Dear Carla & Moran
My husband and I wanted to thank you both so much for the Birth Boot Camp. Our daughter arrived a month early at the end of December last year and the skills and knowledge gained from the workshop were invaluable, not only for the labour and birth, but also during pregnancy and the fourth trimester.
The workshop content is the perfect balance of general birth and physiology information combined with the latest science research, which gave both of us confidence in the knowledge. My husband described it as feeling "empowered", and promotes the class and information to anyone who will listen.
We didn't end up using many of the skills at the time of labour (does it ever go to plan?!) I ended up labouring on my own on the RBWH maternity ward, as they wouldn't believe I was in labour (turns out my contractions aren't felt at the top of the womb). I was told they were Braxton Hicks, to stop monitoring them and rest. I was declined my request for a vaginal exam and wasn't allowed to call my husband in for support (when they did finally do the exam after I began to involuntarily push, I was 8cm. I've since submitted a complaint to the hospital about the experience). Nevertheless, I continued my own practice of relaxation, building oxytocin and meditation with the tapes you provided us during the process. I was able to use the BRAINS approach to make informed decisions about pain relief and antibiotics.
In the end, they estimated I was in active labour for four hours. I had codeine for back pain a few hours before birth and nothing else - I felt comfortable using the skills from the tapes! My husband and mum arrived half an hour before our daughter was born, and he was able to put in to action some of our support techniques. It was a vaginal birth with one graze and no complications (I was initially expecting a C-section based on preexisting fears).
I wholeheartedly attribute the positive process and outcome, despite the challenges with staff, to the skills and knowledge I gained from the workshop. I had more confidence to advocate for myself and trust my body. While it was frustrating with staff, I walked away with the gift of knowing I did it myself - there was more strength there than I realised!
Thank you so much for your knowledge and support through the workshop. I'm so incredibly glad we signed up. My fear of birth turned into excitement, and it was wonderful. I'm so adamant to add to the growing collective of positive discussions about birth rather than the usual negative, especially with my daughter in the future.
You're both doing such wonderful things for the expansive tribe of women. Your work is creating such a wonderful ripple effect, you should both feel so proud - and you're each so wonderful in your different personalities and approaches.
It feels sad to say goodbye, so if you know of any good post-natal groups on the North Side I'd love to know.
Thanks again for everything.
Monday the 23rd of March, I knew she was on the way, I was getting a lot of cramping, I was so unbelievably uncomfortable, I could barely sleep and my heart burn was through the roof. This went on for the next couple of days.
The day before Dahlia’s birth 1 single rose bloomed in our garden, and I remember thinking she was going to arrive any day now.
On the Wednesday (the day before she was born), I had an appointment at the hospital for a growth scan, as bub was measuring on the larger side of normal. My scan was at 2:30pm that afternoon, Mat was able to come with me luckily as this was when COVID was really ramping up.
Before we left home my hospital bag was at the front door and Mat suggested we take it with us, just incase. We also made sure Benson had food and water in his bowl too. I think subconsciously we both knew something was going to happen.
We get to the hospital and I get called in for the scan, as I walked in I felt a slight gush, like I had peed myself a little - nothing crazy though. I knew at the time it was highly likely that my waters had partially broken, however I didn’t say anything, I just went ahead with the scan.
The scan results confirmed more of the same, bub measured on the larger side of normal, and they thought she was going to be a big baby - all was well though, she was happy and healthy.
I called my midwife as soon as we walked out of the appointment and told her what had happened, she was on her way in to the hospital and said it couldn’t hurt to check me out and asked me to meet her in the pregnancy assessment unit in 30 minutes.
From here on out things happened very quickly. My midwife confirmed that my waters had partially broken, but had concerns that there might have been some meconium in it. Straight off the bat there was talk of induction and a possible caesarean due to this and also bubba’s potentially large size.
The doctor advised that a caesarean was not necessary at this stage, and confirmed that there was no meconium in my waters, so we were giving vaginal birth a go. However, I was advised the risks of having a bigger baby.
Bit of back story, I had gone pretty much my whole pregnancy with placenta previa, where my placenta was covering my cervix - meaning baby would not have been able to get out when the time came, which can pose some serious complications for both mother and baby. I was advised to abstain from any sexual relations also, so nothing was ruptured. This meant that if my placenta didn’t move I was going to be booked for a caesarean and that a vaginal birth was not possible.
I pretty much had resigned to the fact that this was going to be the case and she was coming out of the sun roof.
I had a scan at 34 weeks and it turns out my placenta had moved and I was cleared for a natural birth.
So at this point I had to try and mentally prepare for that - we did also do a hypnobirthing course.
Back to the story.
So we are still in the little pregnancy assessment room, and I become very uncomfortable quickly and I can feel myself beginning to panic a bit - I’m hot, very large and start to feel claustrophobic sitting in there waiting for them to take me in to birth suite.
I kept thinking to myself, I’m not prepared for this, this wasn’t in my plan - I was supposed to labour at home for as long as possible, use my TENS machine, have warm showers and bounce on my ball, all whilst listening to meditative music in the comfort of my own home with Mat holding my hand and offering relaxing massages! - Not sitting uncomfortably in this room in my overalls and Birkenstock’s, glaring at the clock on the wall.
I walk with difficulty down the corridor to birth suite at around 4pm, and lay on the bed for the midwife to check me, at this point I was 4cm dilated, and she offered to rupture the rest of my waters and get things going, which I said yes - after this I had a change of hands in midwives as my midwife had already worked overtime. I remember the new midwife saying “she looks like she’s in labour, maybe she will go quickly.”
Things came on hard and fast and I didn’t know if I should sit or stand or where to go. I decide on the shower with Mat holding the shower head on my back, the warm water providing some much needed, albeit temporary relief. The midwife wanted to monitor bub's heart rate, as I stood awkwardly in the shower starkers trying to move through contractions. For some reason the portable dopplers being used weren’t working, which was extremely frustrating. I was then told I required an internal foetal monitor which attached to babies scalp to monitor her heart rate. I was back up on the bed again, the midwife struggled to attach the monitor to her scalp, due to her abundance of hair, it took a few goes but in the end it was successful.
At this point Mat had left birth suite to meet my parents to give them our house keys so they could pick up Benson. I also realised then, why labouring women do not want to be touched, lol.
I had been there for a few hours now and I was feeling flustered and really thrown off, the pain was intensifying, so I tried to go back in too the shower, but I wasn’t happy and made the choice to have an epidural to manage my pain.
I told the midwife with certainty that was what I wanted and within half an hour the anaesthetist was there and put it in, no dramas, not long after that the pain was gone. Although a catheter was then required.
It was now quite late at night, around 10:30pm and there was another change of hands for my midwife, this would be the 3rd and last one for my labour, she was lovely and put me at ease.
I had another internal check and I had only dilated another cm or so, and was told that the epidural can slow down the labour, for now I was to rest and that I would be checked again in a couple of hours, if I hadn’t progressed by then we may look at trying to speed things up a bit.
The couple of hours came and it was around midnight by this stage, I had dilated only another cm. Syntocinon was suggested to speed up the labour, to which I agreed.
This was administered intravenously and was on the lowest dose as my body was still doing most of the work and they didn’t want to overstimulate my uterus. After this the midwife said to shut my eyes and get some rest for a couple of hours. I couldn’t sleep though, I started to feel uncomfortable laying in the same position and couldn’t shut off my brain as I was nervously excited and still trying to process the day and what was to come.
More time elapsed and the monitors began to beep, the midwife came back in to the room and was staring at bubs heart rate, her baseline had been at 150bpm, but had gone up to 160 then 170, by this stage 2 doctors were called in and they felt my stomach, the Dr looked at me and said can you feel that? To which my answer was no, due to the epidural. She then proceeded to say she’d never felt a baby move that much in her life and that she was going crazy in there.
They decided they wanted to run some tests to make sure she wasn’t in distress, first step was to reattach the internal foetal monitor (as the 1st one came out) again there were issues attaching it due to her hair. Heart rate was still high with the internal monitor so another test was done, unsure of what this test even was.
We waited whilst the Drs reviewed the results, they weren’t gone for long before they came back in and the Dr said that bub is definitely in distress and that she was not happy with what was happening at all. Her heart rate went up to 200bpm and they wanted to get her out now, they asked if I consented to a caesarean, which I said yes of course. The doctor proceeded to call a code, CAT1 emergency caesarean due to foetal tachycardia.
Everything went blurry for me from then, I remember Mat getting garbed up. Then me being pushed out of the dark birth suite in to the bright lights, literally like I was in a movie getting wheeled down the hall way. The beautiful midwife holding my hand just telling me to close my eyes and breathe. Next minute I’m on the table with a room full of people shooting questions at me quicker than I could answer them, the team were gun and I knew I was in good hands, but it still didn’t settle my nerves.
I tried to focus on my breath, as my midwife massaged my cheeks and patted my head. Mat was to my left which made it hard to see him as did the fact I had my eyes closed so tightly trying to focus on being ok, hanging on to his hand for dear life. The surgery began, I could feel the pulling and pressure, no pain - I could hear the excited chatter of the medical team.
It was close, she was almost here.
My midwife said it was almost time, and to open my eyes when she said to, and just like that she told me to open my eyes, just as our baby was pulled up over the sheath.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, she came out screaming and I immediately started to cry, I looked over at Mat with relief and amazement that we had done it.
Dahlia was finally here, born 3:32am on the 26.3.20 and weighing 4.21kgs and a lengthy 55cm long.
She had some gunk on her lungs and was having some trouble breathing, so had to be taken away as soon as she was out, Mat went with her while I got cleaned and stitched up.
Unfortunately I had a bit of a reaction to the epidural block and couldn’t stop shaking uncontrollably, teeth chattering - which went on for the next few hours which was quite unpleasant.
They considered taking D to the nursery for observation but decided to see how she would go being with me in recovery. They put her on my chest, I was terrified because I thought I might drop her - as soon as she heard my voice she looked up at me and manoeuvred her way down to my bosom and latched on, the nurses were happy with that and decided she was ok to stay with us, and she has been with us ever since.
The most physically, emotionally and mentally challenging experience yet, but also an absolute dream.
She has cracked my heart wide open.
Raw, ethereal, and humbling.
We couldn’t be any more in love with our Dahlia Tove.
My darling Sophia Grace, let us go back to the beginning.
You were due on 10 July 2020, although I always had a feeling you might of come early. Even though I enjoyed you being in my womb so much, I felt like I could’ve had you in there forever.
I felt so connected to you and while there were moments of fear leading up to you being born (this ‘event’ that society tells you to fear; how much pain you will experience and how it is so unknown) one thought that helped me was that you and my body would work together and my mind would leave you alone, unless you both needed me.
It was Wednesday, 1 July and I remember calling our lovely midwife Sally, as I experienced period pain cramps for most of the day. We had the most beautiful pregnancy massage that evening and I remember the smile the masseuse gave me when I mentioned the pains I’d been having and said “You could meet your baby could very soon”. I had also been drinking a lot of raspberry leaf tea, not to try and induce you - as I said I wanted you with me forever, there just really wasn’t a lot of taste. I had also had some protein balls full of dates around this time as well.
By Thursday 2 July 2020, the cramps had gone, but it felt that you had moved down lower again, even though you always sat quite low throughout our time together.
Friday, 3 July 2020 I walked around as usual not feeling any different. I remember having my eyelashes done and rubbing my womb space and joking that you could now come when you were ready. I remember sitting on the grass and being able to get up with really so much ease, given you were only a week away from becoming due Earthside.
Friday night came and I usually would have gone for a walk, but started to feel a little rundown and ran a nice hot bath. Listening to a podcast I felt a sense of relief that it was okay for me to feel scared and almost in that validation the fear went away. There is a photo taken at 5:48pm with you tucked up safe inside, a cup of tea by the sink and candles before our bath. This would be our last photo together.
I came downstairs and rolled on our fitball, while hand expressing colostrum and said to daddy “I’m ready for her to come now”. I went to bed none the wiser. I woke up at 1 am on 4 July 2020 and thought I might be getting Gastro, I manage to go back to sleep, not thinking much of it.
It was 4:24 am and I woke up again thinking I might have Gastro. A small mucus plug came but I calmly went back to bed knowing that could still mean you were a few weeks away. At 7:03am another small amount of mucus plug came and we spoke to our lovely Doula, Moran who told us it could be labour (but to just rest) as it could be days away.
Between 7am and 10am part of my mind thought I might of be in early labour, but I also knew that I wanted my mind to stay out of it and I somehow convinced myself that it was “just Gastro”.
Moran texted to say “That’s awesome!! Ok so if this is early labour which is does sound like it ❤️ I want you to stop monitoring yourself and go back to bed and try to just get another hour or so of sleep. Because it’s really important that you don’t overdo it at this stage and not analyse everything you're feeling and have the energy for the next phase”.
As we went upstairs to rest I had a beautiful hot shower and exfoliated my whole body, I remember sitting on the floor of the shower thinking you must be so low down, as it was quite incredibly uncomfortable.
I had thrown up a couple of times and whilst I can remember the deep pain of the contraction, my mind also was so distracted and not quite within myself 💫. We had only packed the hospital bag a few days before hand with my beautiful candles; fairy lights; Aromatherapy; gorgeous music; personalised pyjamas already for a “maybe” water birth at the Mater Hospital.
Instead, we laid in our bedroom with all the curtains shut and the air conditioning on, all I can remember is just wanting quiet, calm and dark. It’s now 10:10 am and more discharge/ mucus plug had come. Daddy tells me things were very cyclic and I didn’t talk much, we just lay there quietly going through the motions together.
Even though my mind didn’t completely commit or believe this was labour my body knew what to do. I couldn’t lay on my back or on my side and when I did the pain would be excruciating to the point of vomiting again (It is such a different pain though, even as I think back now it’s intense - yet manageable pain & the hormones must really help and play their part).
At this time we tried the tens machine, which was too late and almost felt more intense so we took that off. My body just constantly wanted to be in an “all fours position” allowing you the space to make your way Earthside.
As I write and reflect on this I remember so many of these things vividly such as the mucus plug, the strong pain, the tens machine - part of my brain still never completely believed it was labour.
It’s now 11:33am and thankfully the photos are the records we have of all of the times mentioned as we didn’t “time” contractions or anything else. At 11:33, the mucus plug became heavier and there was more blood noticeable. I had made my way to the en-suite bathroom from bed and they always say “the toilet is the best position for birthing”, which is where I felt most comfortable.
Twisting and rocking on the toilet whilst grabbing the shower screen, I remember saying to daddy “I must be in labour, but must have at least a day to go on the first time mum - but this is very intense for first time for early labour”.
Little did we know in less than an hour you would be here. When I remember back, I have never been more alone although it didn’t feel lonely, I knew that you were with me my body knew what to do and there really was no thought involved at all.
My mind really had gone to another universe and it was just the two of you doing your thing.
Daddy says he definitely thought that it was labour and had been speaking to Moran and Sally. While I vividly remember that it still didn’t feel real and there was still no thought - it was a complete out of body experience.
I do remember sometime after 12 speaking to Sally who provided so much reassurance and was guiding me onto the floor. From our phone records and the MP3 recording from 000, you were born at about 12:20pm.
Daddy first saw your head and managed to hold you in place, we can hear on the MP3 daddy saying with so much excitement “oh my gosh she’s here”. You came straight into my arms and we spent an hour in bed waiting for the placenta to come.
You had some skin to skin with daddy while Moran helped me shower and catch the placenta, we then made our way in the ambulance at about 2pm to the hospital and we’re home by 6pm.
We both remember you coming out so calm, barely even a cry and for the first few days you really just sounded like a little tiger. You are now three months old and such a happy girl who loves to be held and cuddled and there isn’t a day that goes by that I wouldn’t shrink you back into my womb if I could.
We love you Sophia Grace 💞
Thank you Emma for sharing your birth story with us and with other women!
Birth Boot Camp is a 2 day Childbirth Education Workshop for couples presented by two Brisbane birth workers: Moran Liviani & Carla Morgan.
Workshops run on Sundays from 9am to 4pm and are informative, empowering, comprehensive & practical! As our motto suggests we aim to motivate, educate & inspire couples to have a positive & empowering birth.
Our couples learn:
- everything they need to know about birth
- the tools needed to navigate labour & birth as a team
- the information to be able to communicate with care providers & advocate for their choices
- physiological birth & the hormones that support labour & birth
- the role of pain to power in birth & a wide range of coping strategies for managing pain
- partner support & birth tools (relaxation, massage, breathing & mindfulness)
- active birth tools (rebozo, acupressure, movement, positions & counter-pressure)
- your rights, interventions, indications, risks & alternatives
- making a birth plan, care provider communication & when to go to hospital
- postpartum (breastfeeding, expectations, self-care & local support resources)
- evidence-based information backed up by the latest research & stats
- communicative, practical & group-based activities in class
- additional resources for further learning
- personal ongoing support throughout pregnancy & birth
- access to our Birth Boot Camp Community group (online & face-to-face support)
About Carla & Moran
We are both long-standing childbirth educators and through our years of experience teaching couples and attending births we have designed this program to provide expectant parents with exactly what they need to know and focus on ahead of the birth.
Want to join our next Birth Boot Camp?
September 13 & 27 | November 8 & 22
See us in action below
Let’s face it, we can experience some pretty strong and intense emotions and sensations during labour and birth. But how we perceive those sensations and what we ‘do’ during those contractions can lessen the intensity and reduce pain during birth.
Here are our top tips for relieving pain in labour:
1. Set up your environment: no mammal in nature would willingly seek out bright lights or an uncomfortable environment to have their babies in. Take cats for example; they’ll find a place that is dark, warm, quiet and where they are least likely to be disturbed. Environment matters, especially in early labour when the feel-good, pain-relieving hormones of labour are becoming established, so choose an environment for your labour that makes you feel safe, secure, unobserved and uninhibited.
2. Pick your people: birth is an instinctual, private & intimate act for a woman. Choose people who are supportive of you & what you want for your birth. Choose care-providers who believe in you & your body’s ability to birth in the way you want to birth. Having a support team who know you, who can back you and who can guide you through any pain or intense sensations by re-focusing these sensations as positive and productive will help you stay on track.
3. Use your breath: when you breathe deeply into your belly and focus on your breath it can benefit you in many ways. It helps relax you in mind and body and aids in the release of the birthing hormones essential for labour. It helps oxygenate your uterus and its muscles so that it can function efficiently and effectively. It helps your baby remain relaxed and oxygenated and above all breathing gives you something concrete to focus on during contractions. Breathing and breathing through discomfort or pain is a vital tool to have in your birthing toolkit.
4. Move your body: Feeling discomfort during contractions is your body and baby communicating with you. Use the sensation to move into a more comfortable position, maybe you need to get up and moving, maybe you need to move into a side-lying position. Be guided by your body and your baby and follow your instincts as to what feels right for you. Rest in early labour and use active birth positions for active labour is the usual recommendation but you do ‘you’ and follow what feels right for you at the time.
5. Massage: Have your partner or support person help you relax through massage. The more relaxed you are, the more you can move through the strong sensations of labour and the more of those helpful birth hormones will release. You might like a strong massage on your lower back, or lay on your side and have your hips, buttocks and the side of your thigh massaged. Or you might like a more subtle light touch massage just with fingertips stroking your hair, your shoulders, belly or face. Massage gives your partner a purpose, helps you relax, connects you both by touch and in general feels downright amazing so why not!
For more tips, techniques and tools for both you and your partner to use in labour & birth, join our next Birth Boot Camp 2 Day Workshop – July 26 & Aug 9 at Grange Community Hall, Newmarket.
When I look back at my pregnancy and my birth, I feel so grateful, it was such an amazing time. I have never felt more beautiful or special than when my baby was growing within me. And then when I was giving birth, I have never felt stronger or more powerful. Although at times I thought that I couldn’t do it, my team kept reminding me that in fact, I WAS doing it.
I never do this, but the night that I went into labour, I decided to have a shower before going to bed, I had a long warm one, I was in bed by 10pm. At 11.30 pm I was woken up by a surge. It was not particularly painful, but I remember that the sensation was so different. I can nearly see it, it was like a flower opening (I’m not trying to be poetic! Haha it was how it felt).
I went to the bathroom and tried to go back to sleep but then another surge came. I tried to wake up Josh (my husband) but he said that I should go back to sleep, “that’s what Moran said”, I was so annoyed! I tried to go back to sleep though, but I don’t know how anyone can sleep through surges?!
About 1.30 am, when I was sure that I was in labour and that I wasn’t going to sleep, I called Moran my doula, I knew that I wasn’t in active labour but I wanted her to know that it had started. Also, I wanted to know when to start using the tens machine - yep, I hadn’t thought about asking that before ... - Moran told me to go back to sleep...
When Josh heard me on the phone he asked me why I hadn’t told him that I was in labour - seriously - then he got up and started to set up the tens machine, yep, we had not even opened the box...
By 3 am I was having surges every 2 minutes or less and sometimes they were going a bit over a minute. I was so grateful for the exercises that Moran had me doing to build that brain muscle to prepare me to manage the pain!
Around that time I woke up my sister, the app that Josh was using to time my surges was telling us to get ready to go to hospital. The surges were more intense and I was feeling scared, I kept wondering how long would I be able to sustain the pain, it was exhausting!
We put on a TV show and called my family in Colombia, although I couldn’t talk, the surges were already that strong. At some point I remember losing it, thinking that I was not going to be able to do it, I was trembling and I collapsed on the floor sobbing. Neither Josh or my sister could calm me down, but then my puppy came and started to lick me and suddenly I was calm.
The rest of the story is a bit of what I remember and a bit of what they have told me that happened, I was in and out of it, I had a slight idea of what time it was.
By 6.30am Moran was with us, at some point Josh had called her because I was in active labour. Moran guided me through different positions, massaged my back, caressed my hair. I vividly remember her hands on my hair and how calming it was.
I remember that the first position that we tried was me lying down on my side with a pillow in between my legs, very quickly I realised that i couldn’t take it, the pain was unbearable!
At some point Moran got me and Josh in the shower, at every surge I had to squat and move my hips around. Oh the pain!
My sister is a doctor, so Moran asked her to check me and see how was I progressing. They sent Josh for some gloves. She had to examine me whilst sitting on the toilet because I refused to lie on my back. She said that she could feel his hair! And that I was 6cms. I remember thinking, half way only?!? But they were both very excited so I decided that it was a good thing.
We had changed places again, I don’t know if it just happened or I asked to go there, but that room (TV room) is my favourite place in the house. We were on the couch, when I was having surges I had to do a lunge against the back of the couch and when I was resting I was leaning on my side on the back of the couch. I remember getting in position when I felt every surge coming and just doing so mechanically. Later I was told that I was falling asleep (and snoring!!) in between surges, apparently you CAN sleep in labour ha!
A surge had just passed and I asked Moran when were we going to the hospital and she said “whenever you want”, so I said that it was time. You’d think that by that time everything was ready, but no, the car had all the chairs down from our latest trip to IKEA and I don’t know what else had to be done but half an hour later we were in the car. I had two surges between the couch and the car. It was 9.30am.
The car ride was the worst! I could only be in one position, leaning on my side and it was awful. The pain was getting more intense and I kept saying (more like screaming), the pain doesn’t stop!!! I remember seeing other people in their cars, and thinking resentfully that they were having such an ordinary day and I was in so much pain! I think that at some point I was losing it because Moran told me that I needed to calm down, that the baby needed me calm, and I did.
We got to the Mater at about 10am and I was offered a wheelchair, pfff, as if I could sit! I walked to the reception, everything was so quiet. Moran asked them to let me move to a private area. I remember I was moaning.
They said that they needed to examine me and I kept saying that I needed to go got the bathroom. They wouldn’t let me. Someone examine me and said “she has no cervix” and I was like “what?!?! What am I missing now?!!”, so in all my training, reading, etc., I never came accross that expression (just in case, I was fully dilated).
Now they were in a hurry, when I got there they were quite cool and made me feel like if I was putting on a show, after all, I was first timer and “we had a long time to go”...
They had to move me on the bed, an all fours to the birthing suit. They just put a sheet over me. They kept saying “I’m sorry”, I think that it was a bumpy ride. Ah! One of the midwifes said that I should stop pushing, I asked why, and she said “your obstetrician may not make it on time!”. I don’t know if I said so, but I didn’t care, not the slightest.
We got to the birth room, I was still on the bed that they brought me in and I felt Thomas coming, I yelled so, but they wouldn’t listen! I put my hands between my legs and I felt his head, so I yelled again “he’s coming, he’s here” and they sent my husband to my face and he was trying to calm me “Amor, it’s fine, we have time” I was yelling “he’s here! I can feel his head!”, so finally they lifted the sheet and yes, there he was. There was just enough time for Josh to go the back and receive him. And that was it. Thomas was born at 10.16 am.
I was in shock. I was excited but beside myself, I just couldn’t believe it, he was there....
We did delayed clamping and I had a bit of tearing so I had to get stitches, whilst they did that I got to see the placenta and the midwife showed and explained it all to me. It was unbelievably beautiful. I also ate, I don’t think that I had been that hungry in my life! I had two sandwiches and fruit juice that Moran got for me. I felt high. I didn’t feel myself. It was the strangest feeling.
Moran was with us from active labour and did not leave my side until I was comfortable after birth, she fed me, even bathed me!
Thomas was born on the 16th of the 10 month, at 10.16 am. By midday we were in our room and Josh and I couldn’t believe that we now had a little human all to ourselves!
Ana, Josh and Thomas, Brisbane - first time parents
I was very adamant about having a drug free natural birth since I suffered so much with my fertility and IVF and the pandemic made it impossible for my mama to come from Canada to be with me. My pregnancy was a dream. I was team green - I didn't want to know the sex of my baby until birth. Doctor suggested because I am an older mama and the pregnancy was as a result of IVF that I get induced but I waited for baby to decide because I was trying to avoid the cascade of interventions. I am grateful to Carla and Moran who taught me how to take charge of my birthing experience and learn how to make it a positive one.
I went to the hospital at 5 pm on Wednesday and the OB said he was okay with waiting if I let him do a cervical check and monitor the baby's heartbeat for a short time. Baby was fine so he did a cervical check (my first the whole pregnancy) and my cervix was tight and closed. I went home. At 10 pm my contractions started. I laboured for 14 hours at home with mild to medium contractions supported by my husband who did amazing. I used breathing techniques and positive affirmations and let my body do the work. I trusted my body. 7 am we called my Doula who stayed with us until 12:30 pm (Thursday) when went to the hospital because the contractions became so intense. I had strong contractions for another 2 hours. I did not have any drugs just breathed through it. I started pushing around 2:30 pm but her head just wouldn't come out. My husband was so helpful in the pushing stage holding my hand and leg. My water broke while I pushing. Doctor gave me an episiotomy to help after a little over and hour and she was born 1 minute later. I looked at my husband wanting to know if it was a boy or girl.
She came out screaming eyes wide open and hungry. We had delayed cord clamping until I birthed the placenta and then her dad cut it. We had 2 hours of skin to skin. I am very thankful for such a positive pregnancy and birth experience. It has helped me handle the newborn phase and the ‘fourth trimester’.
I recommend Carla & Moran's Birth Boot Camp for anyone and everyone who is going to give birth (first baby or not).
Zeina, first time mum, Brisbane.
Women are giving birth in a time of crisis. Hospitals are limiting birth teams to one person, leaving women to choose between taking their partner, their private midwife or doula, or anybody else that may have been a part of their birth team and support network.
Of course most women will naturally choose their partners, making childbirth education for couples more important now than ever before. Your partner needs to step up, learn as much as possible about birth, birth support tools, how to navigate the health care system to be able to advocate for your choices and how to support you postnatally. That’s a lot right?
When looking for an online birth education program, you need one that:
So, how do you choose the right class?
So, choose wisely when picking a course that is online and don’t be afraid to ask these questions to determine if it’s right for you.
If you’d like to join a course that encompasses all of the above, we’re running our Birth Boot Camp Workshops online. Use your time together in isolation to start learning about your birth from the comfort and safety of your own home. Our next online course is:
Sunday May 31 & June 7
9am - 4pm
Live via Zoom
$450 (includes class materials sent to you prior to your workshop starting)
with Carla Morgan and Moran Liviani
Birth Boot Camp Australia
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A new childbirth education program that’s breaking the norms is now in Brisbane. Birth Boot Camp is on the rise and breaking boundaries in what we know in preparation for birth. We’ve all seen and watched ‘One Born Every Minute’ and the medicalisation of birth that we have grown so accustomed to. Whenever you watch a birth in the media it is never without excruciating suffering and women screaming from the top of their lungs, so women have it in built in their psyche that birth is torment, women must suffer and women are destined to have them eventually lying on their backs with their legs up in stirrups and give away their power for the sake of childbirth.
This movement of giving away our power in birth came to be in the 1950’s ‘The era of the twilight sleep’ and what was known to be the time of the psychedelic drugs women were forced to endure to knock them out during childbirth so that they didn’t have to ‘suffer’. We might have come a long way since those times but still today in Australia 34% of women on average have a caesarean birth, 30% are induced and according to the World Health Organisation our Cesarean rate is more than double what it should be to save lives and to better outcomes for mothers and babies. According to WHO our Cesarean needn’t exceed 10-15% and our induction rate should only be at 10% so what is going on in our maternity system at the moment that is necessitating mothers to undergo invasive operative surgery to birth their babies? And why are women being induced left right and centre??
As a Lamaze childbirth educator, HypnoBirthing practitioner and Birth Doula I feel women are bombarded into unnecessary intervention without informed consent and the evidence-based information to back up the information that is only rarely provided to expectant parents. I have supported couples through pregnancy and birth for the past 8 years and in doing so I have watched my clients struggle to get a ‘normal birth’ which in essence means one without any unnecessary medical intervention in the absence of medical need and respect from their care provider however this is an uphill battle. One of the best evidence based ways to reduce the risk of intervention is to enable labour to begin on its own however women are coerced daily to have their labour induced simply for the fact that they are what’s classified ‘overdue’ without any other pre-existing factors warranting a medical necessity to intervene and so the domino effect of drugs and their side effects begins and from there it is a slippery slope to a very disempowering experience not only for the mother, but her baby and the birthing partner.
Today in Australia 1 in 3 women will experience a birth trauma and 1 in 10 will walk away from her birth with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This means that we are in serious need to not only change the maternity system we are currently in but for this change to happen it needs to come from the consumer and those are the expectant parents. Women and their partners need to get educated on their choices so that they too don’t become a statistic and fall between the cracks and will be able to recall their story with positive memories instead of something that needs to be debriefed with trauma.
That is how Birth Boot Camp came to fruition. Carla Morgan from Birth and Baby Hub and I have developed a new program to educate expectant couple of just that and so much more. When you think of Boot Camp the first thing that comes to mind is muscle exertion to the max, mind over matter mental attitude and your body surpassing what you thought was humanly possible and that is what Birth Boot Camp is developed upon. We aim to inform, empower and provide a wealth of knowledge to women and their partners in an intensive 2-day program beyond no other.
Birth Boot Camp is a childbirth education program developed from our vast experience as childbirth educators that have taken all their learnings from teaching about birth, attending births and their own childbirth experiences to give parents the crucial information they need to know beforehand. When to go to hospital? How do you know if a medical intervention is needed? What do you do if baby is malpositioned? How do you cope with the pain and turn it into power? How can your partner support you to manage it all? What are your birth choices? How can you minimise the chances of having a tear? What can you expect in the postnatal period? And so much more!!
Birth Boot Camp is not about the end result of having a natural birth. It is about have a Positive birth in which mum, dad and baby come out of this birth holistically healthy in both body and mind and can reflect back on their birth with good memories.
“The phrase ‘healthy mum, healthy baby’ actually means ‘alive mum and alive baby’; we MUST have a higher standard than that for birth” ~ Julie Francom
Click here for upcoming workshop dates
Article written by Moran Liviani (2Life Doula)