Five ways science can help you raise healthy children

Chris Elliot, UNSW Australia There are countless parenting questions that science can’t answer: “is it gross to eat food my child spat out?”, “why do my kids hate wearing pants?” and, of course, “when they grow up, will my kids remember how much I loved them, or just that I made them wear pants?”. Fortunately,…

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Fear-based health information makes new mothers anxious

Heather Rowe, Monash University and Jane Fisher, Monash University Doctors, nurses and public health practitioners give health advice with the best intentions. They want pregnant women and their babies to be physically and mentally healthy. They want to support women and protect families. They want new mothers to have the best available evidence at their…

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Five things you need to know before going to an IVF clinic

Loretta Houlahan, Monash University With IVF success rates in the spotlight, patients are worried. They don’t want to wind up like Victorian couple Sarah and James Leury who spent nearly A$100,000 on 12 cycles of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) over five years. After ten cycles, the Leurys switched clinics – from one that doesn’t disclose its…

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Women aren’t following advice to stop drinking when pregnant

Sasha Petrova, The Conversation Around 40% of Australian women drink alcohol while pregnant, despite medical guidelines recommending they don’t. A study published in BMJ Open compared data of nearly 18,000 women across Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom. While the research found most women who reported drinking alcohol during pregnancy were likely to…

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Do women gain a child and lose a tooth?

Andrew Whitehouse, University of Western Australia ‘Gain a child, lose a tooth’ is a phrase that’s bugged me for a while. The basic premise here is that, along with back-ache, reflux and stretch-marks, tooth loss is a very natural consequence of pregnancy. A 2005 study found just how common this belief is among parents. In…

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Health Check: what to eat and avoid during pregnancy

Clare Collins, University of Newcastle and Michelle Blumfield, University of Newcastle 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. Eat more meat to boost your iron. Eat this fish…

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Don’t judge pregnant women, give them good nutrition advice

Karen Charlton, University of Wollongong and Catherine Lucas, University of Wollongong At no other point in life is good nutrition more important than while the foetus is developing. But women in Australia often don’t receive adequate reliable information about how to ensure what they eat is best for both themselves and their developing baby. Early…

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WWWT – a new resource for new parents

The What Were We Thinking (WWWT) blog offers practical guidance to support the mental wellbeing of parents, building their confidence in the early days of their baby’s life. Available as an app and blog, it contains information about common experiences in the early months of parenthood and some effective ways of thinking about and managing…

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