ABC Babytalk

ABC Babytalk


Because we think being a parent is the most thrilling, exhausting, emotional ride of your life - and you can't get off.


The Primates of Park Avenue  

Imagine a world where competitive parenting is ramped up to the level of an Olympic sport, where there's no sneaking the kids to school in a pair of battered leggings that you haven't changed since your early morning yoga class.. we're talking about a world where a full hair salon appointment needs to be timed with contractions so you look good in the 'birth photographs'! No you have not wandered accidentally into some re-run of Dallas or a bizarre 'Real Housewives' event.. this is the world author and anthropologist Wednesday Martin found herself in when she moved to the wilds of Park Avenue, New York.

Heart Kids  

Every single parent expects their baby to be born perfect and beautiful and healthy. Every single parent deserves that peace of mind but we know it's just not the case and for this extra special edition of Babytalk we're going to look at the number one cause of death of babies under 12 months of age.. childhood heart disease. Heart Kids is a charity that funds research and provides lifesaving support for parents who are struggling with this terrifying diagnosis.. something that is frequently diagnosed while their baby is in utero.

A cure for pre-eclampsia might be already in our medicine cabinet  

Pre-eclampsia and it's complications is one of the most common causes of death for pregnant women and their babies around the world, it affects between 2-8% of pregnancies. Complications of pre-eclampsia can affect both the mother and the foetus. Acutely, pre-eclampsia can be complicated by eclampsia, hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke, liver damage and dysfunction, acute kidney injury, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Researchers from the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne are contributing to the investigation of a drug that might be able to prevent this tragic and often fatal condition for mothers and babies.

Boy or girl, should you be able to choose?  

Do you think parents should be able to choose the sex of their baby? In these days of modern technology it is possible but not without significant cost and risk to select an embryo for its gender. In Australia embryo gender selection is undertaken for health reasons only and couples must undergo the whole process of In Vitro Fertilisation, creating fertilised embryos that are then selected tested and then implanted. There is no law against selecting an IVF embryo for its sex but it is against the ethical guidelines for Australian IVF clinics to do so for what is referred to for 'social reasons' not medical reasons (to avoid a genetically inherited disease).

A First Aid Course for everyone  

There are many first aid courses you can take as a parent, new or not! They should cover many of the important baisics of emergency care, CPR, dealing with choking, how to stop bleeding, how to call an ambulance but not many of these courses are free and hardly any involve children in the learning about first aid. Wonderwoman Children is a first aid program developed, championed and delivered by a passionate single mother who believes that good first aid knowledge is the right of everyone. She actively seeks the parents and groups of people who might not be able to afford a first aid course and tries to make sure they can get the knowledge and experience to save a life if they ever need to.

Donating Frozen Embryos  

If you've had a successful result using IVF (invitro fertilisation) you may be left with a very modern problem... extra embryos frozen in liquid nitrogen sitting in a canister in a laboratory. What will become of them? Will you keep them on ice forever? Would it be easier to allow them to be disposed of? Would you offer them to science or donate them to someone who has not been able to conceive a child themselves? What a life changing decision to make.. could you imagine someone else raising a child conceived from your genetic material without you ever knowing what they looked like ... would that be harder than just letting those cells slip away?

Guilt Free Bottle Feeding  

Not every mother is able to breast feed their child and when that happens where on earth do you turn for help? Madeleine Morris an ABC journalist has written a definitive guide on what to do if you need to feed your baby formula (and it's much more than following the instructions on the packet!) This podcast is a repeat of one of our most popular podcasts on one of the most difficult topics for new mothers.

The First 1000 days  

Think of everything your baby is going to learn in the first 1000 days, that's the time period from conception up to just over two years of age. It's probably the most important time of growth and development in a human's life, so much happens in these first days, weeks and years of life. The first 1000 days in a child's life is a significant period of growth and development but this is also the window in which many parents are also facing a return to work and that will mean finding childcare that will work for you, your baby and your family. How do you find childcare that will help to meet the development needs of children for this crucial time of life?

The App to help you calm your baby  

The internet has been a wonderful and sometimes terrible invention for new parents.. finally any sort of parent type problem can be dealt with online... no need to ring another mother or look up a reference book in the middle of the night, now you can google or even fire up an app to discover why your baby isn't sleeping! Jen Hamilton is a mothercraft nurse and former nanny who has many years of getting reluctant babies to sleep. She has been working on a smart phone app called WOT Baby and she's pretty sure that she can get your baby to sleep!

The Wonder Weeks!  

You know your baby is growing and developing every moment of every day but as a parent it's sometimes really hard to pick the times your baby will make a massive change in their development. Two Dutch researchers working with Jane Goodall's famous Chimpanzee colony in Tanzania discovered that chimp babies and human babies are not so dissimilar in the way they develop in 'leaps' as their brains evolve through developmental stages. Each 'leap' signifying a move into a new exciting development stage but with a corresponding change in behaviour that is not always welcome by it's frazzled parent (chimp or human!).

Are baby car seats safe for newborns?  

Summertime is a big season of travel for Australian families. Thousands of hours are spent in the car visiting relatives, driving to holidays and just generally moving around town. We use all sorts of safety gear with our children and we assume (correctly) that they are tested vigorously to make sure they keep our babies safe. Baby capsules and car-seats give our babies the very best chance of surviving an impact in the case of a car accident. For this reason these capsules are part of our road law, babies need to be protected by travelling in them when they are in cars but there has recently been a new concern raised by British researchers who found oxygen levels in very small babies can drop dangerously over a period of time if they are in a capsule in a moving (vibrating) vehicle.

Coping with the first Christmas!  

Who knew that your first Christmas as a parent could come around so quickly! Christmas is suddenly upon us, all the parties, celebrations and relatives that we had last year but now you have to juggle them with sleeps, feeds and the overwhelming exhaustion you're dealing with as a new parent... surely it would be easier to just call the whole thing off? There are a lot of things that are hard about juggling life as a parent but Christmas can be done if you're prepared to let things slide just a little..

Sunscreen for babies  

Should your baby be wearing sunscreen? What are the best sunscreen ingredients for a baby? Should your baby even be in the sun? As summer rolls around in Australia, new parents are coming to grips with how being sun-smart translates for babies and their precious skin. What is the best advice for your child and sun exposure? Do children need different ingredients in their sunscreen thanadults? In this Babytalk podcast you will meet a formulating pharmacist who has even mixed her own sunscreen at home. Deborah Williams can explain the common ingredients in sunscreen, which ones are the best for your baby or toddler, how and when you should apply sunscreen and when you might even consider staying inside.

Babies and their eye health  

Summer is a great time for families to get outside and play but harsh sun, pool chemicals, allergies and even potential injuries are all risks to babies eyes! Dr Caroline Catt is a Paediatric Ophthalmologist at he Children's Hospital at Westmead and she says parents need to be aware of what could pose a danger to children's eyes. So how do the experts recommend we care for babies eyes this summer and how on earth do they manage to examine a baby's eyes?

I can't find a heartbeat..  

Did you know more babies are lost to stillbirth than people killed on our roads? Can you imagine what a heartbreak such a loss is for parents, families and friends? Obstetrics Registrar Dr Teresa MacDonald from Mercy Health has dealt with this tragedy more frequently than you would expect. In this podcast she explains just what it's like when you can't find a baby's heartbeat, how the health professionals try and help and how she's leading a fundraiser to research solutions to this tragic problem.

Babies and their eye health  

Summer is a great time for families to get outside and play but harsh sun, pool chemicals, allergies and even potential injuries are all risks to babies eyes! Dr Caroline Catt is a Paediatric Ophthalmologist at he Children's Hospital at Westmead and she says parents need to be aware of what could pose a danger to children's eyes. So how do the experts recommend we care for babies eyes this summer and how on earth do they manage to examine a baby's eyes?

Mens Fertility  

Do men need to worry about their fertility? Don't you only need 'one good one' to get pregnant? It's harder for women, guys don't need to worry about biological clocks they can have babies at any age... might it surprise you that many of these statements are untrue.. and that research is showing that one in five men experience problems with their fertility and this has absolutely nothing to do with their sexual function or ability. This means there are a whole heap of guys who have a problem that they're not talking about in public.. and IVF specialist Dr David Knight wants men to start thinking about their fertility so they know when to ask for help.

Weaning your baby  

If you've never done it before, breastfeeding can be hard. We know that and there are resources and options to help you get started, it's really a case of persisting until you discover what's going to work for you and your baby but what about the other end of this experience? What help and advice is there for weaning your baby? Weaning is as much a part of your journey of motherhood as learning to breast feed but there's not as much time spent talking about it. Just like feeding every baby and almost every experience is different! Some babies stop overnight, some seem reluctant, some mothers can't wait to bring feeding to a close and others are desperate to hang onto the last experience of that special nurturing bond. In this podcast we talk about all the reasons you might want to wean your baby and how to make happen as smoothly and painlessly as possible.

Explaining the new National Disability Insurance Scheme  

Australia is moving into a new era of funding for babies, children and anyone with a disability. Hopes are very high for how this new scheme will change not only access to early intervention and assistance but also our attitudes towards people who live with a disability. While the National Disability Insurance Scheme is never something a parent would ever want to have to work with but if you have a child with special needs, this will be the agency to turn to. As hard as it is to imagine after the maelstrom of having a diagnosis of a disability for your child, this will be where you come for help. So how do you begin to work with this new agency that will manage and fund the care and support you will need to help maximise your child's potential and abilities throughout their life?

Can you really de-clutter with kids?  

Does your house look a little like an explosion in a toy factory? Are you sometimes overwhelmed by just how much stuff your children seem to own? Are you ready to stage a walkout over the number of times you find yourself packing up the tsunami of toys that have made your house look like a not very well curated op shop? This week on Babytalk's last episode in the Reboot Your Life series we take on the mammoth topic of children's 'stuff' and how you might go about curating and minimising the impact if not the sheer volume of toys that children seem to collect around them! We speak to clutter expert Carol Martyn AKA Dr Declutter about her work with families to turn down the volume of the stuff that threatens to overwhelm the enjoyment of life.

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