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
Sign me up
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)
There’s so much information about oils out there that it can be overwhelming knowing which ones to choose for labour and birth. I’ve compiled my pick of 3 essential oils that are must haves in your birth kit.
1. Lavender - the all time favourite oil for bringing a sense of calm, peace and relaxation to you and the room.
Diffuse at home while labouring and while transferring to hospital take a tissue with a drop or two on it so you can smell it along the way. Better yet, pop a few drops on an eye mask so you can wear it when you want to block out the action and lights of the hospital and stay calm and relaxed.
2. Clary Sage - you’ll need the ever helpful clary sage if you’re facing induction, if your labour slows down or just isn’t progressing. Clary Sage can help to strengthen contractions so can be very effective in getting things started if you know you’re going to be induced or moving things along during labour. Clary Sage comes in handy to help the placenta along, for any after-birth pains and then later on when your periods return too.
**** Clary Sage should not be used in pregnancy (only in labour) and most hospitals will not allow you to diffuse Clary Sage if your midwife is pregnant. Place a few drops on a tissue to sniff or apply directly to your skin (I’d recommend diluting with fractionated coconut oil 1 drop to 5ml of carrier oil before applying to your skin) or DoTERRA have a handy roller ball blend called Clary Calm which is perfect for applying topically.
To increase contractions place a drop topically to your pinky toes at the nail bed, the inside ankle bones on both feet, and on the low abdomen every 15-20 min or until the strength of the contractions has increased. This isn’t recommended unless labour has started.
3. Peppermint - your pick me up! Peppermint can help reduce anxiety and hypertension, nausea and headaches. It’s a perfect cooling oil if you’re feeling tired and need a pep up or if you’re feeling nauseous and/or have a headache.
Sniff on a tissue, diffuse or make up a spray bottle for use during labour.
You can use all 3 of these oils individually as described above or in combination. Add to water in a spray bottle for a mist or add to fractionated coconut oil (1 drop to 5ml of carrier oil) for a birth massage oil. Massage over your back, belly and legs and enjoy!
If you don’t have access to DoTERRA oils and would like to order these oils or a birth kit - click here.
Please note: with essential oils there can be possible skin sensitivity. Remember to keep out of reach of children and consult your health care provider, midwife or obstetrician before using essential oils when pregnant or in labour. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears and sensitive areas.
This information is compiled from ‘Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth & Babies’ Second Edition, Stephanie Frtiz Lm, CPM. The Essential Midwife. 2015. Gently Born Publications.
If you are setting up a new sleep space for your child or you’re expecting and setting up prior to their arrival here are some basic tips to creating a green sleep space that is low-tox.
Why is this important?
Your baby will be spending upwards of 16 hours a day as a newborn sleeping in that very space, then around 12 hours as a young person, so it’s worthwhile investing in a ‘green’ sleep environment. Some children are much more sensitive than others to smells and pollutants in their environment and suffer from allergies or disrupted sleep as a result. Whether you have a sensitive baby or not, there are also the potential long term effects of ongoing exposure to harmful chemicals that makes having a green low-tox sleep space imperative for the whole family, not just our little peeps.
What kind of pollutants am I talking about?
VOCs = Volatile Organic Compounds… think chemicals that are emitted by paints, paint strippers, cleaning products, pesticides, air fresheners and building materials. Then think that the majority of our flooring, underlays, paints, wallpaper, glues, rugs, furniture and mattresses (yes, mattresses) contains VOCs that emit these gasses initially, that’s the ‘new’ smell you can actually smell, but that also continue to release VOCs over time.
Tips for going green
Finally, as a general sleep tip, keep the sleep space uncluttered, neutral, natural and think about evoking a calm and not overly stimulating zone to keep it conducive to sleep.
By Carla Morgan. Carla is a Holistic Sleep Consultant, for more information or help with sleep support please see her website Birth & Baby Hub