Birth. It happens to all of us. Well, happened. And, as for birth-ing, there’s a higher than average chance that if you are reading this, you’ve either given somebody else the gift of life or are considering the possibility of doing just that. For those of you in neither category, but along for the ride, welcome! In fact, thank you for taking the time! Because, as you’ll come to see, partners and supporters can make the world of difference to an expecting mum and to her birthing experience.
We know this because we recently sat down with Bowral Hospital Midwife, Karen McClay who also happens to be the Director of Calmbirth
– a child birth education programme that is leading the charge in an empowering birthing philosophy that is changing the way we approach pregnancy, labour and birth.
founder (and Karen’s dad!), Peter Jackson is a well-known Bowral Hospital midwife. Both Peter and Karen share a passion for helping couples to achieve a positive birth experience. During his 40-year career, Peter has seen firsthand the need for a different approach to birthing education after witnessing countless mothers enter the labour ward with fear in their eyes and an overall lack of confidence in their abilities.
In an effort to adjust our attitudes towards childbirth and to address the needs of birthing couples at an emotional level, Peter developed Calmbirth. And, while Sydney couples take the opportunity to incorporate the Calmbirth course into their Southern Highland’s “babymoon”, we are lucky enough to have this amazing resource right here in Mittagong.
From its humble ‘Highlands’ beginnings, Calmbirth has grown, and continues to grow, into the leading source of childbirth education in Australia and beyond.
So, let’s talk about that name. Calmbirth
. A misnomer? Not at all, according to Karen, Peter and over 100 other Calmbirth Educators across Australia and New Zealand. Nor to the thousands of couples who have participated in the Calmbirth course since its launch in 2004. Take one look at the pages of glowing testimonials attributed to a ‘Calmbirth’ to see that this programme truly delivers a sense of confidence and provides, not only a necessary physiological guide through the birthing process but also, and perhaps more importantly, a clear understanding of the psychology and emotional facet of childbirth, for both mother and birthing partner.
Calmbirth is a two-day intensive pre-natal course for couples, designed to prepare both mum and support person for the emotional and physical rollercoaster of labour and birth by trading fear and anxiety for knowledge and confidence. With most things in life, through knowledge comes power and with that new feeling of empowerment comes the opportunity to make informed choices. Childbirth is no exception.
When couples approach the birth of a child armed with the information gained from a Calmbirth course they feel, well, calmer. They have the tools they need to make decisions that will lead to the best outcome. They know that they can succeed, even when plans change. Even when faced with the unexpected. Two people, on the same page, with the same information and with the confidence to handle any situation. That is the very essence of Calmbirth.
Locally, the Calmbirth course is held in a lovely, large, light-filled space at Calmbirth headquarters in Mittagong. Importantly, Calmbirth is the first ante-natal programme to be implemented into private and public maternity hospitals in Australia, including The Royal Hospital for Women, The Sydney Adventist Hospital and the North Shore Private Hospital and soon to be available at The Sutherland Hospital It also comes highly recommended by GP’s and obstetricians.
Calmbirth is the only birth education programme that requires its educators be either midwives or trained birth professionals. Research and scientific studies are paramount to the philosophy of a ‘Calmbirth’. It’s no secret that no two labours are alike and for that reason, Calmbirth is suited not just to first time parents but also to subsequent births, as well as planned caesareans. Calmbirth educators are passionate about supporting all women and couples not least of all those who have experienced difficulties or trauma in previous births.
Calmbirth empowers couples to connect mind and body; to place trust in a partnership; to place trust in their caregivers; and to have confidence in our natural abilities, without hesitation. All lessons that can be applied throughout birth, parenthood and life in general. Such inspiring levels of positivity! Kind of makes us want to go back and do it all again.
If you're interested in finding out more about Calmbirth, you can visit their website
for more information or get in touch on 02 4871 1806.
This article is sponsored by Calmbirth and is proudly endorsed by The Fold Southern Highlands. The Fold team are excited to share the amazing stories and adventures of our local businesses and we strongly believe in the businesses and the information we share with you on The Fold - Southern Highlands. We want to say a BIG thank you to you for supporting our sponsors who help make The Fold possible.