Psychological wellbeing for pregnancy and beyond

As a psychologist in Bowral NSW working in perinatal psychology (supporting mothers from the time of conception, through pregnancy and into early childhood) I appreciate very much that the local community have access to the Calmbirth childbirth education program in Mittagong.

As a psychologist in Bowral NSW working in perinatal psychology (supporting mothers from the time of conception, through pregnancy and into early childhood) I appreciate very much that the local community have access to the Calmbirth childbirth education program in Mittagong.

Yoga – The ideal ‘choice’ of exercise during pregnancy

Celia lives in the Southern Highlands with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about the empowerment of women in pregnancy and birth and assists women to achieve this through prenatal yoga, meditation and acupuncture.

Celia lives in the Southern Highlands with her husband and two young children. She is passionate about the empowerment of women in pregnancy and birth and assists women to achieve this through prenatal yoga, meditation and acupuncture.

Exercise whilst pregnant- what is safe?

There are lots of exercises that are safe during training and your current training plan can be modified to allow you to continue training though out all stages of pregnancy.

There are lots of exercises that are safe during training and your current training plan can be modified to allow you to continue training though out all stages of pregnancy.

Can childbirth be enjoyable?

Why is childbirth so feared in our society? I know for certain that I’m not the only woman who has enjoyed her labour and births.

Why is childbirth so feared in our society? I know for certain that I’m not the only woman who has enjoyed her labour and births.

Love & Fear – its impact on Mental Health

Can the Calmbirth prenatal education classes make a positive contribution to the mental health of pregnant couple’s as well as to the children of the next generation?

And, what has happened to our humanity over recent times to create such an epidemic of mental health problems?

Can the Calmbirth prenatal education classes make a positive contribution to the mental health of pregnant couple’s as well as to the children of the next generation?

And, what has happened to our humanity over recent times to create such an epidemic of mental health problems?

Making Room For Love

Lets be honest, being a mum is hard work. The demands that today’s mothers are under are different to those of generations that came before, being time poor is one such challenge. Each generation has its own story.

Lets be honest, being a mum is hard work. The demands that today’s mothers are under are different to those of generations that came before, being time poor is one such challenge. Each generation has its own story.

Birth Preferences. Why are they important?

When I talk about the topic of birth preferences, the general feedback from people is “we have heard if you have a birth plan, it won’t go to plan”. Most feel that they will leave their birth in the capable hands of their care providers as “they know best” and are the experts.

When I talk about the topic of birth preferences, the general feedback from people is “we have heard if you have a birth plan, it won’t go to plan”. Most feel that they will leave their birth in the capable hands of their care providers as “they know best” and are the experts.

There’s no birth like a Calmbirth…there’s no place like home

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Glinda from The Wizard of OZ.What does the Wizard of OZ and Calmbirth have in common?Sitting and watching the legendary and classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” with my family, it dawned on me how many parallels can be drawn upon to the journey of labour, birth, parenting and our Calmbirth Program that enables and empowers couples to discover their own strength, courage and to trust themselves and each other. So, let me take you on this journey…

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Glinda from The Wizard of OZ.What does the Wizard of OZ and Calmbirth have in common?Sitting and watching the legendary and classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” with my family, it dawned on me how many parallels can be drawn upon to the journey of labour, birth, parenting and our Calmbirth Program that enables and empowers couples to discover their own strength, courage and to trust themselves and each other. So, let me take you on this journey…

How to Normalise a Medicalised Labour and Birth.

Education is the key when your preparing to labour and birth. Without education and knowledge you may find it hard to speak your truth and advocate for what you desire throughout your labour and birth journey. This knowledge will give you the confidence in asking the question’s you need to ask in order to then make informed choices.Having a supportive care provider that you have built a relationship with would be great place to start when thinking about informed consent. You do have choices in the medical system you just need to ask.

Education is the key when your preparing to labour and birth. Without education and knowledge you may find it hard to speak your truth and advocate for what you desire throughout your labour and birth journey. This knowledge will give you the confidence in asking the question’s you need to ask in order to then make informed choices.Having a supportive care provider that you have built a relationship with would be great place to start when thinking about informed consent. You do have choices in the medical system you just need to ask.

Visualisation and Childbirth

Riki Copper is a Limitless Mindset Coach who has been working with Bob Proctor and the Proctor Gallagher Institute sinice 2017 to change peoples lives with results that stick –  helping people to live happier, healthier and wealthier lives.”OUR MISSION is to assist in raising the level of conscious awareness of every individual who we come into contact with. We do this through facilitating key learnings in a number of self study and mentor programs,” says Riki. As a Mindset Coach, Riki uses some of these principles and shares his knowledge with pregnant couples to help them create the birth they want by using techniques such as visualisation in childbirth and tools to help pregnant couples change their thoughts, perceptions and feelings about birth – to help them create the birth they want by getting them to focus on ‘on what the birth they want actually looks like for them. 

Riki Copper is a Limitless Mindset Coach who has been working with Bob Proctor and the Proctor Gallagher Institute sinice 2017 to change peoples lives with results that stick –  helping people to live happier, healthier and wealthier lives.”OUR MISSION is to assist in raising the level of conscious awareness of every individual who we come into contact with. We do this through facilitating key learnings in a number of self study and mentor programs,” says Riki. As a Mindset Coach, Riki uses some of these principles and shares his knowledge with pregnant couples to help them create the birth they want by using techniques such as visualisation in childbirth and tools to help pregnant couples change their thoughts, perceptions and feelings about birth – to help them create the birth they want by getting them to focus on ‘on what the birth they want actually looks like for them. 

Building Your Village – Strategies To Thrive During Your Postpartum Period

Up until now, the fourth trimester or otherwise known as the postpartum period was seldom talked about. Today, this post partum period has been recognised as crucial not only for the healthy development of the baby, but also for the healing of the mother after birth and the transition to parenthood for both mother and father/partner alike.This is why we are collaborating with experts in the field of perinatal mental health and wellbeing to continue to offer support and confidence to new parents who may be feeling challenged or even overwhelmed with the complexities and emotional journey that becoming new parents brings. We are working together with Rachel Bridge, a psychologist and author who shares our passion and values in supporting families on their postpartum journey by providing much needed resources and strategies to cope during this very fragile time in a new parent’s life.

Up until now, the fourth trimester or otherwise known as the postpartum period was seldom talked about. Today, this post partum period has been recognised as crucial not only for the healthy development of the baby, but also for the healing of the mother after birth and the transition to parenthood for both mother and father/partner alike.This is why we are collaborating with experts in the field of perinatal mental health and wellbeing to continue to offer support and confidence to new parents who may be feeling challenged or even overwhelmed with the complexities and emotional journey that becoming new parents brings. We are working together with Rachel Bridge, a psychologist and author who shares our passion and values in supporting families on their postpartum journey by providing much needed resources and strategies to cope during this very fragile time in a new parent’s life.

Go with the ‘flow’

Thinking will not overcome FEAR but ACTION will.Given I am passionate about teaching couples how to remain calm during labour & birth, one would assume that I am always calm myself.When things go to plan life is beautiful; I am totally calm & confident. However, recently things didn’t go to plan and I found myself submerged in a sea of fear; drowning my natural abilities to go with the flow.

Thinking will not overcome FEAR but ACTION will.Given I am passionate about teaching couples how to remain calm during labour & birth, one would assume that I am always calm myself.When things go to plan life is beautiful; I am totally calm & confident. However, recently things didn’t go to plan and I found myself submerged in a sea of fear; drowning my natural abilities to go with the flow.

How coronavirus is changing maternity wards

Pregnancy is usually a time of joy and nerves but the anxiety is only rising as the coronavirus continues to spread.Calm Birth owner Karen McClay tells Deborah Knight that the coronavirus is having a major impact on pregnant women. “There’s maternity units that are having to consider cutting down visitors and limiting who can actually go onto units as well, so there’s concern about what support people they can take with them.”She says they have tried to adjust to the new normal by moving programs online and using telehealth appointments.

Pregnancy is usually a time of joy and nerves but the anxiety is only rising as the coronavirus continues to spread.Calm Birth owner Karen McClay tells Deborah Knight that the coronavirus is having a major impact on pregnant women. “There’s maternity units that are having to consider cutting down visitors and limiting who can actually go onto units as well, so there’s concern about what support people they can take with them.”She says they have tried to adjust to the new normal by moving programs online and using telehealth appointments.

Even during a pandemic babies WILL be born & Calmbirth will be there to help support, empower & educate pregnant couples in a virtual classroom

Due to the current threat of the Coronavirus and the increased risk of cross infection between class participants, all major maternity hospitals in Sydney have suspended face to face antenatal education classes.
It is anticipated that hospitals in other states will soon apply the same restrictions and private practitioners may also need to adopt the same boundaries. As a result of this pandemic, Calmbirth has come up with an innovative solution that enables pregnant couples, whose anxiety levels maybe peaking with all the uncertainties to still be able to access quality and evidence based childbirth education in a virtual classroom via ZOOM, where the couples can engage with other pregnant couples, their Calmbirth Educator as well as calm their fears about giving birth.

Due to the current threat of the Coronavirus and the increased risk of cross infection between class participants, all major maternity hospitals in Sydney have suspended face to face antenatal education classes.
It is anticipated that hospitals in other states will soon apply the same restrictions and private practitioners may also need to adopt the same boundaries. As a result of this pandemic, Calmbirth has come up with an innovative solution that enables pregnant couples, whose anxiety levels maybe peaking with all the uncertainties to still be able to access quality and evidence based childbirth education in a virtual classroom via ZOOM, where the couples can engage with other pregnant couples, their Calmbirth Educator as well as calm their fears about giving birth.

Owner & Director Karen McClay’s Calmbirth ZOOM Courses

Hi, I’m Karen McClay, I’m the the owner Director of Calmbirth, Midwife, mother and Calmbirth Educator. Now more than ever it’s crucial for pregnant couples to empower themselves with the best quality and evidence based childbirth education to prepare for labour & birth, so that you can work together as a team to birth your baby. The skills and tools you will learn in Calmbirth are tools for life and will help you to deal with your heightened levels of fear, anxiety and stress, especially in these uncertain times as you navigate your way to becoming new parents.

Hi, I’m Karen McClay, I’m the the owner Director of Calmbirth, Midwife, mother and Calmbirth Educator. Now more than ever it’s crucial for pregnant couples to empower themselves with the best quality and evidence based childbirth education to prepare for labour & birth, so that you can work together as a team to birth your baby. The skills and tools you will learn in Calmbirth are tools for life and will help you to deal with your heightened levels of fear, anxiety and stress, especially in these uncertain times as you navigate your way to becoming new parents.

8 Tips to Support your Partner in Labour

It’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment particularly for pregnant women and those who are soon to birth.  So it is important as a birth partner you can be the best support person you can be!

It’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment particularly for pregnant women and those who are soon to birth.  So it is important as a birth partner you can be the best support person you can be!

Induction – Make your Decision based on fact not fear

Currently 1 in 4 women are being induced in Australia.Inductions can increase:The need for medical pain relief most commonly epiduralVacuum or forceps deliveryEmergency Caesarean sectionsWhen deciding to have an induction we are often evaluating ‘risks’. this term alone can provoke fear or anxiety and can inhibit a woman’s ability to make an informed decision.  There is an element of risk in everything we do and we all perceive it differently.  In making a decision about induction we are balancing the pros and cons, based on evidence based information/statistics in relation to the mother and baby’s health. Equally important is the emotional impact on the Mother, her concerns, fears and anxiety about inducing or not need to be considered.

Currently 1 in 4 women are being induced in Australia.Inductions can increase:The need for medical pain relief most commonly epiduralVacuum or forceps deliveryEmergency Caesarean sectionsWhen deciding to have an induction we are often evaluating ‘risks’. this term alone can provoke fear or anxiety and can inhibit a woman’s ability to make an informed decision.  There is an element of risk in everything we do and we all perceive it differently.  In making a decision about induction we are balancing the pros and cons, based on evidence based information/statistics in relation to the mother and baby’s health. Equally important is the emotional impact on the Mother, her concerns, fears and anxiety about inducing or not need to be considered.

Let’s Zoom into Calmbirth

As a parent educator till recently I would walk into a room filled with becoming parents and with knowledge, experience, my presence, my voice and my hands I would deliver good quality education mixed with the groups involvement, hands on as well as a slight twist of humour and a tinge of a German accent. Only recently I found myself walking into my bedroom to sit in front of a screen to teach Calmbirth to couples.

As a parent educator till recently I would walk into a room filled with becoming parents and with knowledge, experience, my presence, my voice and my hands I would deliver good quality education mixed with the groups involvement, hands on as well as a slight twist of humour and a tinge of a German accent. Only recently I found myself walking into my bedroom to sit in front of a screen to teach Calmbirth to couples.

Connection through Baby Wearing

Baby Wearing has huge benefits for everyone!!!For mums, your oxytocin levels are increased through physical contact, assisting with the maternal bond, easier breastfeeding, all leading to a lowering of the incidence of postnatal depression. 

Baby Wearing has huge benefits for everyone!!!For mums, your oxytocin levels are increased through physical contact, assisting with the maternal bond, easier breastfeeding, all leading to a lowering of the incidence of postnatal depression. 

When will face to face antenatal classes resume?

The one million dollar question we get asked every day since the COVID -19 restrictions came into place is, “When will Calmbirth be resuming face to face antenatal classes?” I wish the answer was that simple that we could give you a definite answer. Even with ‘talk’ of some restrictions being eased off, we still have to practice social distancing within a classroom environment. Here is the latest recommendations and guidelines from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, that face to face antenatal courses are not recommended. So, don’t delay booking your Calmbirth ZOOM course and empowering yourself with knowledge and confidence to prepare for your birth because it looks like ZOOM will be here to stay for a while. 

The one million dollar question we get asked every day since the COVID -19 restrictions came into place is, “When will Calmbirth be resuming face to face antenatal classes?” I wish the answer was that simple that we could give you a definite answer. Even with ‘talk’ of some restrictions being eased off, we still have to practice social distancing within a classroom environment. Here is the latest recommendations and guidelines from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, that face to face antenatal courses are not recommended. So, don’t delay booking your Calmbirth ZOOM course and empowering yourself with knowledge and confidence to prepare for your birth because it looks like ZOOM will be here to stay for a while. 

The Calmbirth Conversation Series 1: Benefits of midwifery led care and homebirth

Welcome to the Calmbirth Conversation Series!!During these conversations I will be talking with experts in the birthing and parenting fields to provide you with information to make informed decisions for birthing and parenting journeys.

Welcome to the Calmbirth Conversation Series!!During these conversations I will be talking with experts in the birthing and parenting fields to provide you with information to make informed decisions for birthing and parenting journeys.

Calmbirth Conversation Series 2 : Acupressure & TCM

A great conversation with Karen McClay, Director of Calmbirth and Melinda Webb from The Birthing Webb about the Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Labour & Birth.

A great conversation with Karen McClay, Director of Calmbirth and Melinda Webb from The Birthing Webb about the Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture for Pregnancy, Labour & Birth.

Calmbirth Conversation Series 3: What is a Doula & how do they support couples during labour and birth?

During this conversation, Karen McClay, Midwife & Director of Calmbirth chats with Melinda Webb from The Birthing Webb (https://www.melindawebb.com.au). Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, a Doula and a Calmbirth educator. Here they talk about Doulas’ and how they support couples and families during labour & birth.

During this conversation, Karen McClay, Midwife & Director of Calmbirth chats with Melinda Webb from The Birthing Webb (https://www.melindawebb.com.au). Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, a Doula and a Calmbirth educator. Here they talk about Doulas’ and how they support couples and families during labour & birth.

Calmbirth Educator, Kathy Kitzis talks to ‘Interested Podcast’ about her journey as an Educator & mother

Our gorgeous Calmbirth Educator Kathy Kitzis who offers our Calmbirth program in France talks to ‘Interested Podcast’ about Calmbirth and her personal experience as a mother. It’s such a powerful interview!!!

Our gorgeous Calmbirth Educator Kathy Kitzis who offers our Calmbirth program in France talks to ‘Interested Podcast’ about Calmbirth and her personal experience as a mother. It’s such a powerful interview!!!

Planning a homebirth: The benefits of continuity of midwifery care and birthing where babies are made

Story by Claire Heenan, Media & Communications at Homebirth NSW & a Sydney-based birth and postpartum doula Choosing where to give birth and whom you’d like on your birth team is a significantly loaded decision in terms of how you are going to feel about your pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. Sometimes making a decision as important as this calls for starting with the vision in mind and asking yourself about the hopes and dreams you have for your birth. How do you visualise the birth of your baby? Are you hoping to avoid unnecessary intervention? Do you trust birth as a physiological journey? Of course, the evidence is important too, and as a doula and member of the Homebirth NSW committee, I am a big believer in marrying good quality evidence with a woman’s own intuitive knowing as to what will be best for her and her baby.”Babies being born where they are made. Midwives being ‘with woman’ in every sense. The woman, a warrior at the centre of her birth experience, handing her power to no one. Skin to skin in a woman’s own comfy bed, no rush or fuss. A baby, born into a warm, loving and familiar place; Home”, says Claire Heenan.

Story by Claire Heenan, Media & Communications at Homebirth NSW & a Sydney-based birth and postpartum doula Choosing where to give birth and whom you’d like on your birth team is a significantly loaded decision in terms of how you are going to feel about your pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. Sometimes making a decision as important as this calls for starting with the vision in mind and asking yourself about the hopes and dreams you have for your birth. How do you visualise the birth of your baby? Are you hoping to avoid unnecessary intervention? Do you trust birth as a physiological journey? Of course, the evidence is important too, and as a doula and member of the Homebirth NSW committee, I am a big believer in marrying good quality evidence with a woman’s own intuitive knowing as to what will be best for her and her baby.”Babies being born where they are made. Midwives being ‘with woman’ in every sense. The woman, a warrior at the centre of her birth experience, handing her power to no one. Skin to skin in a woman’s own comfy bed, no rush or fuss. A baby, born into a warm, loving and familiar place; Home”, says Claire Heenan.

postioning your baby

Breech or Posterior Babies – How To Get Them to Turn

Is your baby Breech or Posterior? When your baby isn’t in the ideal position.Most care providers would like your baby to be in the optimal fetal position – head down, however, this is not always the norm.  Some babies don’t get that memo by 34 weeks!

Is your baby Breech or Posterior? When your baby isn’t in the ideal position.Most care providers would like your baby to be in the optimal fetal position – head down, however, this is not always the norm.  Some babies don’t get that memo by 34 weeks!

Birth is Experiential – be open to the journey…

Find out what the ‘magic’ is about the Calmbirth program and experience it for yourself  – WHY THERE’S NO BIRTH LIKE A CALMBIRTH “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”Glinda from The Wizard of OZ.What does the Wizard of OZ and Calmbirth have in common?Sitting and watching the legendary and classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” with my family, it dawned on me how many parallels can be drawn upon to the journey of labour, birth, parenting and our Calmbirth Program that enables and empowers couples to discover their own strength, courage and to trust themselves and each other. So, let me take you on this journey…

Find out what the ‘magic’ is about the Calmbirth program and experience it for yourself  – WHY THERE’S NO BIRTH LIKE A CALMBIRTH “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”Glinda from The Wizard of OZ.What does the Wizard of OZ and Calmbirth have in common?Sitting and watching the legendary and classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” with my family, it dawned on me how many parallels can be drawn upon to the journey of labour, birth, parenting and our Calmbirth Program that enables and empowers couples to discover their own strength, courage and to trust themselves and each other. So, let me take you on this journey…

Why birth preparation is so important…..

Having a baby is one of the most memorable days of your life…..

From all the ‘grandmothers’ I have met at births – they all have a story…. the story of their birth – they never forget it. It’s a day that’s with them forever…

So why do women in our culture have the belief that they can just ‘turn up’ to their birth when then labour starts? When we get married we spend tens of thousands of Dollars on this ‘1 day’, yet we don’t see the need to spend a lot less on preparing for giving birth…

Having a baby is one of the most memorable days of your life…..

From all the ‘grandmothers’ I have met at births – they all have a story…. the story of their birth – they never forget it. It’s a day that’s with them forever…

So why do women in our culture have the belief that they can just ‘turn up’ to their birth when then labour starts? When we get married we spend tens of thousands of Dollars on this ‘1 day’, yet we don’t see the need to spend a lot less on preparing for giving birth…

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 4: Pelvic Floor Care

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with Sophie Carroll, a women’s health physio from Enlightened Physiotherapy, about the importance of caring for your pelvic floor during pregnancy, including perineal massage, which in turn helps with labour and birth. They also then go on to talk about how to support the recovery of your pelvic floor once you’ve had your baby.

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with Sophie Carroll, a women’s health physio from Enlightened Physiotherapy, about the importance of caring for your pelvic floor during pregnancy, including perineal massage, which in turn helps with labour and birth. They also then go on to talk about how to support the recovery of your pelvic floor once you’ve had your baby.

Calmbirth Conversation Series 6: The Birth Map & Making Informed Decisions About Birth

In this episode the Director of Calmbirth, Karen McClay, chats with Catherine Bell, a Birth Cartographer @birthmapping, about her book “The Birth Map”. This is a fantastic tool to assist women and their partners navigate their journey of birth.

The Birth Map enables them to open the lines of communication with each other and their caregivers and most importantly, make informed decisions for the best birth for not only themselves but for their babies.

In this episode the Director of Calmbirth, Karen McClay, chats with Catherine Bell, a Birth Cartographer @birthmapping, about her book “The Birth Map”. This is a fantastic tool to assist women and their partners navigate their journey of birth.

The Birth Map enables them to open the lines of communication with each other and their caregivers and most importantly, make informed decisions for the best birth for not only themselves but for their babies.

Pregnant in a Pandemic – Isolated but NOT Alone….

Being a soon to be mum is already pretty daunting and that is before COVID!

Being a mum of three, I’ve had three different birth experiences and being a midwife I’ve helped 100’s of soon to be mums go through this.

Being a soon to be mum is already pretty daunting and that is before COVID!

Being a mum of three, I’ve had three different birth experiences and being a midwife I’ve helped 100’s of soon to be mums go through this.

Having a ‘ball’ in labour and birth…

The peanut ball arrived on the birthing scene as a useful tool for aiding in maternal comfort and the progress of labour. However, just how and why this versatile device is used to achieve these ends is still a bit sketchy, so here’s an overview of the merits of the peanut ball in the birthing space.

The peanut ball arrived on the birthing scene as a useful tool for aiding in maternal comfort and the progress of labour. However, just how and why this versatile device is used to achieve these ends is still a bit sketchy, so here’s an overview of the merits of the peanut ball in the birthing space.

How to prepare for a positive birth experience…

Listen to Karen McClay, Director of Calmbirth as she talks about how to prepare for a positve birth for @thenestcpr ‘s Ultimate Mothers Group. Karen covers everything you need to know on how to achieve a positive birth.

Listen to Karen McClay, Director of Calmbirth as she talks about how to prepare for a positve birth for @thenestcpr ‘s Ultimate Mothers Group. Karen covers everything you need to know on how to achieve a positive birth.

How are you feeling about labour and birth?

Because when it comes to envisaging how your labour and birth will unfold, how you (plural – mother and partner) are feeling matters more than ever.

The fundamental truism that ‘like attracts like’ is summed up well in that quote attributed to Henry Ford that ‘whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right’. This is the Law of Attraction at work, which uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into our reality. This impact that our mind has on our lives is becoming more apparent to us through the recent work by quantum physicists who understand that we cannot have a universe without the mind entering it.

Because when it comes to envisaging how your labour and birth will unfold, how you (plural – mother and partner) are feeling matters more than ever.

The fundamental truism that ‘like attracts like’ is summed up well in that quote attributed to Henry Ford that ‘whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right’. This is the Law of Attraction at work, which uses the power of the mind to translate whatever is in our thoughts and materialize them into our reality. This impact that our mind has on our lives is becoming more apparent to us through the recent work by quantum physicists who understand that we cannot have a universe without the mind entering it.

Calmbirth Conversation Series 7: Choosing the best model of care for your pregnancy and birth goals

In this episode I chat with Professor Hannah Dahlen from Western Sydney University about the importance of choosing the best model of care and the right caregiver to support you with your wishes for your pregnancy and birth. We talk about why this decision is so important and what the latest research is showing. Happy listening…
The Birth Map enables them to open the lines of communication with each other and their caregivers and most importantly, make informed decisions for the best birth for not only themselves but for their babies.

In this episode I chat with Professor Hannah Dahlen from Western Sydney University about the importance of choosing the best model of care and the right caregiver to support you with your wishes for your pregnancy and birth. We talk about why this decision is so important and what the latest research is showing. Happy listening…
The Birth Map enables them to open the lines of communication with each other and their caregivers and most importantly, make informed decisions for the best birth for not only themselves but for their babies.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 8:  Acupuncture for Pregnancy Labour & Birth

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with @melindawebb_healthpractitioner about the benefits of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for pregnancy, labour and birth.

Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, specialising in Women’s Health in Rozelle NSW. She also works closely with families as a Doula and Calmbirth Educator.

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with @melindawebb_healthpractitioner about the benefits of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for pregnancy, labour and birth.

Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, specialising in Women’s Health in Rozelle NSW. She also works closely with families as a Doula and Calmbirth Educator.

Calmbirth for FREE as part of a pilot study in Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand – Here is what A Calmbirth couple in Auckland had to say about their Calmbirth experience…

A testimonial from a Calmbirth couple, Christina Fortes & Noa Pitovao that were part of a pilot study at the Auckland City Hospital.

We are firm believers of Calmbirth
and sincerely hope we manage to encourage many more couples to attend,
and most of all, get the Auckland City Hospital to continue providing the Calmbirth course for free so it is accessible by all walks of life and not just those who have spare money floating about.

This pilot project is part of an initiative to support natural birth in Auckland City Hospital. To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

SEE if you qualify for a FREE Auckland DHB CALMBIRTH Course. To Learn more and to Register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

Tag and Tell ALL your pregnant friends in Auckland, NZ.
Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, specialising in Women’s Health in Rozelle NSW. She also works closely with families as a Doula and Calmbirth Educator.

A testimonial from a Calmbirth couple, Christina Fortes & Noa Pitovao that were part of a pilot study at the Auckland City Hospital.

We are firm believers of Calmbirth
and sincerely hope we manage to encourage many more couples to attend,
and most of all, get the Auckland City Hospital to continue providing the Calmbirth course for free so it is accessible by all walks of life and not just those who have spare money floating about.

This pilot project is part of an initiative to support natural birth in Auckland City Hospital. To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

SEE if you qualify for a FREE Auckland DHB CALMBIRTH Course. To Learn more and to Register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

Tag and Tell ALL your pregnant friends in Auckland, NZ.
Melinda is a Dr of Chinese Medicine, specialising in Women’s Health in Rozelle NSW. She also works closely with families as a Doula and Calmbirth Educator.

Birth is not just about birthing a baby, but the birth of a mother too…

For part 3 of Clair Wind from the Mum Will Know Podcast mini series on Childbirth Education options, Claire speaks with Calmbirth director Karen McClay. Following in her father’s footsteps as a midwife and Calmbirth educator, Karen opens up how birth is not just about birthing a baby, but the birth of a mother too.

She delves into the importance of acknowledging the emotional side of birth and parenting and discusses how the event of giving birth is monumental in preparing a couple to face parenthood.

Karen shares exactly what to expect from a Calmbirth course and offers wisdom on the importance of education in all aspects of life

For part 3 of Clair Wind from the Mum Will Know Podcast mini series on Childbirth Education options, Claire speaks with Calmbirth director Karen McClay. Following in her father’s footsteps as a midwife and Calmbirth educator, Karen opens up how birth is not just about birthing a baby, but the birth of a mother too.

She delves into the importance of acknowledging the emotional side of birth and parenting and discusses how the event of giving birth is monumental in preparing a couple to face parenthood.

Karen shares exactly what to expect from a Calmbirth course and offers wisdom on the importance of education in all aspects of life

What you need to know about the mind & body connection in birth…

Did you know the Calmbirth childbirth education program is designed around the mind body-connection? The primary emphasis of Calmbirth is the mind-body connection and how a mother’s state of mind, in fact the couples state of mind, can influence the labour and birth process in many different ways, physically as well as emotionally.

Did you know the Calmbirth childbirth education program is designed around the mind body-connection? The primary emphasis of Calmbirth is the mind-body connection and how a mother’s state of mind, in fact the couples state of mind, can influence the labour and birth process in many different ways, physically as well as emotionally.

You can’t sense and stress at the same time…

One of our biggest goals in the @Calmbirth Program is to give you and your partner tools to work with the challenges and stressors that can arise not only in labour but also parenting and your everyday life. So here is a quick and simple, but powerful tool to use whenever you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed.

Have you ever noticed that you can’t sense and stress at the same time?
Just stop and think about it for a moment – you can’t sense and stress at the same time!

One of our biggest goals in the @Calmbirth Program is to give you and your partner tools to work with the challenges and stressors that can arise not only in labour but also parenting and your everyday life. So here is a quick and simple, but powerful tool to use whenever you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed.

Have you ever noticed that you can’t sense and stress at the same time?
Just stop and think about it for a moment – you can’t sense and stress at the same time!

Calmbirth – Reframing what birth looks & feels like and changing our birth culture.

As a girl I grew up exposed to mainstream media in which birthing women on TV or in the movies were always portrayed to be screaming, swearing at their partners, and huffing and puffing whilst squeezing their partner’s hands so tightly, and pushing their babies out so hard that I thought that they would both pass out! Even today, with everything we know about birth, these prevalent stereotypical images become deeply ingrained in us as individuals, and in our culture, influencing our beliefs and perceptions of labour and birth –  planting seeds of fear and doubt around giving birth.

But not all births are like that and nor do they have to be!

As a girl I grew up exposed to mainstream media in which birthing women on TV or in the movies were always portrayed to be screaming, swearing at their partners, and huffing and puffing whilst squeezing their partner’s hands so tightly, and pushing their babies out so hard that I thought that they would both pass out! Even today, with everything we know about birth, these prevalent stereotypical images become deeply ingrained in us as individuals, and in our culture, influencing our beliefs and perceptions of labour and birth –  planting seeds of fear and doubt around giving birth.

But not all births are like that and nor do they have to be!

Vocalisation in Labour

Midwives know that when a labouring woman feels safe, private and unobserved she will move unrestrictedly, make sounds uninhibitedly and will more closely follow her instincts. Making sounds during labour helps women to shift their consciousness into a deeper, calmer state of mind.There is also a physiological connection between the vocal cords and cervix.

Midwives know that when a labouring woman feels safe, private and unobserved she will move unrestrictedly, make sounds uninhibitedly and will more closely follow her instincts. Making sounds during labour helps women to shift their consciousness into a deeper, calmer state of mind.There is also a physiological connection between the vocal cords and cervix.

Calmbirth Program coming to Nepean

Mums-to-be and their birth partners can benefit from tips and techniques to enrich their birth experience when the highly-acclaimed Calmbirth education program begins at Nepean Hospital at the end of February.

Nepean Hospital is the only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering this well-regarded childbirth education program.

“Calmbirth gives women and caregivers the tools to promote positive birth, decrease stress and empower women by instilling them with confidence during birth,” says Nepean Hospital Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Justine Elliott.

“Midwives highly value the education the program provides women and we believe Calmbirth will be of real bene t to the expectant parents we care for.”

Mums-to-be and their birth partners can benefit from tips and techniques to enrich their birth experience when the highly-acclaimed Calmbirth education program begins at Nepean Hospital at the end of February.

Nepean Hospital is the only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering this well-regarded childbirth education program.

“Calmbirth gives women and caregivers the tools to promote positive birth, decrease stress and empower women by instilling them with confidence during birth,” says Nepean Hospital Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Justine Elliott.

“Midwives highly value the education the program provides women and we believe Calmbirth will be of real bene t to the expectant parents we care for.”

2021 brings new ‘calm’ beginnings in NZ…

2021 brings new beginnings in NZ. Many without their family here due to COVID border restrictions, and they look to Calmbirth antenatal classes being offered for FREE as part of a Pilot Project at the Auckland City hospital to help them feel more at ease and prepared for their birth.

Calmbirth is being offered for FREE as a pilot project at the Auckland City Hospital. This pilot project is part of an initiative to support normal birth in Auckland City Hospital. With only months left to go before this pilot ends in June 2021, make sure you don’t miss out! To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

2021 brings new beginnings in NZ. Many without their family here due to COVID border restrictions, and they look to Calmbirth antenatal classes being offered for FREE as part of a Pilot Project at the Auckland City hospital to help them feel more at ease and prepared for their birth.

Calmbirth is being offered for FREE as a pilot project at the Auckland City Hospital. This pilot project is part of an initiative to support normal birth in Auckland City Hospital. With only months left to go before this pilot ends in June 2021, make sure you don’t miss out! To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

Making birth calmer: New Program comes to Nepean

A highly acclaimed birth education program will be available for expectant mothers and their birth partners in February at Nepean Hospital. The only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering Calmbirth, the classes will provide tips and techniques to enhance the birthing experience. 

Nepean Hospital is the only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering this well-regarded childbirth education program.

“Calmbirth gives women and caregivers the tools to promote positive birth, decrease stress and empower women by instilling them with confidence during birth,” says Nepean Hospital Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Justine Elliott.

“Midwives highly value the education the program provides women and we believe Calmbirth will be of real bene t to the expectant parents we care for.”

A highly acclaimed birth education program will be available for expectant mothers and their birth partners in February at Nepean Hospital. The only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering Calmbirth, the classes will provide tips and techniques to enhance the birthing experience. 

Nepean Hospital is the only hospital in Western Sydney currently offering this well-regarded childbirth education program.

“Calmbirth gives women and caregivers the tools to promote positive birth, decrease stress and empower women by instilling them with confidence during birth,” says Nepean Hospital Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Justine Elliott.

“Midwives highly value the education the program provides women and we believe Calmbirth will be of real bene t to the expectant parents we care for.”

The biggest thing that affects a woman’s birth is her headspace

“It’s a different birth, you’ve got this”
Karen McClay is better known as the Director of Calmbirth but a lesser known fact about the registered midwife, nurse and mother of three is that she herself undertook her own VBAC journey. In today’s bonus episode we had the privilege of hearing that personal story.
Karen tells of her first birth and the emotions surrounding this initial caesarean. Karen talks about the complexity of this experience and how women on a VBAC journey are often forced to look back and examine their first birth experiences in a different way to others. Karen is also the daughter of Calmbirth founder, Peter Jackson and we hear of how the program evolved here in Australia.

“It’s a different birth, you’ve got this”
Karen McClay is better known as the Director of Calmbirth but a lesser known fact about the registered midwife, nurse and mother of three is that she herself undertook her own VBAC journey. In today’s bonus episode we had the privilege of hearing that personal story.
Karen tells of her first birth and the emotions surrounding this initial caesarean. Karen talks about the complexity of this experience and how women on a VBAC journey are often forced to look back and examine their first birth experiences in a different way to others. Karen is also the daughter of Calmbirth founder, Peter Jackson and we hear of how the program evolved here in Australia.

Women have the right to make informed choices…

“Women have the right to make informed choices. They have the right to give and decline and withdraw consent at any point. Midwives and doctors should be able to support those rights without fear of persecution”  – Jo Hunter

“Women have the right to make informed choices. They have the right to give and decline and withdraw consent at any point. Midwives and doctors should be able to support those rights without fear of persecution”  – Jo Hunter

Calmbirth for FREE as part of a pilot study in Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand – Here is what Lucy, a Calmbirth mum in Auckland had to say about her Calmbirth experience…

A testimonial from a Calmbirth mother, Lucy who had a beautiful baby girl, Dahlia born on the 30th January 2021 at Auckland City Hospital.

Lucy completed the Auckland City Hospital ADHB Calmbirth weekend course on the 5 & 6 December 2020.

She said the Calmbirth breathing techniques and all the knowledge & confidence she gained throughout the Calmbirth Program was pivotal in making her have a positive birth experience. 

Calmbirth is being offered for FREE as a pilot project at the Auckland City Hospital. This pilot project is part of an initiative to support normal birth in Auckland City Hospital. With only months left to go before this pilot ends in June 2021, make sure you don’t miss out! To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

A testimonial from a Calmbirth mother, Lucy who had a beautiful baby girl, Dahlia born on the 30th January 2021 at Auckland City Hospital.

Lucy completed the Auckland City Hospital ADHB Calmbirth weekend course on the 5 & 6 December 2020.

She said the Calmbirth breathing techniques and all the knowledge & confidence she gained throughout the Calmbirth Program was pivotal in making her have a positive birth experience. 

Calmbirth is being offered for FREE as a pilot project at the Auckland City Hospital. This pilot project is part of an initiative to support normal birth in Auckland City Hospital. With only months left to go before this pilot ends in June 2021, make sure you don’t miss out! To learn more and to register go to: http://pepi.adhb.govt.nz/

The Secret Wonders of the Uluru Birthing Caves

Last year I travelled to Uluru. As normal, I love to find out about traditional birthing rites and traditions of the cultures in the areas that I visit.

I found a story from Jilpia Nappaljari-Jones particularly interesting. In it she describes how the “Grandmothers and other designated women attended births, they gave physical and emotional support such as holding and massage to the labouring woman”. Jilpia explained that in her culture, this was designed “to remove fear and fear is responsible for so many prolonged and complicated labours.” I found it so intriguing, that they were well aware how fear impacted normal birth.

Last year I travelled to Uluru. As normal, I love to find out about traditional birthing rites and traditions of the cultures in the areas that I visit.

I found a story from Jilpia Nappaljari-Jones particularly interesting. In it she describes how the “Grandmothers and other designated women attended births, they gave physical and emotional support such as holding and massage to the labouring woman”. Jilpia explained that in her culture, this was designed “to remove fear and fear is responsible for so many prolonged and complicated labours.” I found it so intriguing, that they were well aware how fear impacted normal birth.

Your Positive Birth

When it comes to birthing your baby there are 5 essential things you can do to make your birth a positive experience..Here are my top five: your mindset matters, knowledge is power, practice makes permanent, setting up your birth space/environment and knowing your birth rights and choices. 

When it comes to birthing your baby there are 5 essential things you can do to make your birth a positive experience..Here are my top five: your mindset matters, knowledge is power, practice makes permanent, setting up your birth space/environment and knowing your birth rights and choices. 

Creating YOUR Birth Space

Birthing your baby is a life altering moment. You have had around nine months to prepare for this day. Planning YOUR birth space really is like planning your wedding venue. How will you make it CALM, SAFE and PRIVATE? What will your birth space look like? Where are you planning to birth your baby? Will it be at home with a private midwife, supported by your partner? Do you want your inner circle of close, supportive family and friends along side you and your partner? Are you wanting a water birth or to use water immersion in labour? Do you plan to birth in a birth centre with a midwife you have come to know and trust? Maybe you are planning to birth at a private hospital with your obstetrician present? Or maybe you’re going mainstream at your local public hospital and may or may not know the midwife who will be supporting you through your birth? You could be thinking welcoming your new little one via a planned caesarean. As you can see, there are many options on birth space and care provider.

Once you have thought about where your birth space may be, you can then start to think about and create how that space may look and feel. It’s a good idea to discuss with your partner and care provider what things you may like in this space so they can help facilitate these for you, to help create a CALM, SAFE, PRIVATE space for you to birth your baby. Here are some ideas for you to create a birth space that will help promote your birth hormones and “labour land”.

Birthing your baby is a life altering moment. You have had around nine months to prepare for this day. Planning YOUR birth space really is like planning your wedding venue. How will you make it CALM, SAFE and PRIVATE? What will your birth space look like? Where are you planning to birth your baby? Will it be at home with a private midwife, supported by your partner? Do you want your inner circle of close, supportive family and friends along side you and your partner? Are you wanting a water birth or to use water immersion in labour? Do you plan to birth in a birth centre with a midwife you have come to know and trust? Maybe you are planning to birth at a private hospital with your obstetrician present? Or maybe you’re going mainstream at your local public hospital and may or may not know the midwife who will be supporting you through your birth? You could be thinking welcoming your new little one via a planned caesarean. As you can see, there are many options on birth space and care provider.

Once you have thought about where your birth space may be, you can then start to think about and create how that space may look and feel. It’s a good idea to discuss with your partner and care provider what things you may like in this space so they can help facilitate these for you, to help create a CALM, SAFE, PRIVATE space for you to birth your baby. Here are some ideas for you to create a birth space that will help promote your birth hormones and “labour land”.

Birth Affirmations – what are they and how do they help?

Birth quotes & affirmations are a wonderful tool to use when preparing for, and during labour and birth. Why? Because they are positive, powerful statements and words which inspire and empower you to think differently and to change your mindset.

Birth quotes & affirmations are a wonderful tool to use when preparing for, and during labour and birth. Why? Because they are positive, powerful statements and words which inspire and empower you to think differently and to change your mindset.

My Breech Experience

I will start by saying that my life has changed a great deal since attending the calmbirth® program. I began feeling the changes on waking for my third day. I couldn’t get the smile off my face if I tried. I knew I was exactly in the right place. I felt good…great!

I went home from there with such renewed faith and confidence in childbirth. I actually couldn’t wait to get back to work as a midwife. All doubts I had acquired through experiences at work and personally with my first 2 births, had melted away. I had gained wisdom from better understanding of why things had “gone wrong”. Fear….Physiology’s worst enemy.

I will start by saying that my life has changed a great deal since attending the calmbirth® program. I began feeling the changes on waking for my third day. I couldn’t get the smile off my face if I tried. I knew I was exactly in the right place. I felt good…great!

I went home from there with such renewed faith and confidence in childbirth. I actually couldn’t wait to get back to work as a midwife. All doubts I had acquired through experiences at work and personally with my first 2 births, had melted away. I had gained wisdom from better understanding of why things had “gone wrong”. Fear….Physiology’s worst enemy.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 10. Dr. Andrew Bissett Breech Birth

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with the leading obstetrician here in Australia on breech birth delivery, Dr Andrew Bissett.

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with the leading obstetrician here in Australia on breech birth delivery, Dr Andrew Bissett.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 11. Hazel Keedle VBAC

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with Hazel Keedle, who is a VBAC Researcher, as well as a  Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor of the Bachelor of Midwifery and PhD candidate in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney Univeristy. Hazel talks to Karen about VBAC. 

Tune in to this episode of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast with Director Calmbirth, Karen McClay, who chats with Hazel Keedle, who is a VBAC Researcher, as well as a  Lecturer and Academic Course Advisor of the Bachelor of Midwifery and PhD candidate in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney Univeristy. Hazel talks to Karen about VBAC. 

Creating your calm, safe and private labour & birth environment

When a woman feels calm, safe and private in labour, it is the perfect environment for her to labour and birth in. Her mind will tell her body that it’s safe to relax and her body will respond by surrendering to the birthing process. The act of surrendering will allow the perfect cocktail of birthing hormones to be released, which will help her uterus to contract, her cervix to soften and open and her baby to come down into her pelvis and out into the world. The following tips can help you create your safe, calm and private labour and birth environment.

When a woman feels calm, safe and private in labour, it is the perfect environment for her to labour and birth in. Her mind will tell her body that it’s safe to relax and her body will respond by surrendering to the birthing process. The act of surrendering will allow the perfect cocktail of birthing hormones to be released, which will help her uterus to contract, her cervix to soften and open and her baby to come down into her pelvis and out into the world. The following tips can help you create your safe, calm and private labour and birth environment.

Calmbirth baby born to Hannah & Tony who were part of the Pilot Study in Auckland City Hospital

Hannah and her partner Tony welcomed their beautiful baby at home after participating in the Calmbirth Pilot Study in the Auckland City Hosptial in New Zealand. 

Here they share their story and what they thought about the Calmbirth program. 

Hannah and her partner Tony welcomed their beautiful baby at home after participating in the Calmbirth Pilot Study in the Auckland City Hosptial in New Zealand. 

Here they share their story and what they thought about the Calmbirth program. 

Calmbirth mum’s testimonial for being given the opportunity to do Calmbirth as part of the Pilot Study in Auckland City Hospital

A single mum shares her gratitude on being given the opportunity to do the Calmbirth course as part of the Calmbirth Pilot Study at the Auckland City Hosptial.

Here is what she had to say: 

A single mum shares her gratitude on being given the opportunity to do the Calmbirth course as part of the Calmbirth Pilot Study at the Auckland City Hosptial.

Here is what she had to say: 

An open mind is an open body…

Thanks NZ calmbirth families for adapting to ZOOM.
Just like birth, sometimes things can change, unfold a way we didn’t expect. Thanks for remaining positive for yourselves and your babies, being open to learn a different way.
Open mind, is an open body.

“Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out” – Peter Jackson, founder of calmbirth.

During NZ Lockdown CALMBIRTH continues via ZOOM
– full weekends, 2 x Sundays, or 4x Evening sessions 6-9pm.

Thanks NZ calmbirth families for adapting to ZOOM.
Just like birth, sometimes things can change, unfold a way we didn’t expect. Thanks for remaining positive for yourselves and your babies, being open to learn a different way.
Open mind, is an open body.

“Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out” – Peter Jackson, founder of calmbirth.

During NZ Lockdown CALMBIRTH continues via ZOOM
– full weekends, 2 x Sundays, or 4x Evening sessions 6-9pm.

A few tips on…‘How to be an Awesome Birth Partner’

This one’s all about you BIRTH PARTNERS and the many things that you can do to be an Awesome Birth Partner. Don’t underestimate just how important your support role is. When it comes to supporting your birthing woman in labour, just simply being there for her and being fully present is great in itself. However, if you really want to be her “rock”, her “anchor”, her “ I couldn’t have done it without him/her” then the following tips just might get you that credit.

This one’s all about you BIRTH PARTNERS and the many things that you can do to be an Awesome Birth Partner. Don’t underestimate just how important your support role is. When it comes to supporting your birthing woman in labour, just simply being there for her and being fully present is great in itself. However, if you really want to be her “rock”, her “anchor”, her “ I couldn’t have done it without him/her” then the following tips just might get you that credit.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 16. Pregnancy Yoga

In Episode 16 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Calmbirth  Director, Karen McClay talks to our wonderful Calmbirth Educators and Yoga Instructors, Maja Batista and Karen Shlegeris about the benefits of pregnancy yoga in preparation for labour and birth. 

In Episode 16 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Calmbirth  Director, Karen McClay talks to our wonderful Calmbirth Educators and Yoga Instructors, Maja Batista and Karen Shlegeris about the benefits of pregnancy yoga in preparation for labour and birth. 

Is your mind open to birth?

Our culture tends to view birth simply as a physical process of the female body, the mechanical opening of the uterus and cervix, then the expulsion of a baby from the uterus and out of the vagina. But birth is far more complex than this. For birth is just as much of the mind as it is of the body.

She is an absolute dream, and I can say a calm birth has lead to a calm baby! She is an absolute dream and we are loving being parents.

Our culture tends to view birth simply as a physical process of the female body, the mechanical opening of the uterus and cervix, then the expulsion of a baby from the uterus and out of the vagina. But birth is far more complex than this. For birth is just as much of the mind as it is of the body.

She is an absolute dream, and I can say a calm birth has lead to a calm baby! She is an absolute dream and we are loving being parents.

The Calmbirth Conversation Podcast Episode 17: Dr. Sarah Buckley – Oxytocin and Birth

In episode 17 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast I talk to Dr. Sarah Buckley about Oxytocin and birth. Dr. Sarah Buckley is a GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning. She is the mother of four home-born children, and currently combines motherhood with her work as a writer on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

In episode 17 of the Calmbirth Conversation Podcast I talk to Dr. Sarah Buckley about Oxytocin and birth. Dr. Sarah Buckley is a GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning. She is the mother of four home-born children, and currently combines motherhood with her work as a writer on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Practice makes Permanent

One of things we talk a lot about in Calmbirth is that Practice makes Permanent. This means that through our practice we create habits of doing (& thinking) and then the things that we practice become automatic and easy for us to do (& think). And the biggest tool that we encourage our couples to ‘make permanent’ is the Relaxation Response.  

She is an absolute dream, and I can say a calm birth has lead to a calm baby! She is an absolute dream and we are loving being parents.

One of things we talk a lot about in Calmbirth is that Practice makes Permanent. This means that through our practice we create habits of doing (& thinking) and then the things that we practice become automatic and easy for us to do (& think). And the biggest tool that we encourage our couples to ‘make permanent’ is the Relaxation Response.  

She is an absolute dream, and I can say a calm birth has lead to a calm baby! She is an absolute dream and we are loving being parents.

Words from my birthing self…

I wish I could have said or done more. I wish they could have read my mind and known exactly what I needed.

The reality is this: when we are heavily influenced by the hormones of a physiological labour, we are truly incapable of making decisions and need to be supported by a team that know us and can read into our every need.

I wish I could have said or done more. I wish they could have read my mind and known exactly what I needed.

The reality is this: when we are heavily influenced by the hormones of a physiological labour, we are truly incapable of making decisions and need to be supported by a team that know us and can read into our every need.

You wouldn’t run a marathon without preparing…so why give birth without preparation?

Increasing women’s awareness through education and counseling during pregnancy can reduce maternal fear and anxiety, prepare them for birth and improve their overall health and experience, both physical and emotional.

Increasing women’s awareness through education and counseling during pregnancy can reduce maternal fear and anxiety, prepare them for birth and improve their overall health and experience, both physical and emotional.

Caesarean Birth Recovery

There are three ways a caesarean birth can come about: planned, unplanned or emergency.

Ultimately all caesarean births are a birth, your birth.

All caesarean births are major abdominal surgery and involve the separation of important core muscles. As a result it is crucial that mummas take their time to recover after their birth.

There are three ways a caesarean birth can come about: planned, unplanned or emergency.

Ultimately all caesarean births are a birth, your birth.

All caesarean births are major abdominal surgery and involve the separation of important core muscles. As a result it is crucial that mummas take their time to recover after their birth.

Recovery after a Vaginal Birth

Every birth is different,

Every body is different,

We all recover and heal at our own pace.

We all perceive recovery differently,

We feel pain or discomfort differently.

No post birth recovery is the same,

No woman is the same,

and no experience will ever be the same.

Every birth is different,

Every body is different,

We all recover and heal at our own pace.

We all perceive recovery differently,

We feel pain or discomfort differently.

No post birth recovery is the same,

No woman is the same,

and no experience will ever be the same.

CRISIS in confidence

Best explained by Rhea Dempsey as “not a medical crisis but rather an emotional and physical pain barrier crisis.”

Best recognised as the, “I can’t do this”. :Get me an epidural”, “get this baby out of me” moments…

Best explained by Rhea Dempsey as “not a medical crisis but rather an emotional and physical pain barrier crisis.”

Best recognised as the, “I can’t do this”. :Get me an epidural”, “get this baby out of me” moments…

Chiropractic Care – should it be part of your pregnancy plan?

Pregnancy is a time of massive change – mentally, emotionally, hormonally, and biomechanically
It is also a time when many women look for other options to manage various health challenges during their pregnancy. Chiropractic care rates among the many that women choose during this time. The great thing about chiropractic care is that it is safe, gentle, and drug-free – things we all want in any intervention while pregnant.

As a chiropractor, it is both a responsibility and a privilege to care for increasing numbers of pregnant women as more and more of them seek out chiropractic care as part of their pregnancy plans.

This article explores some new research around the possible benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women and offers a brief review of the broader picture of chiropractic care in this area. 

Pregnancy is a time of massive change – mentally, emotionally, hormonally, and biomechanically
It is also a time when many women look for other options to manage various health challenges during their pregnancy. Chiropractic care rates among the many that women choose during this time. The great thing about chiropractic care is that it is safe, gentle, and drug-free – things we all want in any intervention while pregnant.

As a chiropractor, it is both a responsibility and a privilege to care for increasing numbers of pregnant women as more and more of them seek out chiropractic care as part of their pregnancy plans.

This article explores some new research around the possible benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women and offers a brief review of the broader picture of chiropractic care in this area. 

Labouring at home

Even if home isn’t your planned place of birth most women will spend a large proportion of their labour at home. And often your midwife will encourage you to stay at home for as long as you are comfortable to do so before moving to your place of birth!

Even if home isn’t your planned place of birth most women will spend a large proportion of their labour at home. And often your midwife will encourage you to stay at home for as long as you are comfortable to do so before moving to your place of birth!

Birth Ball

The Birth Ball… Ah the trusted birth ball (aka fit ball). Oh, so versatile!
Often every heavily pregnant woman’s best friend used as a way to get the baby out”!

The Birth Ball… Ah the trusted birth ball (aka fit ball). Oh, so versatile!
Often every heavily pregnant woman’s best friend used as a way to get the baby out”!

Birth is not to be feared but be revered

Bringing presence and consciousness to this rite of passage that is birth, rather than looking for a way out, allows us as women to face our deepest selves in all our vulnerability, power and beauty

Bringing presence and consciousness to this rite of passage that is birth, rather than looking for a way out, allows us as women to face our deepest selves in all our vulnerability, power and beauty

A Whole New Meaning of Calm, Safe and Private

The importance of maintaining a calm, safe and private environment when you are in labour and giving birth. This was central to the Calmbirth education I was giving in NZ last year. However, what this meant on a practical level was about to dramatically change when I moved to a completely different country – India.

The importance of maintaining a calm, safe and private environment when you are in labour and giving birth. This was central to the Calmbirth education I was giving in NZ last year. However, what this meant on a practical level was about to dramatically change when I moved to a completely different country – India.

Mind Body Birth Connection

The Calmbirth Childbirth Education course explores the link between the mind-body-birth connection and its impact on birth, aiming to reduce fear and empower pregnant women and their support people with confidence and power.

The Calmbirth Childbirth Education course explores the link between the mind-body-birth connection and its impact on birth, aiming to reduce fear and empower pregnant women and their support people with confidence and power.

All the oxytocin vibes…

Oxytocin is the hormone of LOVE, associated with trust, empathy, relationship building, sexual activity, labour, birthing, breastfeeding and bonding! 

Oxytocin is the hormone of LOVE, associated with trust, empathy, relationship building, sexual activity, labour, birthing, breastfeeding and bonding! 

The Power of Visualisation…

Have you started visualising your labour and birth yet? 

Imagine the sensations, the feelings…
What is your partner/ support person doing to keep you centred and grounded? 
What’s the mood and environment like? 

Have you started visualising your labour and birth yet? 

Imagine the sensations, the feelings…
What is your partner/ support person doing to keep you centred and grounded? 
What’s the mood and environment like? 

Caesarean Birth

April is Caesarean Birth Awareness Month  

Throughout this month I hope to generate awareness and shed some light on caesarean births. Firstly, I call them caesarean births not ‘sections’ as words hold power and no matter how your baby was born it is a birth – your birth.

April is Caesarean Birth Awareness Month  

Throughout this month I hope to generate awareness and shed some light on caesarean births. Firstly, I call them caesarean births not ‘sections’ as words hold power and no matter how your baby was born it is a birth – your birth.

THE GOLDEN HOURS…

THE GOLDEN HOURS

From the time your baby is born and the first postpartum hours together

This is a sacred time.

Feeling safe, calm, private and undisturbed is paramount to this time

This is a time of great transition and adjustment

For Baby
For Mother
For the Family

THE GOLDEN HOURS

From the time your baby is born and the first postpartum hours together

This is a sacred time.

Feeling safe, calm, private and undisturbed is paramount to this time

This is a time of great transition and adjustment

For Baby
For Mother
For the Family

Fear – Tension – Pain

This theory was initially discovered by obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read in the 1920’s after observing women in labour. He noted that in an otherwise uncomplicated labour, it was the emotion of fear that caused complications. This theory has since been proven now that we understand the impact of the stress response on our body and hormones of labour and birth.

This theory was initially discovered by obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read in the 1920’s after observing women in labour. He noted that in an otherwise uncomplicated labour, it was the emotion of fear that caused complications. This theory has since been proven now that we understand the impact of the stress response on our body and hormones of labour and birth.

Like water cutting the Grand Canyon

So even though it may only take a minute or two a day, doing this regularly over a period of weeks or months, changes the involuntary nervous [system] function and through that the physiology of the body…

So even though it may only take a minute or two a day, doing this regularly over a period of weeks or months, changes the involuntary nervous [system] function and through that the physiology of the body…

Honouring Optimal Cord Clamping

Here is some incredible info from @midwifethinking and @wait4white

“Wait for White” describes an umbilical cord which has completed its natural physiology (ceases pulsation) and is easily facilitated in the majority of births.

Here is some incredible info from @midwifethinking and @wait4white

“Wait for White” describes an umbilical cord which has completed its natural physiology (ceases pulsation) and is easily facilitated in the majority of births.

Breath is the bridge

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” 

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Skin to Skin

The origins of skin to skin, or ‘kangaroo care’ began in low resource settings, to care for premature babies where there were insufficient incubators available. It was soon observed that babies being cared for skin to skin were able to regulate their temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate, and experienced a decrease in infection rates.  Sufficient evidence now exists, that many hospitals worldwide, including in Australia, advocate for early skin to skin between parents and babies.

The origins of skin to skin, or ‘kangaroo care’ began in low resource settings, to care for premature babies where there were insufficient incubators available. It was soon observed that babies being cared for skin to skin were able to regulate their temperature, respiratory rate and heart rate, and experienced a decrease in infection rates.  Sufficient evidence now exists, that many hospitals worldwide, including in Australia, advocate for early skin to skin between parents and babies.

Creating and holding space – parents of the COVID pandemic

By Rachel Bridge

The journey into and through parenthood comes with so many expectations, from so many directions, well-meaning friends and family, health professionals, media, social media, as well as our own experiences and expectations of self.

When we begin stepping towards the journey of parenthood, hopes, dreams, desires start to surface. We envisage certain moments of our experience and how that may or may not look…the pregnancy announcement, the baby shower, maternity leave, birth, postpartum, pregnancy care, postpartum care, support, the list goes on.

By Rachel Bridge

The journey into and through parenthood comes with so many expectations, from so many directions, well-meaning friends and family, health professionals, media, social media, as well as our own experiences and expectations of self.

When we begin stepping towards the journey of parenthood, hopes, dreams, desires start to surface. We envisage certain moments of our experience and how that may or may not look…the pregnancy announcement, the baby shower, maternity leave, birth, postpartum, pregnancy care, postpartum care, support, the list goes on.

Believe that she can…

Partner and birth support people are vital for the birthing woman. I often acknowledge this responsibility early in my Calmbirth courses. Partners and birth support people, you have a big role to play. You are her person, her support, her advocate, her safe haven. Affirming words and holding space, believing she can will support physiological labour and birthing.

Partner and birth support people are vital for the birthing woman. I often acknowledge this responsibility early in my Calmbirth courses. Partners and birth support people, you have a big role to play. You are her person, her support, her advocate, her safe haven. Affirming words and holding space, believing she can will support physiological labour and birthing.

Labour is a dance…

Have you started building your labour and birth playlist yet?
 
We do this for other epic life events and occasions. We need to put the same amount of love and effort into our labour and birth playlist as we would for a once in a lifetime road trip, a groovy dinner party, wedding.

Have you started building your labour and birth playlist yet?
 
We do this for other epic life events and occasions. We need to put the same amount of love and effort into our labour and birth playlist as we would for a once in a lifetime road trip, a groovy dinner party, wedding.

The Feeding Station…

After spending A LOT of time in my feeding chair the past few weeks, it got me thinking about the feeding space and what has saved me from going bananas.

A fun fact…Breastfeeding for one year is approximately 1800 hours…
That’s a full-time job with 3 weeks annual leave…

No matter how you’re feeding your baby, you’ll be doing many feeds, cuddles, settling and sleeps here too!

After spending A LOT of time in my feeding chair the past few weeks, it got me thinking about the feeding space and what has saved me from going bananas.

A fun fact…Breastfeeding for one year is approximately 1800 hours…
That’s a full-time job with 3 weeks annual leave…

No matter how you’re feeding your baby, you’ll be doing many feeds, cuddles, settling and sleeps here too!

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