Stop the epidural shaming

Why should women be pressured to have a natural birth?

OPINION: I could probably handle a drug-free labour and delivery - I just don't want to. And I shouldn't have to.

Realities of a blended family

Greg Crayford, partner Fran Rigby and her step children  Georgia-Grace Crayford (18-left) & Ella Rigby-Crayford (14).

Blended families are an exercise in commitment, compromise and coping with chaos.

Boozy mum culture's gone too far

Addiction experts and those who have battled addiction themselves say the trend minimises the dangers of drinking to excess.

Addiction experts and those who have battled addiction themselves say the trend minimises the dangers of drinking to excess.

When good mums are bad friends

Mums are expected to give everything they've got to their kids. So what's left for their friends?

OPINION: It's easy to think you won't change after having kids. But you will.

When can kids be home alone?

In New Zealand, it is illegal to leave children under 14 without making reasonable provision for their care.

Do parents know their own children best, or is 14 a fair home alone age?

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Baby

He's 10 years younger: should I date him?

I would like to start a family fairly soon, he wants to travel... and I worry about being judged.

ADVICE: I'm scared of getting involved with someone so much younger than me. Should I give it a go?

Bond baby on the way video

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are expecting their first child together.

Khloe reveals baby name video

Relief to hear rescue helicopter

Pregnancy

Pippa Middleton reportedly pregnant

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews. The baby is due in October.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister is having her first child, according to UK media reports.

Ultrasound nail art is a thing

Baby scans are being turned into nail art, jewellery and lamps.

Why should women be pressured to have a natural birth?

Stop the epidural shaming

OPINION: I could probably handle a drug-free labour and delivery - I just don't want to. And I shouldn't have to.

Little Kids

Let anxious kids face fears

Parents want to save their children from anxiety, but they shouldn't.

Parents want to rescue their children from anxiety. They should help them face their fears instead.

Give peas a chance

To my daughter, they're small green balls of pure evil. To the rest of the world, they're garden peas.

Positive themes come out of Anzac Day, such as sacrifice and being involved in something bigger than yourself.

A tough subject for toddlers

OPINION: I recently tried to explain to my two toddlers about their grandma's elderly dog dying.

Big Kids

I sigh with my little spy

I Spy has its moments but it can also make an already long car journey feel like an eternity.

Trapped in a moving car with a child intent on 20 million games of I Spy makes for a very trying road trip.

Jump Jam creator's new moves video

Jump Jam creator Brett Fairweather has visited more than 1000 schools since the kids' exercise initiative was launched 17 years ago.

Social anxiety can lead to a person missing out.

Diary of a socially anxious teen

"I don't know if people know how crippling it is, the anxiety."

Family Life

The realities of parenting a blended family

Greg Crayford, partner Fran Rigby and her step children  Georgia-Grace Crayford (18-left) & Ella Rigby-Crayford (14).

Blended families are an exercise in commitment, compromise and coping with chaos.

Great-grandparents give it a tri gallery

Celia Paranihi, 80, tackled the running leg of the Whānau Tri with a walking frame.

The first time you have a weekend away without your children is liberating.

A taste of freedom

Many people think Ed Sheeran's music is a gift, for Elise Vollweiler and her partner that gift was a weekend without children for the first time in five years.

Mum's Life

I sigh with my little spy

I Spy has its moments but it can also make an already long car journey feel like an eternity.

Trapped in a moving car with a child intent on 20 million games of I Spy makes for a very trying road trip.

The problem with mummy blogging

OPINION: We feel like we have a right to them, like our consent is their consent.

Mums are expected to give everything they've got to their kids. So what's left for their friends?

When good mums are bad friends

OPINION: It's easy to think you won't change after having kids. But you will.

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Tools

Due date calculator

Pregnant or trying to get pregnant? Want to work out when your baby is (or would be) due? Calculate your expected due date with Essential Mums’ due date calculator.

Baby name finder

Do you need some baby name inspiration? We have thousands of baby girl names and baby boy names in our baby name finder — complete with their meanings and origins.

Ovulation calculator

Are you trying to conceive? You only have a small window each month to get pregnant. Increase your chances by working out your most fertile time each month with our ovulation calculator.

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