I am a passionate advocate for physiological birth whether it be at home, in hospital or in a birth centre and am very active in my local birthing community. I worked as a birth and postnatal doula (a trained birth companion and supporter after birth) in England in the community and also in Holloway Prison in London with women who were facing pregnancy and childbirth whilst serving their sentences/on remand (see www.birthcompanions.org.uk) before moving to Wellington, New Zealand in 2002. On my doula journey, I have observed how unique every birth is and how differently women approach their labours and the birth of their babies. I was often amazed at the women from other cultures (e.g. Jamaican) who seemed to labour and birth so effortlessly. This is because they trusted their bodies and felt relaxed and not fearful. In November 2004 I gave birth at home, in water, to my first child, Zoe, with the wonderful support of my two homebirth midwives and my husband, Graham. Prior to the birth we had travelled up to Waiheke Island to take a course with a fellow Calmbirth® Educator, Deb Peters. The techniques we learned meant that I was very relaxed and by the time we called the midwife, to our joy, I was already fully dilated!
We so underestimate our body's ability to give birth naturally if only we would let the "thinking" part of our brain have a rest! I feel absolutely privileged that I am now in a position to encourage others to tap in to the powers of their subconscious mind, so that they can experience a positive birth experience like I, my husband and baby did, it is such a wonderful gift to share with them. I also feel that offering Calmbirth® classes is very special because it means that partners can truly feel involved in the experience and have practical techniques to be able to support their partner.
Here are some comments from a few couples I've worked with:
"I loved Vida's enthusiasm and passion for the techniques and empowering parents to embrace the teachings and their own learning". A&U, Wellington, 2008 "We feel energised and positive about the birthing process thanks to the knowledge and skills we learned in the calmbirth® classes". R&A, Wellington, 2008 "We both cannot thank you enough for what we got out of the classes with you. Still practicing the skills and breathing to cope with the rellies!" N&N, Wellington, 2008