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Getting to know Calmbirth Educator Carmel Woods


Carmel Woods is a midwife that works within the hospital system, and who has had the privilege of witnessing many amazing birth journeys along her career. What she finds most inspiring about Calmbirth is that…

“…it allows couples to be able to know and understand the physical changes that are happening within the woman’s body, and the connection between the mind and body in birth. Calmbirth teaches couples not to be afraid or anxious around the perceptions of labour and birth, but instead to welcome birth as an opportunity to grow and discover new strengths, and confidence in ways to handle challenges more positively. For me, teaching Calmbirth® is one of the most fulfilling aspects of midwifery.”

My Name is… Carmel Woods.

I work at… I have worked at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital (since 2002), as a Clinical Midwife Specialist for the Birthing Unit. Before this I was in the Northern Territory.

My life in five words… My life is “an opportunity to discover what’s there.”

The best thing about where I live is… Wagga offers the best of the big cities and the small county towns all rolled into one. We are half way between Sydney and Melbourne. We have lots of: Live theatre, plays / dramas, musicals, entertainment, restaurants, Activities for the whole family, from the local pet zoo to the famous ‘5 o’clock wave” at the Wagga Beach. At Cooloman there is a fabulous boutique cheese factory, or Junee’s chocolate and liquorice factory.

What I do to relax when I’m not working… When I am not working, I love catching up with friends and family. Going for drives around the district, over to Bright or Rutherglen or Jugiong, discovering local treasures. Settling down with a good book or listening to all sorts of music are other ways I relax.

I can’t live without… In my life, I cannot think of anything materialistic I couldn’t live without – whatever I have around me is good. Over the years I have learnt to ‘let go’ of the ‘must haves’ I use to hang onto. But I could not live without time to meditate.

The person I most admire is…. There are two people that I have had the privilege to have had in my life. One being, Desley Williams, who was the Maternity Unit manager in Katherine. She taught me to BE a midwife. Her love and passion for birthing/women centred care and not “hospitalised” care was inspirational. Her ability to keep calm even with the most stressful situation, her gentle words of explanation and encouragement.

The other person is my spiritual mentor – a Benedictine Monk who over many many years has guided and supported me in my life.

What I love most about being a Calmbirth Educator… The things I love most about Calmbirth is that the couples are shown a lifetime of skills to use and develop together as they move forward on their journey in life.

The three essential things you need to take with you into labour are
TRUST…in yourself and in each other – that together you will achieve whatever is right for you.
ONE …breath / contraction / decision / day / night – not to worry / stress about the past or the future.
TOUCH … massage, TENS, rest.

My most memorable moment as a Calmbirth Educator… Over the years of Calmbirth teaching, there are many wonderful memories I have stored away in my heart. One that is extra special was a couple that I first met for their first pregnancy, then once again for their third birth. Their second birthing journey was very traumatic for all. At the refresher course, the husband was shocked at the depth of the woman’s grief and sadness within her heart. With much practice and preparation, it was time for the birth. I happen to be on duty and was able to be their midwife. What an AMAZING birth – the tears of joy, happiness and welcoming flowed from all. This is what it’s all about.




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