Motherhood

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Nobody’s perfect – not you, and not your kids. And that’s OK. from www.shutterstock.com

Five things every guilty parent needs to know

Feeling guilty and out of your depth as a parent? You're not alone – and there are ways to turn the guilt you're feeling into positive changes for your family.
Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 (commonly known as Whistler’s Mother), by James McNeill Whistler (1871). Wikimedia Commons

The extraordinary life of Whistler’s mother

The famous portrait, usually resident in France, is on a rare tour in the US. From looking at it, one might assume its subject had a tranquil, even monotonous, life. But one would be wrong.
Life is naturally sunny for the ‘happy mother’ of social mythology, which makes it doubly difficult for mums when they are miserable. Shutterstock/FamVeld

How happiness becomes a burden of identity as a wife and mother

Women are supposed to be happy about motherhood – if they're not their parenting is open to question. We have seen a 'Parenting Hate' backlash against this, but what's needed most is better social support.
There’s a sense that people who want to be child-free are somehow draft-dodging the duty of parenthood – we’ve done it and suffered, so why haven’t you? Hanna Nikkanen/Flickr

People who don’t want kids deserve respect for their choice

Societies overwhelmingly endorse reproduction, but the pressure this places on people who don't want to have kids may be putting their health at risk.
The UK came 24th in a recent study of the best places to be a mother. from www.shutterstock.com

Why isn’t the UK a safer place to give birth?

Save The Children's latest State of the World's Mothers report highlights the impact of rising inequality on maternal deaths.
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…

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