a substantial literature on labour and childbirth in medical, midwifery and social scientific research. But we still don’t know much about how labouring women experience that pivotal time when…
Maternity services often become fragmented after women have given birth. David/Flickr

We need to protect new mothers from trauma and suicide

Research we have just published shows the deaths of 48 of the 129 women in New South Wales who died during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth were due to suicide and trauma. It suggests mothers…
‘Nipple Nazi’ is probably a cathartic shout-out on behalf of women who feel ripped off by a message that delivers pressure without assuring them the means of living up to expectations. postbear eater of worlds/Flickr

‘Nipple Nazis’ vs overwrought mums: the breastfeeding debate

Intrigued by recent research that shows longer-term breastfeeding may be linked to higher IQs, I shared an article about it on my Facebook page. I was promptly accused of “breast-is-best” fascism. It appears…
BBC’s The White Queen set to feature 15th Century birth scene, when female midwives were the norm. BBC

Drunken midwives and snooty surgeons: a short history of giving birth

The history of childbirth and midwifery has seen some dramatic changes, not only in new medical discoveries that vastly improved the safety of both mother and baby but also in social trends and the way…
Kate Garraway: a successful older mum. PA/Cathal McNaughton

Don’t lecture older mums for problems made by men

The Get Britain Fertile “campaign”, funded by a pregnancy testing company and fronted by television presenter Kate Garraway, aims to get women to think about having children when they’re younger. But later…
Do this, don’t do that: will there be anything left to enjoy? PA/Ben Birchall

Storm over pregnancy advice highlights a media minefield

Something called “Scientific impact paper (number 37)”, might not be expected to attract much attention. But, news sites and parenting forums alike have been rife with comments attacking the release. The…
You may not forget the pain, but if you’re lucky, the end will justify the means. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: women forget the pain of childbirth

In an evolutionary sense, memory of pain serves an important purpose. Pain indicates a threat to our safety or our life, and human survival depends on us avoiding things that are going to kill us. Historically…
Most of us know little about the experiences of people who are drawn to the multimillion dollar surrogacy industry. Mike Reys

Origins of Love: the reality and ethics of reproductive tourism

Assisted reproductive technology has grown significantly in Australia as in other countries and hundreds of thousands of children have now been born because of it around the world. Most of us know people…
Representing foetuses as “babies” can have a serious impact on women’s access to contraception and abortion. Trevor Bair

Hilarious or horrifying? Foetuses Photoshopped onto bellies

I was both delighted and confused when I saw a discussion of a new “trend” in pregnancy pictures on STFU, Parents, a US blog that pokes fun at people who “overshare” information about parenting through…
Parents who are transgender tend to confront people’s ideas about the possibilities of parenthood. Presley Martin

He’s my mother: motherhood across gender boundaries

In the 2005 film Transamerica, Felicity Huffman’s character, Bree, is set to begin gender reassignment surgery when she receives a phone call from a teenage boy looking for his father, Stanley, the man…
Many women believe that experiencing pregnancy is a key component of motherhood. Dhini van Heeren

A womb of her own: risking uterus transplant for pregnancy

On a weekend in mid-September 2012, a team of gynaecologists and transplant specialists at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden, performed two uterus transplants with living donors. In both cases…

Research Briefs (9)