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Can cause behavioural problems in children later on. Injection by Shutterstock

How taking drugs while pregnant harms unborn babies

Women smoking while pregnant has been an uncomfortable reality for decades. Whatever the reason – whether a lack of concern about the risk, belief it’s too hard to quit or even reports that a resultant…
Pills ok during pregnancy? We can’t know if we don’t study them. Medications image via www.shutterstock.com

Pregnant women must be studied too

Imagine being pregnant while having a chronic health condition such as diabetes, hypertension, depression or asthma, or being diagnosed with an illness while pregnant. Amazingly, your doctor may not know…
Icy times for mom-to-be meant bad news for baby-on-board. Shaun Best/Reuters

Mom’s prenatal hardship turns baby’s genes on and off

In January 1998 five days of freezing rain collapsed the electrical grid of the Canadian province of Québec. The storm left more than 3 million people without electricity for anywhere from a few hours…
Many women find it difficult to strike the right balance between nutrition and safety. Sean McGrath/Flickr

Health Check: what to eat and avoid during pregnancy

As soon as women announce “I’m having a baby!”, the congratulations are quickly followed by long lists of dos and don'ts about food. Try ginger for morning sickness. Avoid soft cheese because of listeria…
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…
Sympathetic or jealous? Belly by Shutterstock

Couvade syndrome: why some men develop signs of pregnancy

Harry Ashby, the 29-year-old security guard who was signed off work with morning sickness, cravings, a growing stomach and breasts during his girlfriend’s pregnancy, was told he had Couvade syndrome. Couvade…
Timing matters. Stacey Newman/Shutterstock

Health Check: how to get pregnant

For couples trying to conceive, the chance of this happening within a year depends on their age. The monthly chance of pregnancy for couples where the woman is 35 years or younger is about 20% and 80-90…
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…

Gum disease linked to chronic health problems

Researchers have found that treating gum disease (periodontal disease) may reduce heart disease, diabetes and other conditions…
One in two Australian women report discrimination, despite existing protection laws. Flickr/Ryan

We must do better to curb discrimination against working parents

A landmark study by the Australian Human Rights Commission reporting that one in two mothers has experienced work discrimination shows employers clearly believe they have legitimate reasons to discriminate…
Energy requirements don’t rise much but nutrient requirements do, so women need to be mindful of the quality of their diet. Shutterstock

Health Check: eating for two during pregnancy

Women are often encouraged to “eat for two” during pregnancy. While this is right in terms of eating to meet both mum’s and baby’s needs, it doesn’t mean doubling her total food and energy intake. The…

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