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Australian Birth Stories

English, Parenting, 1 season, 475 episodes, 6 days, 13 hours, 30 minutes
About
A Podcast of Mothers' stories of childbirth. Weekly interviews with mothers giving their first hand accounts of child birth in Australia. Designed to help educate and inform first time pregnant women, parents wanting to have better subsequent births and birth enthusiasts who love to hear and tell birth stories. An entertaining and heartfelt resource for pregnancy, labour and delivery and postpartum.
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469 Postpartum | Gen, breastfeeding, unsettled sleep, mother and baby unit, sleep consultant, sleep training, sleep school

Following on from her birth story in episode 468, Gen shares her significant challenges with baby sleep. Sleep is one of the most political and polarising aspects of parenthood; there’s a plethora of differing opinions and it can get very overwhelming, fast. For Gen and her baby Robbie, a variety of challenges created the perfect storm of unsettled sleep habits. She takes us through her first year and the three different sleep supports she used. She admits that she still feels conflicted about the choices she made but she’s also comforted by the fact that she’s got a healthy baby and she’s now a physically and mentally healthy mum. ------- If you’re considering The Birth Class, now is the time to buy. It just got bigger and better thanks to new content that enhances your birth education and preparation experience, including: A cheat sheet for your birth partner. This simple outline takes your support person through early and active labour – what to expect, how to support and what to say when challenges arise Images of birth positions – the ideal addition for visual learners 3 meditations to release tension, foster trust and navigate a change of plans. An illustrated guide to antenatal expressing – everything you need to know about collecting and storing colostrum.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4/18/202456 minutes
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468 | Gen, infertility, miscarriage, IVF, hyperstimulation, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, vacuum-assisted birth, episiotomy

Gen shares every aspect of her fertility, pregnancy and birth experience in this honest and hilarious episode. She tried to conceive for two years and experienced a devastating miscarriage before deciding to start IVF with her husband, Michael. Gen is a type-A personality and admits she loved the structure of fertility treatment. She opted for private obstetric care alongside support from a psychologist who helped her navigate the anxiety of her first trimester and the inherent challenges of a pregnancy after infertility and loss. Gen refers to her birth preference list as a ‘choose your own adventure’ but nothing could have prepared her for the intensity of an induction and a failed epidural. She admits that while her labour was incredibly challenging, her birth was very positive but even so, it took her days to feel any love for her newborn. ---------- Today’s episode is brought to you by Kiwi.co. I must confess I’m not much of a crafty mum but Kiwi Co's panda crate has been the best educational investment for Ottie. KiwiCo Panda Crate is a bimonthly subscription for babies ages 0-24 months. We receive a subscription box filled with playful, open-ended activities backed by research and designed especially for naturally curious and creative babies and toddlers.KiwiCo Panda Crate products are not only safe and of high quality, but also age-appropriate and supportive of your baby's growth. I'm a big fan of quality activities that create the opportunity for play-based learning and Kiwi Co delivers hands-on projects that get the whole family involved. Whether you have a brand-new baby or a trailblazing toddler, the Panda Crate is perfect for your little one’s developing brain.  Unlock brain-building play with KiwiCo Panda Crate!   Get 20% off your first crate with code BIRTHSTORIES at kiwico.com/pandaSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4/15/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 28 seconds
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467 | Gemma Fraternal Twins, MGP, Sunshine Coast Hospital, CMV

In episode 467 Gemma shares her unexpected pregnancy with twins. She shares the emotional rollercoaster of disbelief and excitement and the impact of the twins on her planned model of care for the pregnancy. Gemma went through the Midwifery Group Program at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, expressing gratitude for the exceptional care provided by her main midwife and the program's support throughout her twin pregnancy. ------- iL Tutto Glider nursery chairs offer a smooth motion that’s gentle on your body, without needing you to engage your core to create the movement. iL Tutto glider chairs feature either electric – like their new luxe Frankie Electric Glider Recliners – or spring-loaded recline – such as the Chelsea Glider Recliner Chairs available in a range of premium fabrics. The Chelsea Glider Recliner Nursery Chairs feature a high backrest and lumbar support for ergonomic comfort while feeding. The armrests are also at the right height for feeding, avoiding the strain that can come with armrests that are too high or non-existent. Your baby will love the glide movement and your Glider will take up less space than a rocking chair. iL Tutto Gliders offer the best of award-winning Australian design that accounts for the unique needs of parents. Designed with style, luxury and comfort in mind, their glider nursery chairs will change your parenting life for the better and will last, growing with your family. Explore the complete range and discover the perfect glider for your nursery using code GLIDER20 at checkout for 20% off any full price Nursery Chair, available at iltutto.com.au, code ends 30th April 2024.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4/3/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 46 seconds
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466 | Dee, two vaginal births, induction, TENS Machine, miscarriage, continuity of care

In episode 466 Dee shares her emotional and challenging pregnancy journeys. She was shocked to learn she’d conceived quickly but her elation soon turned to grief when she miscarried; an experience that was long and traumatic. For her subsequent pregnancy she details the isolation and uncertainty that comes with fragmented care which exacerbated her anxiety. Her first birth was hard, resulting in a postpartum hemorrhage and a challenging physical recovery. For her second birth, Dee was determined to do things differently. She opted for private continuity of care and takes us through her induction that led into a calm and beautiful vaginal birth. ----------- Today’s episode is brought to you by the Tinybeans app. As parents, we’re constantly seeking the best for our little ones, especially when it comes to capturing and sharing every unforgettable moment. That’s why I recommend Tinybeans to all new parents. Tinybeans offers a seamless way to document your child’s journey from pregnancy to preschool and beyond and allows your closest family and friends to follow along with every gummy smile, milestone birthday, and special family vacation. With features like unlimited photo and video uploads, customizable photo books, and journal prompts, Tinybeans simplifies the way you record, relive, and privately share your family’s everyday moments, turning them into cherished memories. Download the Tinybeans app and create your free account to start sharing all your silliest and sweetest memories, easily, all in one place.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4/1/20241 hour, 26 minutes, 6 seconds
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465 | Georgie, vaginal birth, pre-eclampsia, induction, breastfeeding and mixed feeding

In episode 265 Georgie shares with us the birth of her first child Sadie. Georgie lives in Gunning in rural NSW and went through the local public hospital for her care. Georgie was having her blood pressure carefully monitored throughout her pregnancy however, it wasn't until after Sadie was born that she became very sick with pre-eclampsia. ----------- Today’s episode is brought to you by the Tinybeans app. As parents, we’re constantly seeking the best for our little ones, especially when it comes to capturing and sharing every unforgettable moment. That’s why I recommend Tinybeans to all new parents. Tinybeans offers a seamless way to document your child’s journey from pregnancy to preschool and beyond and allows your closest family and friends to follow along with every gummy smile, milestone birthday, and special family vacation. With features like unlimited photo and video uploads, customizable photo books, and journal prompts, Tinybeans simplifies the way you record, relive, and privately share your family’s everyday moments, turning them into cherished memories. Download the Tinybeans app and create your free account to start sharing all your silliest and sweetest memories, easily, all in one place.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/28/202448 minutes, 46 seconds
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464 | Alice, Doula and Midwife, private obstetrician, home birth, planned postpartum

In episode 464 Alice shares her birth experiences in light of everything she’s learned as a mother, doula and midwife-in-training. In her first pregnancy she chose private obstetric care and she details the natural onset of labour, the decision-making process when planning her transfer to the hospital and her choice to use gas and morphine for pain relief. She also takes us through her early pregnancy loss and multiple miscarriages and her choice to seek solace and support from a private midwife, despite the financial strain involved. For Alice’s most recent birth she chose to have a homebirth and had a slow postpartum. ------------ Today’s episode is brought to you by the Tinybeans app. As parents, we’re constantly seeking the best for our little ones, especially when it comes to capturing and sharing every unforgettable moment. That’s why I recommend Tinybeans to all new parents.  Tinybeans offers a seamless way to document your child’s journey from pregnancy to preschool and beyond and allows your closest family and friends to follow along with every gummy smile, milestone birthday, and special family vacation. With features like unlimited photo and video uploads, customizable photo books, and journal prompts, Tinybeans simplifies the way you record, relive, and privately share your family’s everyday moments, turning them into cherished memories. Download the Tinybeans app and create your free account to start sharing all your silliest and sweetest memories, easily, all in one place.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/25/20241 hour, 21 minutes, 34 seconds
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463 | Courtney, two births, GP shared care, NIPT, Maternal assisted caesarean, Down Syndrome, heart surgery

In episode 463 Midwife Courtney shares with us her two pregnancy and birth experiences. Courtney lives in rural Victoria and chose to go through GP-shared care for her first pregnancy. Courtney admits that she found her midwifery knowledge contributed to her anxiety during both her pregnancies. Her first pregnancy was relatively smooth and she expected her second to be much the same.  Despite several risk factors showing up in her second pregnancy with Maggie, it wasn't until Maggie was 5 days old that it was confirmed she has Down Syndrome. ------------------ Today’s episode is brought to you by an Australian brand I really love, The Sleepybelly Pregnancy Pillow. Worried about rolling onto your back during the night? Or maybe you’re tired from tossing and turning? Experience a deeper and more restful sleep for mum and bub with Sleepybelly. The Sleepybelly is a three piece, adjustable pregnancy pillow designed to encourage safe side sleeping.Made from a super soft, air layer outer material and premium latex internally provides great support for your belly and back. Sleepybelly is Australian owned, has free shipping and comes with a 30-night trial. Take $10 off using the Australian Birthing Stories exclusive promo code ABS10 You can purchase the Sleepybelly online today at sleepybelly.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/21/20241 hour, 1 second
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462 | Briony Benjamin, Natural conception post chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma

In episode 462 Briony shares with us her pregnancy and birth of her little boy Charlie. Briony was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 31 and her doctors recommended she do one cycle of IVF prior to starting her chemotherapy treatment. Briony shares that doing the IVF cycle brought her a two week reprieve from the thoughts of treatment and she was surrounded by friends and family who supported her immensely during this time. ------------------ The Sleepybelly pillow is uniquely designed to be easily adjusted to give you the optimal support throughout your entire pregnancy. As your belly grows, you can increase the width between the pillows using the velcro attachment. 3-Piece Adjustable Pregnancy Pillow is proven to help expecting mothers get better sleep. You can choose from the long back support for those who don’t tend to wriggle. Or the dual wedge pillow if you like to switch sides. The product comes with all 3 pieces so try both to see what works best for you. You can enjoy $10 off yours today with the code 'ABS10' head to SleepybellySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/18/202459 minutes, 59 seconds
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461 | Sophie Two births, fraternal twins, shared care, positive induction, vaginal breech birth twin B

Sophie shares with us the birth of her son Liam and her twins Hannah and Louis. After getting married in 2020 Sophie and her husband felt ready to try and grow their family and they were fortunate to conceive shortly after beginning to try. They were living on the Mornington Peninsular in Victoria during Liam's pregnancy and they went under shared care with her GP and saw a midwife for his birth through the local public hospital in Frankston. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today’s episode is brought to you by ergoPouch. ErgoPouch has recently launched their new AW24 collection. Featuring two BEARY new prints, and I must admit, these are some of their best! In case you are not familiar with ergoPouch, they are a premium sleepwear brand from Australia that uses certified organic cotton and natural fibres to create TOG-rated sleepwear and sleep solutions for newborns up to six years of age. ergoPouch has delighted us with two beary cute prints this season., ergo is offering you an EXCLUSIVE code for one week only AUBS at the checkout to receive 20% off the AW24 collection. *Exclusions apply. Offer ends at 11:59 p.m. on March 17, 2024. Happy Winter Sleeping.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/11/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 50 seconds
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460 | Gemma - two pregnancies, endometriosis

In today's episode, Gemma shares with us her two pregnancies and births of her little girl and her little boy. She also has stage four endometriosis, so she shares with us what it was like to conceive and how that affected her fertility and motherhood journey. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/7/20241 hour, 16 minutes, 16 seconds
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459 | Chantelle Stanton, private Obstetrician, Cabrini Hospital, Induction, TENS machine

In today’s episode, Chantelle shares her experience of her first pregnancy and birth. Chantelle was very gratefulll to conceive shortly after deciding she was ready to try. She asked around to get recommendations to choose her care provider and she decided to go through the private model and saw an obstetrician at Cabrini Private hospital in Melbourne. Chantelle loved her birth experience and is thrilled to share it with us today. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. ----------------------------- Today’s episode is brought to you by Bliss Birth. Bliss Birth is founded on the belief that women’s bodies are incredible things, and that when it’s safe, choosing natural options makes for the best outcomes for mums and babies. That’s why Ariel has developed a range of products to support your natural birth experience. Introducing the most advanced natural pain management device for labour available in Australia – The Elle TENS Plus. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and it is the ultimate birth tool as it maximizes your body’s natural pain-fighting abilities.  Bliss Birth offer both 4 and 8 week hire periods, Pre-addressed, prepaid return (No printer needed). The ‘Mama Bag’ valued at $10.95 is yours to keep! You can enjoy 10% off Bliss Birth with the code ABS24. Head over to BlissBirth.com.auSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
3/4/202440 minutes, 52 seconds
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458 Postpartum | Jodi, four babies, MGP, public hospital, planned postpartum, breastfeeding, identity shift, postpartum book

You’re going to love this episode with Jodi; mother of four, yoga teacher, postpartum doula and co-author of The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. Jodi and I chat all about our postpartum book - what we’ve learnt, the confronting reality of the lack of health services, and how she has reflected on her own postpartum experiences with newfound knowledge and awareness. It’s an emotional and informative episode where we discuss how much the health system has changed in the past 16 years, the far-reaching benefits of adequate support, being a young mum, the brain changes in pregnancy and the uncertainty and not-knowing of postpartum. If you want to listen to Jodi’s first episode, where she details her four very different vaginal birth experiences and breathing and sound practises for labour, tune into episode 163.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/29/202451 minutes, 54 seconds
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457 | Tylah, Midwife, Home birth, Alice Springs, jaundice, breastfeeding challenges

In today’s episode, Tylah shares her experience as a midwife alongside her first pregnancy and birth. Tylah had spent many years supporting women in pregnancy and labour so she had plenty of time to consider what she wanted for her own birth experience. She knew from the outset that she wanted a homebirth but her partner, a doctor, took some convincing. Tylah admits that pregnancy was humbling from the start and the persistent challenge of unexplained rib pain encouraged her to surrender from early on. She takes us step by step through her homebirth preparation including hiring a private midwife, planning a water birth and the shock of an unexpected but necessary NICU stay. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Our friends at iL Tutto are offering our audience 20% off their entire website, including the new Frankie Chair in Teddy Fleece. Simply use ABS20 at checkout, only at iltutto.com.au. This discount code cannot be used with any other offer and expires Tuesday 26th March 2024.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/26/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 47 seconds
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456 Postpartum | Sasha one baby, planned postpartum, PND, medication, breastfeeding, returning to work, race, childcare

You can listen to Sasha’s birth story in episode 331 and today she takes us through her early motherhood experience including discussions on race, mental health and the work/motherhood juggle. Sasha and her husband, Jem, planned an intentionally slow postpartum which was the ideal introduction to parenthood. Sasha talks openly about the challenges that arose after the newborn bubble, including her postnatal depression, her choice to take medication and the inner-conflict between expectations and reality. She also talks at length about race and genetics and what it’s like to have a different skin tone to her baby.  --------- If you’re considering The Birth Class, now is the time to buy.It just got bigger and better thanks to new content that enhances your birth education and preparation experience, including:  A cheat sheet for your birth partner. This simple outline takes your support person through early and active labour - what to expect, how to support and what to say when challenges arise Images of birth positions - the ideal addition for visual learners  3 meditations to release tension, foster trust and navigate a change of plans An illustrated guide to antenatal expressing - everything you need to know about collecting and storing colostrum For a limited time only, get 20% off with the code: ABS2024See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/21/20241 hour, 1 minute, 45 seconds
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455 | Larke, one baby, MGP, fibroid, maternal assisted caesarean (MAC), cleft palate

Larke is a midwife and she talks about her primal desire to experience labour and birth. But as she reiterates, there is so much about pregnancy and birth that is beyond our control. She was only 4 weeks pregnant when a scan revealed a significant fibroid at the back of her cervix which dictated her mode of delivery so from very early on she was grieving the loss of the vaginal birth she may never have. Her 20 week scan revealed her baby had a cleft palate and she is transparent with her rollercoaster of emotions following the diagnosis, normalising the confronting thoughts that come up in challenging times. With the support of her beloved midwife and obstetrician, Larke had an empowering maternal assisted caesarean and within minutes of Dolly being born it was confirmed that her palate was intact which meant she could breastfeed. --------- If you’re considering The Birth Class, now is the time to buy.It just got bigger and better thanks to new content that enhances your birth education and preparation experience, including:  A cheat sheet for your birth partner. This simple outline takes your support person through early and active labour - what to expect, how to support and what to say when challenges arise Images of birth positions - the ideal addition for visual learners  3 meditations to release tension, foster trust and navigate a change of plans An illustrated guide to antenatal expressing - everything you need to know about collecting and storing colostrum For a limited time only, get 20% off with the code: ABS2024See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/19/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 23 seconds
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454 | Kirsty, two babies, hysterectomy, uterus transplant, IVF, planned caesarean, mastitis

You may have seen Kirsty in the news recently. She’s the recipient of Australia’s first uterus transplant and birthed her miracle baby a few months ago. Today she takes us through the grief of a hysterectomy following her first birth, her options for growing her family, the transplant clinical trial and her pregnancy.  At the time of recording, four Australian women have received uterus transplants in Australia, three of whom were born without a uterus (MRKH syndrome). It’s so exciting to see such significant advancements in women’s reproductive health and I’ll always be grateful to be in the position to interview mothers and share their stories. Enjoy Kirsty’s story, it’s definitely a memorable one. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- If you’re considering The Birth Class, now is the time to buy.It just got bigger and better thanks to new content that enhances your birth education and preparation experience, including:  A cheat sheet for your birth partner. This simple outline takes your support person through early and active labour - what to expect, how to support and what to say when challenges arise Images of birth positions - the ideal addition for visual learners  3 meditations to release tension, foster trust and navigate a change of plans An illustrated guide to antenatal expressing - everything you need to know about collecting and storing colostrum For a limited time only, get 20% off with the code: ABS2024See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/15/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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453 | Niki, Two Physiological Home Births, Yoga Teacher, Breathing Techniques

In today’s episode, Niki shares her two incredibly positive home birth stories of her daughter Elsa and her son Nils. Niki is Swedish and Thai and lives with her Australian husband in Kho Samui where they teach Yoga to both practitioners and Yogis. Niki always knew she wanted to have her babies at home. In Thailand, it is illegal to have a home birth. This prompted Niki and her husband to decide to return to their family in Melbourne to pursue her home-birth dream. Nik shares the challenges of morning sickness in both pregnancies, the changes in her yoga practice, and the impact of pregnancy on her physical and emotional well-being. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/12/20241 hour, 30 minutes, 44 seconds
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452 Postpartum | Ellie, postpartum lethargy, brain fog, postpartum thyroiditis

Today, Ellie shares her experience with postpartum thyroiditis after experiencing the tell-tale signs and advocating for the appropriate blood tests at her six week check. There are many symptoms in postpartum that can be excused as side-effects of birth recovery and sleep deprivation. However, what’s ‘common’ isn’t always ‘normal’. Postpartum Thyroiditis is a thyroid condition that prompts a range of symptoms including lethargy, brain fog, low mood, anxiety and weight changes. It can also contribute to changes in bowel habits and low milk production. In the general population it affects 5-10 percent of people but it’s not routinely tested in postpartum. Today, Ellie shares her experience with postpartum thyroiditis after experiencing the tell-tale signs and advocating for the appropriate blood tests at her six week check. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today’s episode is brought to you by my postpartum course Discovering Motherhood. This 8 part audio course has been designed to support you through an empowered and confident transition into motherhood. Learn more hereSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/8/202424 minutes, 46 seconds
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451 | Jordy endometriosis, fragmented care, excess amniotic fluid, tachycardia, planned caesarean, breastfeeding, missed miscarriage, secondary infertility

Jordy has always had long, painful and heavy periods so when she fell pregnant without trying, no one was more shocked than her. Excess amniotic fluid prevented her from monitoring her baby’s movements so she presented to the hospital multiple times and opted for a planned caesarean at 38 weeks. Her birth experience was incredibly positive and after breastfeeding for the first time in recovery, she went on to feed baby Evie for three years. Since being diagnosed with adenomyosis, endometriosis and cysts on her ovaries, Jordy is navigating secondary infertility alongside medication and persistent pain. She speaks candidly about the daily challenges of her pain as well as the heartache of failed pregnancies. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2/5/202437 minutes, 48 seconds
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450 | Joelleen, midwife, IBCLC, pregnancy loss, publicly-funded homebirth, physiological birth, waterbirth, breastfeeding, NICU

Joelleen is a midwife, naturopath and IBCLC who takes us through her pregnancy and homebirth experience. Her journey into motherhood began with the birth of her daughter at 16 weeks and she details the shock and grief of her loss. When she conceived again she was accepted into Sunshine Hospital’s publicly-funded homebirth programme and was really proactive with her birth preparation. She had a physiological water birth at home followed by an unexpected but short NICU stay. Joelleen reflects on her knowledge as a midwife and IBCLC and agrees that every new mother - despite how much she knows - needs reassurance from health professionals and care providers in the first few weeks of postpartum.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1/28/20241 hour, 2 seconds
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449 Postpartum | Emma, two babies, bicornuate uterus, planned caesarean, placenta previa, placenta accreta, hysterectomy

In today’s episode Emma details her life-changing second pregnancy. At her 20 week scan she was diagnosed with major placenta previa (the placenta covers the cervix) as well as placenta accreta (where the placenta grows deeply into the uterine wall). In that moment her hopes for a VBAC and a homebirth vanished and she shifted her care to the high risk team at her local hospital. Emma required a hysterectomy immediately following the birth of her baby and she shares the many layers of grief that have come from losing her uterus and her menstrual cycle. Emma’s story emphasises how imperative compassionate, woman-centred care is during both pregnancy and postpartum. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1/24/20241 hour, 5 minutes, 6 seconds
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448 | Olivia, fraternal twins, DCDA twins, multiple birth team, public hospital, induction, vaginal birth, breastfeeding

In this episode Olivia details her shock upon discovering she was pregnant with fraternal twins after fertility challenges. She takes us through the experiences of having fragmented care with a multiple birth team at her local public hospital and the recommendations made for a twin labour and birth. She started seeing a perinatal psychologist in the third trimester to process her anxiety and she admits it was one of the best decisions she made for her postpartum, too. Olivia opted for an induction at 37+3 and despite foetal monitoring concerns and the suggestion of a caesarean, she utilised an epidural and a side-lying position to get to 10cm and birth her babies vaginally. She’s still exclusively breastfeeding at nine months but is honest about the time and effort it took to establish her milk supply and position both babies optimally. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1/22/20241 hour, 31 minutes, 10 seconds
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447 Postpartum | Jayne, three babies, homebirth, breech, planned caesarean, NICU, posterior urethral valves, organ donation

In today’s episode, Jayne details the contrast between homebirth and caesarean, a slow postpartum and an NICU stay. Towards the end of her third pregnancy Jayne discovered that her breech baby had kidney issues so she travelled to Hobart from her home in rural Tasmania for a planned caesarean and a month-long NICU stay. She takes us through the emotional upheaval of learning that her baby was sick and the almighty changes his diagnosis has brought to their family life. Supported by a loving village of neighbours and friends, Jayne and her husband are savouring life with their three boys and navigating many health appointments, hospital stays and a possible kidney transplant in the future.  Whilst many people think that organ donation is dependent on the information on your driver’s licence, you actually need to officially register as an organ donor. You can do that at donatelife.gov.au Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode of the show is brought to you by my online childbirth education course, The Birth Class. What makes The Birth Class so unique? Well, instead of learning from one person with one perspective, we've gathered nine perinatal health specialists to take you through everything you need to know about labor and birth. Realistic information is key to thorough preparation. Learn more about The Birth Class here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1/17/202453 minutes, 12 seconds
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446 | Jess, long first labour followed by a speedy second birth in the ambulance on the way to hospital

When Jess found out she was pregnant she assumed she would have a caesarean as her mum had had caesareans with all three of her children. It wasn't until Jess started listening to the Australian Birth Stories podcast that she started to explore the idea of having a vaginal birth. When she experienced pre-labour rupture of membranes (PROM) and was later given oxytocin to help bring her labour on she drew on her birthing class knowledge and had a birth she found empowering. When Jess was preparing for her second birth she thought she would have a long labour like her first and was shocked to find herself birthing in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today’s episode is brought to you by Kiwi.co. I must confess I’m not much of a crafty mum but Kiwi Co’s panda crate has been the best educational investment for Ottie. Every month we receive a subscription box filled with playful, open-ended activities backed by research and designed especially for naturally curious and creative babies and toddlers. It makes the perfect Christmas gift that keeps giving well beyond the festive season. I’m a big fan of quality activities that create the opportunity for play-based learning and Kiwi Co delivers hands-on projects that get the whole family involved. Whether you have a brand-new baby or a trailblazing toddler, the Panda Crate is perfect for your little one’s developing brain.Unwrap more than a gift. Discover hands-on fun with KiwiCo. Get your first month FREE on ANY crate line at kiwico.com/birthstoriesSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/20/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 30 seconds
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445 | Kate two babies, private obstetrician, elective caesarean, breastfeeding, miscarriage

In this episode Kate takes us through her journey to motherhood with her two daughters. In her first pregnancy she opted for care with a private obstetrician and after navigating a very tight pelvic floor from early on, she planned an elective caesarean. Her second and third pregnancies ended in miscarriage and she talks at length about how that made her feel. Her anxiety peaked at the beginning of her fourth pregnancy but thanks to her beautiful, reassuring obstetrician she felt held and supported. At her 13 week scan an anatomical difference in her baby’s heart was detected and over the following 10 weeks, Kate and her husband navigated the possibility of a chromosomal abnormality alongside an amniocentesis, genetic counselling and termination for medical reasons (TFMR). At 24 weeks baby Ruby was given the all-clear and Kate finally felt like she could embrace the pregnancy she so dearly wanted. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- It’s no surprise that restful sleep is hard to come by. Pregnancy pillows are a great way to get comfortable at night and if you find one that prevents back sleeping it will take away the stress of waking up on your back. That’s why I recommend the Sleepybelly pregnancy pillow. Sleepybelly is a three piece, adjustable pillow designed to provide peace of mind by encouraging safe side sleeping all while giving your belly some much needed relief. It’s made from a super light air layer outer material and inside is a premium latex that feels soft and comforting while providing optimal support for your belly and your back throughout your pregnancy. They offer free shipping and it also comes with a thirty-night ‘sleeping mums’ guarantee or your money back so you can try it risk free. Sleepybelly don’t normally discount their products but have provided a 10% off promo code for Australian Birth Stories listeners. You can purchase a sleepybelly today at sleepybelly.com.au using the promo code ABS10 for $10 off.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/17/202351 minutes, 10 seconds
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444 Postpartum | Shannen one baby, GBS positive, epidural complications, post dural puncture headache, PDPH, PDA

In today’s episode Shannen details her long labour which involved a complicated epidural. Her anaesthetist told her she may experience a headache the day after birth but nothing could have prepared her for the intensity of her post dural puncture headache (often compared to a severe migraine), the helplessness of not being able to look after her newborn and the complex feelings about her birth. Post dural puncture headaches can result in hospital admission and may require strong painkillers or a procedure called an epidural blood patch to reverse the symptoms.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode is brought to you by BabyLove nappies. Every parent dreads a leaking nappy and the piles of washing that inevitably follow. That’s why BabyLove created Cosifit nappies – they’re cosy, they’re comfy and they offer superior leak protection. Now with LeakSTOP technology, BabyLove Cosifit nappies feature a flexible contoured shape that moulds to your baby’s body for a gap free fit that prevents leaks. Less washing for you, more comfort for your baby. There’s so much to love about BabyLove Cosifit nappies. Want to try before you buy? You can get your FREE sample of Cosifit at BabyLove nappies here.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/13/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 13 seconds
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443 | Rachael, spinal muscular atrophy, TFMR, genetic carrier screening, IVF, NIPT, CVS, maternal-assisted caesarean

You can listen to Rachel share her first birth and postpartum story in episode #51 where she details her daughter Mackenzie’s terminal diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Today she talks about Mackenzie’s Mission and the genetic carrier screening that’s now covered under Medicare for all couples planning a pregnancy. If you are planning to conceive soon, I highly recommend listening to Rachael’s story and request the screening via your GP or Lumi Health. She also talks about her journey to conceiving her two boys, her decision to have an empowering maternal assisted caesarean and the grief and joy, anxiety and hope, love and gratitude of motherhood. Rachael is an incredible woman with a big heart. Her greatest hope is that we are all aware of genetic carrier screening so she has one request: tell everyone about it!  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. --------- Today's episode is proudly brought to you by Kin. If you haven’t heard of Kin already, they’re a revolutionary women’s healthcare brand, devoted to helping you take control of your reproductive health.Whether you’re trying to conceive, already pregnant or going through postpartum, Kin’s got you covered with a range of products that are evidence-based and recommended by dietitians.Like The Essential Protein to help you meet your protein requirements during pregnancy, and The Postnatal Vitamin to replenish nutrients after giving birth, so you can feel like yourself again.Visit Kin today and use the code ABSKIN15 at the checkout for 15% off the entire fertility product range today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/10/202358 minutes, 8 seconds
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442 | Lisa, two babies, two under two, MGP, posterior labour, women’s health physio, spinning babies, physiological birth

In today’s episode Lisa takes us through her two very different labours - her first was posterior and 67 hours long, her second was anterior and very quick. As a women’s health physiotherapist, Lisa knew the positive outcomes associated with MGP so she advocated to get in that programme and whilst her labour was long, it was also very supported. She also talks at length about caring for her swollen and sore perineum after birth and the shock of just how weak her pelvic floor muscles were. Seven months later she was pregnant again (her period hadn’t even returned) and she got straight into the MGP programme again. With her midwife’s guidance she embraced all the techniques, movements and positions to ensure her baby wasn’t posterior and experienced a swift yet intense second birth. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Today's episode is sponsored by Bare Mum. If you’re pregnant, we encourage you to start thinking about your birth recovery now. You need more support in the fourth trimester (the 12 weeks after birth) than you do in pregnancy which can be surprising to many new mothers. It’s for this reason that Bare Mum began and now they offer a beautiful collection of practical and supportive products to assist your postpartum healing.   All new mums need lower back, abdominal and pelvic floor support after birth. Bare Mum’s Postpartum Briefs gently hold you in the first days and weeks, helping you feel confident. Endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives, they offer a unique pocket design so you can insert a warm or cold pack to offer soothing relief and assist with caesarean wound or perineal healing.  Ideal for caesarean and vaginal birth recovery, Bare Mum Postpartum Briefs are soft, stretchy, and supportive, offering you essential post-birth care. They’re a must-have for your hospital bag.  Bare Mum is offering you 15% off storewide with the discount code ABS15See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/7/20231 hour, 21 minutes, 35 seconds
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441 | Maria, fraternal twins, ovulation induction, cervical stitch, bed rest, IUGR, caesarean birth, NICU

In today’s episode Maria shares her fraternal twin pregnancy which required her to spend 14 weeks on bedrest. Her pregnancy was considered normal until 20 weeks when a routine scan showed her cervix was shortening, exacerbated by the pressure of excess amniotic fluid. The following day a cervix stitch was inserted and Maria spent the next 10 weeks in hospital. She talks about the power of meditation and the practises she embraced to stay present and positive. Her boys were born at 33 weeks and are now healthy, happy four-year-olds who speak three languages. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Today's episode is brought to you by my online birth education course The Birth Class.Featuring 10 audio lessons with perinatal health specialists, you can listen from the comfort of your home when you’re relaxed and receptive to new information. The Birth Class is a conversation starter between you and your birth partner that informs, encourages and empowers you to journey towards labour with knowledge and confidence.  Learn more here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/4/202354 minutes, 7 seconds
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440 Postpartum | Sarah, three babies, vaginal birth, third-degree tear, OASI, internal massage, hypertonic pelvic floor, women’s health physiotherapist

In this episode Sarah shares her experience with two third-degree perineal tears, also known as Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury (OASI). The general understanding of birth recovery - even when it comes to perineal trauma - is six weeks yet the reality is much different. For some women it can take two years to heal and strengthen and as Sarah says, we need more conversations about this and ultimately, more health support. If you have experienced an OASI or you know someone who has, this episode will offer comfort and guidance, especially in regards to follow-up care. Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Today episode is brought to you by our library of free resources. Download our free pregnancy and labour tips guides on Mastitis, Perineal Massage, Postpartum Fatigue and many more to assist you in the journey towards birth.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/30/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 13 seconds
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439 | Shuana, two babies, unplanned pregnancy, vulva varicosities, MGP, the birth class, unplanned homebirth

You can listen to Shuana’s first birth in episode 296 where she details her really positive physiological birth under midwifery care. Today she takes us through her unplanned second pregnancy which took her months to embrace considering she’d just returned to work and didn’t feel prepared for two under two. She was allocated the same midwife through the MGP programme and listened to the yoga nidra meditation in The Birth Class everyday of her pregnancy. She woke at 41+5 to mild cramps and later that evening light contractions began which she welcomed with the utmost excitement. A mere two hours later she birthed her baby girl in her loungeroom, her midwife on the phone and four paramedics by her side. Shuana also discusses the new public hospital home birth programme that has just launched on the Central Coast of NSW; a really positive step forward that makes home birth much more accessible.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is proudly brought to you by Bliss Birth. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and it's a fantastic pain relief device with no side effects unlike pharmaceuticals. I used the Elle tens in all three of my labours. Ariel from Bliss Birth has been supporting the podcast for years and has offered a discount for you to hire a tens for 8 or 4 weeks and it comes with everything you would need, as well as the option for really fast postage if women are booking at the last minute  You can enjoy 10% off your Tens hire at Bliss Birth use code ABS23 at checkoutSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/27/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 54 seconds
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438 Postpartum | Alex, one baby, solo parenthood, donor-conceived, MGP, IUGR, physiological birth, donor milk

In this episode Alex shares his pregnancy and birth journey as a trans man, including his choice to embark on solo parenthood. He sought guidance from an IVF clinic and embarked on a number of tests to ensure his egg quality and reserve were favourable before deciding on a sperm donor. Once pregnant, he opted for MGP care through his local public hospital and was induced at 38 weeks due to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Alex shares the challenge and joy of labour and birth, his choice to access donor milk and his body dysphoria in postpartum.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides hereSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/24/202353 minutes, 27 seconds
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437 | Julie two babies, pregnant at 42, emergency caesarean, HG, IVF, Down Syndrome

In today’s episode, Julie shares her journey and all the beautiful lessons she’s learnt along the way. At once ambivalent about motherhood, her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage and proved that she did have a yearning to have a baby. Two failed rounds of IVF followed and then she fell pregnant naturally at 42. The NIPT results showed high risk of Down Syndrome and Julie was advised to terminate the pregnancy. Together with her partner Tom, they opted to continue with the pregnancy and welcomed baby Woody via emergency caesarean. Only fifteen months later she birthed baby Alfie. Julie talks at length about mothering a child with Down Syndrome, the dreaded daycare germs, physical therapy and the precious bond between her two boys.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is brought to you by iL Tutto. For Black Friday, starting from Tuesday 21st of November at 6pm until Wednesday 29th November, iL Tutto are offering HUGE savings across iltutto.com.au where you’ll find their biggest range of Australian-designed Nursery Chairs and complementary Nursery furniture. Save up to 30% storewide including their range of Cots, Chests, CoZee Breeze Co-Sleeping Bassinets.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/20/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 20 seconds
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436 Postpartum | Dom, Indigenous, birthing on country model of care, waterbirth, PAD, panic attacks, mother + baby unit, psychiatric unit, ECT

In honour of Perinatal Mental Health Week, Dom shares her experience of perinatal anxiety and depression (PAD) and details her three-month stay in a mother and baby psychiatric unit. At six weeks postpartum her anxiety became debilitating; she was having panic attacks, pulling out her hair and thought her husband and baby would be better off without her. She was admitted to a mother + baby unit in a private hospital and received a range of treatments including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which affected her short term memory (her mum kept a 300-page journal so she would have a record to fill in her lost memories). Dom has since had a second baby and thanks to realistic expectations, culturally-safe care and professional and family support, she has stayed really well despite being at high-risk of a postpartum mental health disorder.  Follow us on Instagram at @australianbirthstories for helpful articles, behind the scenes, and future episodes. Download our many free pregnancy and labour tips guides here Today’s episode is brought to you by Kiwi.co. I must confess I’m not much of a crafty mum but Kiwi Co's panda crate has been the best educational investment for Ottie. Every month we receive a subscription box filled with playful, open-ended activities backed by research and designed especially for naturally curious and creative babies and toddlers. It makes the perfect Christmas gift that keeps giving well beyond the festive season.  I'm a big fan of quality activities that create the opportunity for play-based learning and Kiwi Co delivers hands-on projects that get the whole family involved. Whether you have a brand-new baby or a trailblazing toddler, the Panda Crate is perfect for your little one’s developing brain. Unwrap more than a gift. Discover hands-on fun with KiwiCo. Get your first month FREE on ANY crate line at kiwico.com/birthstories.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/16/20231 hour, 29 minutes, 15 seconds
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435 | Caitlin, two babies, posterior, induction, epidural, prodromal labour, doula, unplanned homebirth

In today’s episode Caitlin details her two very different labours - her first was 40 hours long, her second only two hours. She was accepted into an MGP programme and while she did a hypnobirthing course for preparation, she admits she wasn’t prepared for the intensity of labour. Her early labour stage was long and painful because of her baby’s posterior position and she admits she went to hospital too early. After opting for an induction she later requested an epidural which was a really positive experience for it; it allowed her to sleep, relax and dilate to 10cm. In her second pregnancy she embraced all the education and preparation, hired a doula and planned to birth at her small local low–risk hospital. But….her baby had other plans.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/13/20231 hour, 26 minutes, 30 seconds
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434 Postpartum | Tess, PPH, triple-feeding, EBM, PND, private obstetrician, postpartum day-stay

In today’s episode Tess shares her two very different breastfeeding experiences. She starts by detailing her traumatic birth experience which ended in a postpartum haemorrhage and left her depleted and anxious. Her baby lost 11 percent of her birthweight so triple-feeding was recommended and after a few challenging weeks, Tess made the decision to feed her baby expressed breastmilk (EBM) which she continued for a year as she navigated the grief and guilt of not being able to latch her baby. In her second pregnancy, she was proactive with her care and support from the start. She opted for private obstetric care with Dr Scott Shemer and booked in with Dr Amber Hart from Maternal and Infant Wellbeing in Melbourne who offers day stays for new mothers (the future of postpartum care is looking bright!). Tess’ second postpartum has been incredibly healing and really proves the benefit of continuity of care right into postpartum, especially for lactation support.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/10/202349 minutes, 50 seconds
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433 | Kelsey three babies, induction, epidural, vacuum-assisted birth, PPH, miscarriage, progesterone, retained placenta, the birth class

In today’s episode, Kelsey shares her three birth stories which detail her evolution as a birthing mother. In her first birth she requested an induction which led to the cascade of intervention; an epidural, instrumental birth, PPH and retained placenta. She found her first postpartum particularly challenging and when she felt ready to conceive again, she experienced three miscarriages, including the loss of identical twins at 11 weeks. In her final two pregnancies, she embraced birth education and midwifery care to prepare for physiological births which left her feeling on top of the world. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/6/20231 hour, 25 minutes, 32 seconds
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432 Postpartum | Claire, one baby, vaginal birth, midwifery care, faecal incontinence, women’s health physiotherapy

Faecal incontinence affects one in 25 women in postpartum and today, Claire shares her experience. She takes us briefly through her labour and birth and details the confronting realisation that she had no control of her anal sphincter. Thanks to a women’s health physiotherapist who demanded horizontal rest - essential for all new mothers! - pelvic floor exercises and dietary changes, Claire recovered by six weeks. She emphasises how important it is to share her story because she had never heard of it happening before and wondered if it was her new reality; a challenging prospect at a very vulnerable time. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
11/2/202334 minutes, 29 seconds
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431 | Renee, three babies, spontaneous labour, physiological births, water birth, homebirth, doula

Today Renee shares her three physiological birth stories so consider this a wonderfully positive episode in honour of Homebirth Awareness Week. She was living in New York with her partner when she fell pregnant at 21 so they hightailed it home to Queensland and had a really positive birth at their local public hospital. Renee admits that the first year of motherhood was lonely; she didn’t have any friends who were also mothers and she had really high expectations of herself that prompted postnatal anxiety. By the time her second was born she had a community of friends supporting her homebirth and conscious postpartum and she trained as a birth doula soon after. Her third pregnancy was her most challenging but the birth was very quick.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/30/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 40 seconds
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430 Postpartum | Katie Rose, yoga teacher, Ayurveda, five babies, blended family

Katie Rose, a yoga teacher, doula and mother of five discusses her postpartum experiences and the joy and chaos of having a big family. Her eldest is 17 and her youngest is two so she brings a beautiful wisdom to her story, reflecting on her perfectionist early parenting years and the ease and joy she has found by letting go of control and simply being present. If you’re in the depths of early motherhood you will glean so much from Katie’s story.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/26/202342 minutes, 4 seconds
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429 | Celia Pacquola, needle phobia, hypnotherapy, private obstetrician, pelvic girdle pain, induction, anxiety, breastfeeding, formula

In today’s episode, I chat to comedian Celia Pacquola about her pregnancy and birth experience. Motherhood was never a top priority for Celia but when she met her partner, it only took a few months for them to conceive. She chose continuity of care with a private obstetrician, used hypnotism to recover from her phobia of needles and opted for an induction at 39 weeks. She’s frank about the challenges of breastfeeding, the stigma of formula feeding and her postpartum anxiety which was exacerbated by everything she didn’t know about motherhood.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/23/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 42 seconds
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428 | Kirby five babies, septate uterus, breech, emergency caesarean, tongue tie, VBAC, miscarriage, second trimester pregnancy loss, IVF

In today's episode, and in honour of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Kirby shares her story. After her first two pregnancies and births, she experienced her first miscarriage but knew it was a common experience and wasn’t perturbed by it. However, what followed was a period of infertility and the devastating loss of her two boys, Walt and Alby. Kirby worked with a fertility specialist and reproductive immunologist to prepare for her next pregnancy and after one round of IVF and the transfer of her only viable embryo, she conceived baby June who is now four months old.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/15/20231 hour, 16 minutes, 35 seconds
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427 | Elizabeth, physiological birth with MGP, The Birth Class, spontaneous labour, TENS machine

In this episode Elizabeth shares her first pregnancy and birth experience. She had bloods done before her copper IUD was removed as she has coeliac disease and wanted to ensure her iron levels were adequate before she conceived. Having been a listener of the podcast, she was interested in her local MGP programme and ensured her GP referral was sent early. Elizabeth prepared for birth with The Birth Class and went into spontaneous labour at 41 weeks. Her labour was textbook and she explains in detail the tools she used to navigate contractions. This is a wonderful episode if you’re after a positive, physiological birth story to inform and inspire you. You can listen to Elizabeth’s early postpartum journey in episode 420.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/8/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 35 seconds
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426 Postpartum | Samantha, postpartum preparation, postpartum doula, social media, matrescence

In today’s episode, Samantha details her postpartum journey with her second baby and explains why switching off social media was the best option for her. As a postpartum doula she knew exactly how to prepare for postpartum and prioritised filling her freezer with nutritious food. Yet she was still floored by the intensity of it, challenged by the gap between expectations and reality and discovered the detriment of socials on a vulnerable postpartum mindset. Samantha speaks beautifully about her experience and doesn’t shy away from the hard reality of life with a new baby. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/5/202341 minutes, 26 seconds
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425 | Bridie, two births, endometriosis, MGP, pubis symphysis dysfunction, posterior labour, induction, epidural, water birth

In today’s episode, Bridie (one half of the witty/hilarious new podcast Cool Story that will undoubtedly make you smarter at dinner parties) shares her two birth stories. Bridie’s mum is a midwife so she had the utmost faith in her knowledge and expertise and felt supported and safe throughout her entire pregnancy and birth. Her first labour was long and hard and Bridie admits that she was floored by the intensity of the pushing stage and the way her body felt afterwards. Her second birth was quick and calm; she birthed in the water and was discharged hours later. Bridie’s story is both informative and incredibly entertaining; you’ll learn a lot and laugh out loud. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/2/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 1 second
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424 Postpartum | Brylee, hydrops fetalis, foetal medicine team, amniocentesis, thoracentesis, caesarean birth, NICU

Almost 1 in 5 babies spend time in the Special Care Nursery (SCN) or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Australia. For the mothers of these babies, postpartum is very different to what they planned or hoped for and there’s often a distinct grief that accompanies the stress of having an unwell or premature baby. We can encourage new mothers to organise meal trains and lie down at every opportunity but we also need to make space for those who are sitting for hours on end in hard hospital chairs, heart aching for their baby and juggling hospital and family life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/28/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 55 seconds
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423 | Leonie, two babies, perinatal anxiety and depression (PAD), psychology, episiotomy, postpartum depression, mother rage, private obstetrician

In today’s episode Leonie shares her experience with perinatal anxiety and depression which manifested as a profound sense of defeat in pregnancy and visceral rage in postpartum. She opted for talking therapy with a psychologist and managed her symptoms but she was still overwhelmed at birth when the love for her baby wasn’t immediate. It’s so important to talk about these experiences because studies show that up to 40 percent of mothers don’t feel love for their baby at birth (instead, it grows and develops over time). Leonie had two positive vaginal births with a private obstetrician who encouraged her despite her requests for planned caesareans. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/25/202358 minutes, 17 seconds
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422 Postpartum | Leila, fraternal twins, breastfeeding twins, postpartum doula

Following on from her birth story in episode 419, Leila shares her early postpartum experience with twins. She organised a foundation of strong and trustworthy support including private midwifery care, a postpartum doula and a meal train involving her closest friends. Despite her preparation she still had moments of overwhelm; the sheer amount of hours required to feed and settle twins is significant and it left very little space for anything else. She takes us through the importance of ready-made meals, her breastfeeding challenges, the upheaval of an unexpected hospital admission and the discovery of a prolapse at four months postpartum. Leila also shares her twin-mum must-haves so if you’re pregnant with multiples, you’ll love this episode.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/21/202340 minutes, 22 seconds
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421 | Shelley, Herpes virus, planned caesarean, VBAC, Breastfeeding challenges

In today’s episode, I interview Shelley who shares her two pregnancies and births. Shelley has herpes simplex virus (HSV) and experienced considerable stress throughout pregnancy which led to an outbreak. Despite planning a vaginal birth, Shelley consulted with her care provider and made the informed decision to have a caesarean birth (there are significant risks to the baby if the mother births vaginally with an active HSV outbreak). In her second pregnancy, Shelley was proactive in preventing an outbreak and had a successful VBAC.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/18/20231 hour, 34 seconds
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420 Postpartum | Elizabeth, one baby, MGP, jaundice, hospital readmission, light therapy, biliblanket

Elizabeth’s newborn baby was readmitted to hospital to treat jaundice which is one of the primary reasons a baby will need to return to hospital after discharge. She had to navigate conflicting medical advice and opinions on the ward which isn’t an uncommon experience in the postpartum health space. I encourage you to listen to this episode because it really highlights the importance of breastfeeding education and having support people to advocate for you. Elizabeth will be back in a few weeks time to share her pregnancy journey and incredibly positive birth under the care of MGP midwives.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/13/202334 minutes, 12 seconds
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419 | Leila, two births, homebirth, fraternal twin vaginal birth without epidural, private midwife, planned postpartum

In today’s episode Leila shares her beautiful birth stories; her first at home, and her second which was a twin birth in hospital at 41+2. Leila thoroughly educated herself about birth and postpartum in her first pregnancy so when it came to her twin pregnancy, she was well aware of how she wanted to be supported and opted for a private midwife to help her navigate the hospital system. Despite going well beyond her estimated due date, she achieved what she calls “homebirth in the hospital” with her twins. She’ll be back in a few weeks time to tell us all about her postpartum experience.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/11/202358 minutes, 49 seconds
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418 Postpartum | Naomi, two births, birth trauma, postpartum doula, postpartum preparation, homebirth, postpartum cookbook

In today’s episode Naomi takes us through her first pregnancy and admits that she was so focussed on her birth preparation that she didn’t once think about her postpartum journey. Her birth was challenging and the newborn days were full of anxiety, severe sleep deprivation and a lot of not-knowing. Four months later she learnt about traditional postpartum care which inspired her to become a postpartum doula. Her knowledge and experience informed her next pregnancy and birth; she opted for an independent midwife and a doula, planned a homebirth, filled her freezer with nutrient-dense food and employed a postpartum doula to mother her as she mothered her baby. Naomi is wise, warm and a wonderful source of information for anyone who is pregnant and hoping to plan and prepare for postpartum.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/6/202350 minutes, 21 seconds
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417 | Dara, one baby, miscarriage, thyroid, private obstetrician, birth education, planned caesarean, mother’s group

In today’s episode Dara discusses her choice to have a private obstetrician and the steps she took to educate herself and plan a vaginal birth. Towards the end of her pregnancy she decided that being focussed on one birth option didn’t feel right so she started exploring what an induction, emergency caesarean and planned caesarean may look like. It proved to be a worthwhile practice because at 41 weeks her baby wasn’t engaged and her cervix was long and firm; instead of opting for an induction, she chose to have a planned caesarean which was an incredibly positive experience for her.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9/4/20231 hour, 1 minute, 9 seconds
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416 Postpartum | Alice, hereditary varicose veins, clexane, vein removal

I interviewed Alice about her births in episode 18 and episode 110 but today she talks about her varicose veins in postpartum which are hereditary but got increasingly worse with each of her pregnancies.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
8/30/202340 minutes, 46 seconds
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415 | Jessie, one baby, anxiety and depression, private obstetrician, vaginismus, pelvic floor physiotherapist, pregnancy insomnia, TENS, epidural, breastfeeding challenges, postpartum joy

In today’s episode, Jessie shares her first birth story. Her pregnancy was a surprise and she admits the shock of it definitely informed her experience. With a history of anxiety and depression she worked closely with her psychiatrist and psychologist to navigate changes to her medication and her fears around birth. She also had regular appointments with a pelvic floor physiotherapist who helped relieve her vaginismus and prepare for labour and birth. She made the choice to have an epidural as soon as she felt like the labour pain was becoming too much for her but it was light - she could still feel her legs and was aware of the urge to push - which helped with a quick second stage. Jessie speaks honestly about her mental health and breastfeeding challenges but also emphasises the pure joy of being a mother and the deep love she has for baby Luna.
8/28/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 23 seconds
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414 Postpartum | Billi homebirth and hospital transfer, NICU

In this episode Billi discusses what it was like to discover she was pregnant at 14 weeks, subsequently missing her entire first trimester. She hired a private midwife for her birth and planned a homebirth that required a hospital transfer after her baby was born. Billie’s postpartum plans had to pivot, an experience that she found really mentally challenging despite being a clinical psychologist. She goes on to share the highs and lows of postpartum, the imposing nature of the mental load and the inevitable relationship challenges as she and her partner adjusted to parenthood. She also sings the praises of being in a mother’s group because of the diversity of preferences and the perspective-shifts and realisations that come from having conversations with other mums. ----------- Enjoy a free wooden ABS birth comb with any purchase of The Birth Class, The Caesarean Birth Class or The Birth Bundle. Valued at $19.95 *while stocks last
8/24/20231 hour, 1 minute, 57 seconds
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Thank you for 14 Million downloads

Bonus episode to say Thankyou.   FREE Gift with purchase   Enjoy a free wooden ABS birth comb with any purchase of The Birth Class, The Caesarean Birth Class or The Birth Bundle. Valued at $19.95   *while stocks last
8/23/202319 minutes, 23 seconds
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413 | Larissa, three births, VBAC2, PCOS, second-trimester miscarriage, caesarean, induction, weight-loss surgery

In this episode Larissa takes us through her three births across 14 years. She fell pregnant for the first time when she was 18 and followed her doctor's advice to have a caesarean. In her second pregnancy - six years later - she attempted a VBAC but had to be induced and an emergency caesarean was recommended. Her third and fourth pregnancies ended in second-trimester miscarriages and Larissa takes us through her choice to have medical management and birth her babies vaginally. Her next pregnancy continued to full term and as well as being educated about achieving a VBAC2, she surrounded herself with a supportive team and birthed her baby in “the best moment of her life.” _____________________ Check out  - our empowering, evidence based online birth education program that will help you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience.
8/21/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 28 seconds
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412 Postpartum | Kate + Dylan discuss their journey into parenthood and Dylan’s escalating mental health concerns that resulted in his admission to a mother and baby psychiatric unit (now called a parent + baby unit)

Today Kate and Dylan are incredibly generous with sharing the birth of their first child and the significant challenges of postpartum. Dylan has lived with anxiety his whole life but in the first few months of parenthood his anxiety was debilitating and was only amplified by his baby’s cries. He was eventually admitted to the mother and baby psychiatric unit; a supportive space where he could receive psychiatric treatment and support while learning to bond with his baby. _________ Gain the knowledge and skills to navigate labour, birth and postpartum with confidence through our .
8/16/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 56 seconds
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411 | Jessie, physiological birth, private obstetrician, doula, acupuncture, miscarriage breastfeeding

In today’s episode Jessie shares her incredibly positive physiological birth which was so rare in the private hospital she birthed in, that five midwives came to watch. With the support of her doula and the midwife on staff, Jessie navigated her labour with the TENS machine, the shower, bath and a bit of gas. She admits that it was difficult for her to ‘get’ pushing but when her midwife suggested she sit on the toilet - because it’s just like doing a poo! - Jessie’s baby was born soon after. This is a wonderful episode that will inform and inspire you. 
8/14/202347 minutes, 7 seconds
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410 Postpartum | Eleanor shares her two postpartum experiences and details the choices she made to ensure her second postpartum was a slow and sacred season of rest and recovery

In this episode Eleanor takes us through the challenges of her first postpartum and the lessons learned from her breastfeeding experience with engorgement, oversupply and persistent mastitis. When it came time to plan her second postpartum, she did so with a deep understanding of Eastern philosophy and the intention to carve out a dedicated period of rest and recovery. As she prepares to return to work, she’s brimming with gratitude for the choices she made and the support she enlisted. ____________ Get support through our 8-part audio program guiding your empowered and confident transition into motherhood, .  
8/9/202339 minutes, 9 seconds
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409 | Steph one baby, miscarriage, private obstetrician, PROM, induction, epidural, emergency caesarean, breastfeeding challenges

In today’s episode Steph takes us through her early pregnancy journey and explains her choice to have a private obstetrician. She prepared for labour and birth and the possibility of an emergency caesarean with The Birth Class and after her waters broke at 35 weeks, she was induced and opted for an epidural. Her baby’s heart rate was a concern and Steph’s obstetrician recommended an emergency caesarean which she agreed to. Her experience was incredibly positive and she wanted to share in the hope that she could inform and comfort other mothers in the same situation. She also details her breastfeeding challenges and her choice to formula feed for her own health and happiness.  _____________________ Check out  - our empowering, evidence based online birth education program that will help you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience.
8/7/202343 minutes, 15 seconds
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408 Postpartum | Amber shares her personal breastfeeding challenges after a traumatic birth and her professional knowledge as a midwife and IBCLC

Following on from her birth story in Amber shares her breastfeeding challenges which were complicated by her long labour, traumatic birth and significant blood loss. Regardless of her professional knowledge as a midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), she had to navigate profound hurdles including delayed onset of milk supply, infant weight loss, engorgement and fast letdown. This episode blends personal experience with professional knowledge and is a must-listen if you’re currently pregnant and planning on breastfeeding. ____________ Get support through our 8-part audio program guiding your empowered and confident transition into motherhood, .  
8/2/202342 minutes, 47 seconds
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407 | Georgia, two babies, MGP, physiological birth, breastfeeding, IBCLC

In today’s episode Georgia shares her two positive birth experiences; her first an induction with epidural, her second a physiological birth seven minutes after she arrived at the hospital. She admits that she’d not a big reader but was determined to finish ‘The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth’ and 24 hours after reading the last page her waters broke. She chose Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) at her local public hospital for both pregnancies and second-time around, credits education and active preparation for her positive, empowering birth and postpartum experience.  _____________________ Check out  - our empowering, evidence based online birth education program that will help you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience.
7/31/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 10 seconds
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406 | Chloe, one baby, postpartum care, birth centre, BRAIN, induction, epidural, forceps, episiotomy, triple-feeding

In today’s episode, Chloe explains her choice to have public hospital pregnancy care so she could spend money on allied health services in postpartum. It was a choice that served her incredibly well as she had significant breastfeeding challenges and opted for at-home support from a GP + IBCLC specialising in perinatal health. Towards the end of her pregnancy, Chloe had multiple scans to check her baby’s growth and when an induction was suggested, she used the BRAIN decision-making model to assist her. Despite the fact that her labour and birth wasn’t what she planned, she felt like she had agency every step of the way and looks back with fondness on her experience because she felt heard, respected and supported (the foundations of a positive birth). ____________________________________ Check out  - our empowering, evidence based online birth education program that will help you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience.
7/24/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 56 seconds
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405 | Keira, endometriosis, IVF, hyperemesis gravidarum, positive induction, baby blues

Keira shared her first birth story in and today she takes us through her second pregnancy, detailing the head game of IVF, the daily challenge of severe hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and the positive birth of her daughter, Goldie. Keira was vomiting between 30 and 40 times a day in this pregnancy, she had suicidal thoughts, was bedbound and literally counted down the days till birth. She describes it as a horrific pregnancy but was also strong and capable enough to advocate for herself in the hospital system, seek the support of and is now sharing her story to educate others.  ____________________________________ Check out - our empowering, evidence based online birth education program that will help you confidently prepare for a positive birth experience. ____________________________________ Thanks to today's sponsor, a three-piece adjustable pillow designed to provide peace of mind by encouraging safe side sleeping all while giving your belly some much needed relief. Sleepybelly don’t normally discount their products but have provided a 10% off promo code for Australian Birth Stories listeners. You can purchase a sleepybelly today at  using the promo code ABS10 for 10% off.
7/17/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 41 seconds
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404 | Natasha, fraternal twins, PCOS, private obstetrician, planned caesarean, pre-eclampsia

In this episode Natasha discusses her fraternal twin pregnancy and her choice to have a planned caesarean. She opted for private obstetric care with a doctor who specialised in high risk and twin pregnancies and experienced a relatively smooth pregnancy aside from severe nausea in the first trimester and back pain in the third. When she started developing symptoms of pre-eclampsia, her caesarean was brought forward. She talks in detail about the highs and lows of early postpartum and what it’s really like to care for two babies at once. _______________________________________ Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
7/10/202335 minutes, 51 seconds
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403 | Postpartum Care Options + Costs with Dr Eliza Hannam, GP, Possums NDC, IBCLC

We all know babies are expensive but how much does pregnancy, birth and parenthood actually cost? I’ve joined forces with , a customer-owned ethical bank and a certified B Corp, to make pregnancy finances less overwhelming. In this 5-part mini series I take you from preconception to postpartum with health and finance professionals who outline everything you need to know about fertility treatment, maternity leave, birth options, childcare and budgeting for a baby.  Breastfeeding and sleep concerns are common in early parenthood but unfortunately, many GP’s aren’t qualified to support you through these challenges. So where do you go for professional advice? In this episode, Dr Eliza Hannam discusses her early motherhood experiences alongside her role as a GP, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Neuroprotective Development Care practitioner. What does all this mean? She’s the gold standard when it comes to perinatal care. Eliza explains how she supports new parents, the rebates available for allied health services including mental health plans, and how you can access free breastfeeding support. 
7/5/202346 minutes, 12 seconds
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402 | Hannah Willsmore, positive homebirth, private midwife, doula, 5kg baby, intact perineum, water birth

In today’s episode Hannah - an endorsed midwife and IBCLC specialising in postpartum care - shares her incredibly positive story of birthing her 5.1kg baby at home (with an intact perineum to boot!). Hannah expected her conception journey to take time as she has endometriosis and PCOS but she actually conceived unexpectedly, much to her surprise and delight. She knew she wanted a homebirth but she was also aware that a homebirth through the public system had strict policies and as a tall woman, she presumed she would have a big baby which could become a hurdle. With this in mind she opted for private midwifery care and the support of a doula. If you’re after an uplifting story to inspire you, this is it.   _______________________________________ Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
7/4/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 32 seconds
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401 | Maternity Leave Rights, Paid Parental Leave + Childcare Subsidies with Georgie Dent

We all know babies are expensive but how much does pregnancy, birth and parenthood actually cost? I’ve joined forces with , a customer-owned ethical bank and a certified B Corp, to make pregnancy finances less overwhelming. In this 5-part mini series I take you from preconception to postpartum with health and finance professionals who outline everything you need to know about fertility treatment, maternity leave, birth options, childcare and budgeting for a baby.  Navigating centrelink, nutting out your maternity leave rights and child care subsidies can be a logistical nightmare. In the current climate with rising costs and an increasing number of childcare deserts across the country, financial planning for parenthood is overwhelming. In this episode Georgie Dent, writer, journalist and executive director of , takes us step-by-step through all the financial support systems available to parents, including the upcoming changes to paid parental leave. Georgie is a tireless campaigner for parental support and rights, hence she’s the very best person to speak on this topic.
6/28/202338 minutes, 58 seconds
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400 | Allison, two babies, autistic, adhd, endometriosis, MGP, doula, miscarriage, postpartum

In this episode Allison takes us through her journey to motherhood and subsequently, her empowering and enlightening autism and adhd diagnosis. She weaves in and out of her pregnancies to share information about music therapy and the brain and how music - rhythm, tempo, mantra - is one of the best soothing tools we can teach our children and use for ourselves. Allison details the sensory overwhelm of pregnancy and breastfeeding, her experience with endometriosis, parenting an autistic child and her recent miscarriage which she honoured with a distinct period of rest and reflection. If you are neurodivergent or you think that you may be, this episode will be the comfort and guidance you need. I consider it essential listening, especially for perinatal health specialists caring for neurodivergent people in pregnancy and postpartum. _______________________________________ Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
6/26/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 56 seconds
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399 | Public and Private Care Options + Costs with Dr Natalie Elphinstone, Obstetrician and Liz Wilkes, Independent Midwife

We all know babies are expensive but how much does pregnancy, birth and parenthood actually cost? I’ve joined forces with , a customer-owned ethical bank and a certified B Corp, to make pregnancy finances less overwhelming. In this 5-part mini series I take you from preconception to postpartum with health and finance professionals who outline everything you need to know about fertility treatment, maternity leave, birth options, childcare and budgeting for a baby.  Understanding your care options and working out what you want in pregnancy can be tricky, especially if you’re in the first trimester and overwhelmed with fatigue and nausea. In this episode I delve into your private maternity care options by exploring the costs of obstetric care in a private hospital and private midwifery care in either a public hospital, birth centre or in your home. Dr Natalie Elphinstone (along with her Practice Manager and husband, Michael) discusses the often complex health insurance rebates while Liz Wilkes, Managing Director at My Midwives, explains all the options and costs of private midwifery care.
6/22/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 56 seconds
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398 | Jo, two babies, unexplained infertility, IVF, private obstetrician, placenta previa, planned caesarean, miscarriage, vulva varicosities, vacuum, VBAC

In this episode Jo takes us through her experience with unexplained fertility and her shock at conceiving on her first embryo transfer. She opted for private obstetric care and had a planned caesarean because of placenta previa. She conceived naturally with her second baby and her Geelong-based obstetrician was supportive of a VBAC from the get-go. Unfortunately Jo’s pregnancy was overshadowed by a hospital crisis but her obstetrician guided her through the experience and despite the upheaval, she achieved her VBAC. _______________________________________ Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
6/19/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 57 seconds
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397 | The Cost of Fertility Treatment with gynaecologist Dr Violet Kieu

Welcome to Part 2 of my mini series in partnership with , a customer-owned ethical bank and a certified B Corp, to make pregnancy finances less overwhelming. In today's episode we cover the cost of Fertility Treatment with Dr Violet Kieu, consultant gynaecologist specialising in fertility, reproductive endocrinology, and fertility preservation Planning a pregnancy is one thing, successfully conceiving is another. One in six Australian couples will seek fertility treatment, for both medical and/or social infertility. In this episode I chat to highly regarded fertility specialist, Dr Violet Kieu about infertility, recommended lifestyle changes and what you can expect from the intrauterine insemination (IUI) and invitro fertilisation (IVF) process. The financial costs are significant, especially if treatment is ongoing. However, it’s really difficult to give exact figures considering every person’s infertility experience is different, as are the investigations, tests and procedures that are recommended. If we’re talking ballpark figures, you can expect to pay $1500 for IUI after a Medicare rebate and roughly $5500 for each round of IVF. There are also publicly-funded fertility clinics and while the waitlists are long (and often time is something you don’t want to waste), they do make both IUI and IVF significantly more affordable. Consider this episode a thorough guide to your fertility treatment options.   
6/14/202341 minutes, 6 seconds
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396 | Marian, two babies, TFMR, amniocentesis, CVS,, private obstetrician, doula, vaginal birth, pregnancy after loss

Thousands of families every year experience Termination for Medical Reasons (TFMR). We know that women’s stories can offer information, guidance and immense comfort to those currently navigating their unborn baby’s diagnosis and it’s for this reason that Marian wanted to share her story. She takes us step by step through her first pregnancy with baby Emmy who had a rare genetic disorder, confirmed at 29 weeks gestation after weeks of tests and investigations. Marian and her husband chose to terminate for medical reasons with the support of the hospital’s ethics team and Emmy was born days later. Marian’s postpartum experience was grief-filled but she was also motivated to take care of herself so she could honour Emmy. When she fell pregnant again she embraced everything about her pregnancy and experienced a joyful and redeeming birth with her rainbow baby, Lenni.  _______________________________________ Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
6/12/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 10 seconds
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395 | Budgeting for a Baby with financial advisor Canna Campbell

Welcome to my new  5-part mini-series where I take you from preconception to postpartum with health and finance professionals who outline everything you need to know about fertility treatment, maternity leave, birth options, childcare and budgeting for a baby. We all know babies are expensive but how much does pregnancy, birth and early parenthood actually cost? I’ve joined forces with Bank Australia, a customer-owned ethical bank and a certified B Corp, to make pregnancy finances less overwhelming. ------- Budgeting for a Baby with financial advisor Canna Campbell While half of all pregnancies in Australia are unplanned, for those considering starting a family, money is often a significant deciding factor. We know that financial stress affects our physical and mental wellbeing and that’s particularly pertinent in pregnancy, it’s just that no one really talks about it. In this episode I chat to Canna Campbell, a financial advisor who also shares financial education, tips and tricks at @sugarmummatv. If you want to know more about budgeting for a baby, understanding the benefits of a financial counsellor or financial planner and the best way to prepare your finances for one less income, this episode is a must-listen.    
6/7/202334 minutes, 38 seconds
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394 | Bec, two babies, private obstetrician, private midwife, induction, 3C tear, miscarriage, homebirth

In today’s episode Bec shares her experience with a third-degree tear and the shock, grief and recovery that came afterwards. Her second and third pregnancies ended in miscarriage and she details the emotional toll it took on her and the way it affected her ability to connect with her next baby in pregnancy. Despite being told that she would need a caesarean birth after her 3C tear, she hired a private midwife, planned a homebirth and worked closely with a women’s health physio to actively prepare her pelvic floor and perineum for birth. She birthed baby Nyah in the pool and her perineum was completely intact; not even a graze! This is the inspiring story for all those women preparing for a vaginal birth after severe perineal trauma.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
6/4/202354 minutes, 21 seconds
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393 | Carla, three babies, emergency caesarean, VBAC, private OB, private midwife, forceps, NICU, homebirth

You can hear Carla’s first birth in episode 188 which was a long labour and an emergency caesarean. Determined to achieve a VBAC for her second birth, she had a private obstetrician (known as the ‘VBAC queen’) and a private midwife to ensure she had support at home and advocacy in the hospital. She laboured beautifully but her second stage was long and challenging and ended in a forceps-assisted birth and a week in hospital as her baby boy developed sepsis. For her third birth, Carla knew from the outset that she wanted the healing experience of a homebirth so she rallied her support system and achieved a dream labour, birth and postpartum experience.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
6/2/202353 minutes, 59 seconds
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392 | Isabelle, two babies, miscarriage, private obstetrician, planned caesarean, GD, NIPT, TFMR

Miscarriage affects over 150,000 families each year in Australia yet it’s still often silenced in the media and community. In this episode Isabelle Oderberg takes us through her multiple pregnancy losses, two births and her determination to discuss the silence and science of misscarriage in her new book, Hard to Bear. As well as detailing her heartache and frustration, she also brings to light some of the medical data around miscarriage, the deep silence of termination for medical reasons (TFMR) and the importance of a trusted and hopeful care provider. --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
5/29/202359 minutes
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391 | Amber, one baby, MGP, hindwater leak, induction, epidural, swollen cervix, forceps, PPH

In this episode Amber takes us through her first pregnancy with the professional insight of ten years experience as a midwife. Determined to access continuity of care in a public hospital, she developed a beautiful sense of trust with her midwife, embraced birth preparation and actively planned her postpartum. When her hind waters started leaking she was devastated because she knew an induction was likely. Three days later her forewaters broke, induction began and she laboured beautifully all day but with the urge to push, her cervix became swollen and she requested an epidural. She was in theatre preparing for an emergency caesarean when the obstetrician confirmed she was fully dilated and baby Winter was born with forceps assistance. Unfortunately Amber knew she was at high risk for a postpartum haemorrhage but the severity of it left her very traumatised and significantly impacted her early breastfeeding experience.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
5/22/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 14 seconds
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390 | Brigid, one baby, planned caesarean, bipolar, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, continuity of care

In today’s episode, Brigid shares her experience with bipolar disorder and the challenges she faced in planning her first pregnancy. Brigid and her partner met with her psychiatrist to create an action plan regarding her medication before conception. Unfortunately her change in medication led to a hospital admission and months later, still determined to have a baby, she conceived while knowing that her medication may affect her baby’s heart. From preconception to postpartum, Brigid was supported and cared for by an exemplary healthcare team who guided her through an early labour scare at 28 weeks, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Sleep was a priority for her mental wellbeing in the first six weeks postpartum so a long hospital stay and family support ensured Brigid didn’t relapse in that high-risk period. We need to hear more stories like Brigid’s to reduce the stigma of mental health and medication and I have no doubt this episode will comfort those women currently navigating a mental health diagnosis and pregnancy.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .    
5/18/202340 minutes, 27 seconds
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389 | Elise, two babies, prolapse, pregnancy insomnia, low iron, MGP, homebirth, waterbirth, afterbirth pains

Following on from Elise’s first birth story in episode 208, today she shares her second pregnancy and birth with baby Bobby. Before she conceived, she experienced a prolapse for the first time and talks about the shock of it and the fear instilled by incorrect information. She finally sought professional guidance from a women’s health physiotherapist who helped her realise that she’s been doing her pelvic floor exercises incorrectly her entire life. Much like her first pregnancy, Elise intuitively knew when she would conceive and although her pregnancy was challenging - nausea, vomiting, insomnia and low immunity - she enjoyed the final weeks of the third trimester and decided at the last minute to have a home waterbirth. Elise is so generous in sharing her most vulnerable moments and reiterates the importance of trusted midwives to encourage and support you.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
5/15/20231 hour, 9 seconds
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Bonus Episode - Surprise

This week the podcast celebrates its 6th birthday and (almost) 13 million downloads. I’m never not in awe of the way it’s grown and the impact it’s had.  A birthday deserves a celebration and to coincide with Mother’s Day, I’m offering 15% off my products (excluding the book) from now till 18th May with the code: Mothersday15
5/11/202320 minutes, 13 seconds
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388 | Yara, two babies, homebirth, doula, birth preparation, relationship challenges in postpartum, breastfeeding, perinatal psychology

Perinatal psychologist Yara Heary shares her two birth stories and interweaves her professional insights to form a rich (and extra long) episode. In her first pregnancy she attended an education class about birth options and, after choosing community midwives for her care, she birthed at home. She talks at length about her challenging breastfeeding experience, relationship challenges in new parenthood and the importance of a safe space to talk through her thoughts and feelings in postpartum. Her second pregnancy was unplanned, hence she had to do a lot of therapy to come to a place of acceptance and excitement. This episode is brimming with honesty about the inherent challenges of motherhood and the fact that joy and grief coexist - in pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood.  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
5/8/20231 hour, 36 minutes, 36 seconds
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387 | Alexandra, solo mum by choice, donor-conceived, doula, student midwife, positive birth, supported postpartum

In this episode I chat to Alexandra about the day she woke up with a sudden longing to have a baby. Her partner at the time didn’t have the same desire so she left New York and returned home to Melbourne to live with her parents, heartbroken but hopeful. She dated with dedication but didn’t meet anyone who she felt could be the father of her child or a life partner. Under pressure to beat her reproductive timeline, she pursued the path of solo-motherhood, had a really positive birth experience and was incredibly supported in early postpartum.   --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
5/2/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 12 seconds
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387 | Alexandra, one baby, solo mum by choice, donor-conceived, doula, student midwife, positive birth, supported postpartum

In this episode I chat to Alexandra about the day she woke up with a sudden longing to have a baby. Her partner at the time didn’t have the same desire so she left New York and returned home to Melbourne to live with her parents, heartbroken but hopeful. She dated with dedication but didn’t meet anyone who she felt could be the father of her child or a life partner. Under pressure to beat her reproductive timeline, she pursued the path of solo-motherhood, had a really positive birth experience and was incredibly supported in early postpartum.   --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .    
4/30/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 15 seconds
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386 | Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series - Dr Sarah McKay

The first study on pregnant women’s brains was published in 2017. While the research may be new, it’s also profound; pregnancy prompts the greatest structural brain change in response to any life experience which can help you better understand yourself in the fourth trimester and early postpartum. In this episode, I chat to neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay, who explains how the new mother’s brain goes into a state of plasticity which makes it very easy to learn. She also discusses changes to the non-birthing parents brain, oestrogen as a cognitive enhancer and the importance of prescribing sleep. It’s time to let go of the derogatory colloquial term baby brain so we can be empowered by the brain changes after birth. Learn more .  
4/26/202359 minutes, 57 seconds
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385 | Elle, stillbirth, PROM, secondary infertility, IVF, endometriosis, incompetent cervix, cervical stitch, NICU, surrogacy

Following on from episode 383 where Sarah shared her surrogacy journey, this week we hear Elle’s side of the story. Elle and her husband Luke have four boys - Sonny born at 25 weeks, Alfie born via surrogacy and Taj and Lenny who were both stillborn. Elle takes us through her deepest grief and greatest hope including her three-year long IVF journey, NICU experience and the serendipity of finding Sarah and watching her grow baby Alfie. This story will stay with you long after you’ve listened. --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
4/24/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 46 seconds
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384 | Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series - Dr Sophie Brock

Motherhood sociology isn’t a common career but for Dr Sophie Brock, it’s an area of study that provides so many answers to the modern motherhood experience. Sophie really breaks down the difference between being a mother, the act of mothering, and the culture of motherhood which allows us to separate our personal experience from the expectations of the society we live in. She also dives into the perfect mother myth, the care/career conundrum and maternal guilt. This is a brilliant episode to unpack the world in which we mother in and a rousing encouragement to figure out what you care about, let go of your guilt and foster compassion for ourselves and other mothers in our community.  Learn more 
4/19/202342 minutes, 16 seconds
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383 | Sarah, five babies, spontaneous labour, GP shared care, public hospital, surrogacy, IUI, breastfeeding

Sarah is the mother of four children and always loved being pregnant. After her fourth baby was born, she started looking into what the surrogacy journey could look like for her. Months later an instagram post from Ellie, a woman she’d met at a wedding, changed everything. They met for coffee and so began a life-changing journey. Once the legalities were in place, Ellie and Luke’s embryo was placed in Sarah via IUI and she carried baby Alfie to full term, birthed him in the bath and then handed him to his mum. This story is a must-listen and a testament to Sarah’s generosity of spirit and big, big heart. As for Ellie’s side of the story? It’s coming soon!  --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
4/17/202359 minutes, 26 seconds
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382 | Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series - Yara Heary

If you feel like you need practical mindset tools to navigate the challenges of motherhood, you’ll love this episode with psychologist Yara Heary. She emphasises the fact that we can always repair the ruptures we’ve created - whether that’s in our relationships or our mothering - and reiterates that there’s a profound power, for us and our children, when we say sorry. She also highlights the importance of recognising and fulfilling your hierarchy of needs, creating boundaries for yourself and embracing a beginner mindset. I gained so many insights from Yara and felt so confident moving forward in my mothering and my marriage after chatting with her. I feel like this is an episode you’ll want to return to every few months for guidance.  Learn more   
4/12/202354 minutes, 42 seconds
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381 | Hollie, three vaginal births, midwifery care, hypertension, induction, epidural, incompetent cervix, cervical stitch, breech, ECV, unplanned breech homebirth

In today’s episode Hollie shares her three very different vaginal birth experiences. Her first baby was measuring big on third trimester scans so while a few obstetricians told her a planned caesarean was the safest option, she chose to be induced. She opted for an epidural and birthed her baby within six hours of the syntocinon drip starting. Four months later she discovered she was pregnant again and at her 19 week scan the sonographer noticed that her cervix was shortening. Hollie had a cervical stitch inserted and later had it removed at 37 weeks. She went into spontaneous labour a week afterwards and noticed a significant difference to the induced labour with her first baby. Her third pregnancy was planned and her labour was fast; she birthed her breech baby at home before the paramedics arrived. --------------------- Prepare for a positive birth experience with my new book .
4/10/202357 minutes, 13 seconds
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380 | Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series - Sue Croft

This episode is a must-listen for all mothers, regardless of when and how you birthed. I chat to highly regarded women’s health physiotherapist, Sue Croft, who explains what happens to the pelvic floor in pregnancy and how we can best navigate weakness and prolapse after birth. She reiterates that prolapse is not a devastating diagnosis and encourages us to access guidance from a women’s health physio, find perspective and actively separate our anxiety from our physical symptoms. I also speak openly about my own prolapse and the physical and emotional journey I’ve been on for the past nine years. I gained so much comfort and knowledge from Sue and I hope the information shared provides you with more pelvic floor awareness. Learn more
4/5/202352 minutes, 43 seconds
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379 | Jessica, one baby, CF, chronic illness, private obstetrician, private midwife, CF-related diabetes, spontaneous labour, induction, emergency caesarean

In this episode, Jessica shares her experience with cystic fibrosis (CF), an inherited disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs and digestive system. At 21 she was told she would need a double-lung transplant but a few years ago she was accepted onto a clinical trial that changed her life. The therapy was eventually available on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) and after many conversations with her husband, she decided she wanted to try for a baby. Inspired by the many mothers in the CF community, she armed herself with support in pregnancy and had a private obstetrician and a private midwife alongside her CF healthcare team. Jessica’s story is a brave and beautiful one and she reiterates the importance of informed choice every step of the way. ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
4/3/202348 minutes, 12 seconds
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378 | Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series - Julia Jones

“The dread of going into the night alone with a baby is very normal because it’s not how we were designed. In many traditional societies, and even societies today, like Indigenous communities, babies would have multiple adult carers - sometimes 8-14 - every single day. Doing this job of raising a baby at home alone, with not a lot of friendship or professional support, informational support or support with basic chores like cooking and cleaning, is exhausting. I hope this understanding can help you be more forgiving and compassionate towards yourself, to lower your standards. It’s hard, but understanding that it takes a village to raise a child - in a very literal sense - can help you in early postpartum and encourage you to reach out for support whether that’s childcare, meal deliveries, help from family and friends or guidance from a health professional.” - Julia Jones in today's episode for our Postpartum Uncovered Mini Series brought to you by Boody. Read more .
3/29/202337 minutes, 41 seconds
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377 | Kaitlin, two babies, MGP, spontaneous labour, grade four placenta previa, The Birth Class, private midwife

In this episode Kaitlin shares her experience with placenta previa. Her first pregnancy and birth was an incredibly positive experience and she birthed with the support of hospital midwives at her local birth centre. As soon as she discovered she was pregnant for the second time, she booked a private midwife but her plans for a homebirth changed at 20 weeks when an ultrasound showed her placenta was on the edge of her cervix. Kaitlin admits she was deeply disappointed but she informed herself, looked at all her options, prepared with The Birth Class and spoke to obstetricians to gain their advice. At 37 weeks when the placenta hadn’t moved, she booked in at her local hospital. She went into spontaneous labour but when she started bleeding she went straight to hospital and had a very surprising birth experience.  ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
3/27/20231 hour, 17 minutes, 22 seconds
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376 | Meg, two babies, advanced maternal age, MGP, student midwife, induction, The Birth Class

In today’s episode, Meg shares her two positive inductions. She fell pregnant at 39 with her first baby yet her advanced maternal age (AMA) didn’t affect her care options or her birth choices. She knew she wanted continuity of care and accessed the MGP programme at her local hospital alongside the support of a student midwife. Her induced labour was relatively quick but she admits that the second (pushing) stage was her greatest challenge. In her second pregnancy she embraced the lessons shared in The Birth Class and loved the guidance and direction of her midwife while birthing her baby. Meg’s story is beautifully told and incredibly positive; a really great starting point if you’re new to pregnancy and the podcast. ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
3/20/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 29 seconds
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375 | Laura, one baby, eating disorder, anxiety, PTSD, sexual abuse, MGP, spontaneous labour, The Birth Class, physiological birth

Laura’s story is unforgettable as she describes the healing power of birth with honesty and grace. She came to pregnancy with a history of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating disorders that stemmed from childhood and adolescent sexual abuse. She has worked closely with her psychologist to work through her trauma but she admits that the final part of her journey was labour and birth; she considered it a powerful way to heal and connect with her body. She surrounded herself with supportive care providers, embraced birth education via The Birth Class and laboured beautifully at home before going to hospital and birthing her baby boy. As she says with immense gratitude: “It was a birth and a rebirth for me.”  ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
3/16/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 44 seconds
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374 | Diana, two babies, spontaneous labour, epidural, fourth-degree tear, fistula, doula, MGP, physiological birth, second-degree tear

This episode is for all the women who have messaged me begging for a positive story about vaginal birth after a severe perineal tear. Here is all the inspiration (and information) you’ll need! Diana shares her experience with a fourth-degree tear and details her shock when she was told that she had a recto-vaginal fistula. She admits that she did very little birth preparation and was happy to go with the flow but when it was time to birth her baby, she couldn’t feel anything because of the epidural. Furthermore, her baby was born in one push. Diana’s complications made for a physically and mentally challenging postpartum and motivated her to do things differently for her subsequent birth. Determined to embrace support and preparation, she worked closely with her doula and MGP midwife and had a physiological labour with perineal support that resulted in a small second-degree tear. ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
3/13/20231 hour, 1 minute, 48 seconds
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373 | Kristy, one baby, MS, chronic illness, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, breastfeeding, formula feeding

In this episode Kristy shares her journey with MS alongside her first pregnancy. She opted for continuity of care with a private obstetrician and admits she was happy to go with the flow for her birth options. At 37 weeks, when protein was detected in her urine and her blood pressure was elevated, her obstetrician recommended an induction because she had concerns about preeclampsia. Kristy’s birth experience was incredibly positive but in the days afterward, when new MS symptoms arose and her baby lost over 10 percent of his birth weight, she started to feel overwhelmed by the challenges facing her. She takes us through her postpartum and talks honestly about her experience, especially regarding her decision to stop expressing at 4 weeks so she could go back on her MS medication.  ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.  
3/8/202359 minutes, 17 seconds
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372 | Catherine, two babies, induction, epidural, emergency caesarean, postpartum, missed miscarriage, acupuncture, private midwife, VBAC, HBAC

In this episode, Catherine shares her two very different birth experiences. Her first baby didn’t engage and at 41+4, she opted for an induction. After a long labour and an epidural, she wasn’t progressing and felt it best to have a caesarean. While her postpartum was beautiful, she navigated feelings of failure and a significant lack of self-confidence. Following two devastating missed miscarriages, Catherine conceived again and opted for private midwifery care. Informed, prepared and surrounded by a supportive and protective birth team, she experienced an empowering Homebirth After Caesarean (HBAC). ___________ Have you heard the news? My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is now available for purchase. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
3/6/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 53 seconds
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371 | Paige, two babies, MGP, hyperthyroidism, epidural, gestational diabetes, insulin, spontaneous labour, Gladstone, maternity crisis, PPH

In today’s episode Paige shares her birth experiences in Gladstone (population 60,000+) where the hospital is currently on bypass for all maternity patients. It’s a huge issue and a prime example of the maternity system crisis (we’re seeing similar situations in Geelong, Victoria and Burnie, Tasmania). She takes us through her two pregnancies and births, including her second where she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes but was educated enough to request a different treatment plan and avoid an induction. At 39 weeks she didn’t know where she would birth - an unsettling feeling - and when her labour progressed quickly, she was supported to birth at Gladstone but knew she couldn’t have pharmacological pain relief. Her birth was positive and empowering but five hours later she started haemorrhaging and was transferred via ambulance to Rockhampton hospital where she stayed for three days.  -------------------------- It's here! My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is available for purchase now. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
2/27/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 49 seconds
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370 | Paige, Positive birth, Intervention free, MGP, CAPS, the birth class, spontaneous labour, fetal ejection reflex

In this episode Paige shares her incredibly positive first birth experience. If you are new to the podcast or feel like you want an encouraging story to inspire you, this is it. After conceiving easily, she started listening to the podcast and knew she wanted a continuity model of care. She contacted Canterbury Antenatal and Postnatal Services (CAPS) and was accepted into their programme. From there she listened to @the.birth.class on repeat and armed herself with knowledge and skills. Her labour started spontaneously and she stayed home till her waters broke. As she says: “Knowledge is power and the more you understand your options, feel like you can make choices and know that you’re involved in the process, the more confident you’ll be.”  -------------------------- It's here! My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is available for purchase now. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
2/20/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 35 seconds
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369 | Phoebe, one baby, cervical stitch, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, instrumental birth

In today’s episode Phoebe from @thememo shares her pregnancy and birth experience. The first-half of her pregnancy was relatively smooth but at her 20 week scan the sonographer noticed that her cervix had shortened significantly and she was promptly taken to the maternity unit in a wheelchair. She was officially diagnosed with an insufficient (also known as incompetent) cervix and a week later she had a cervical stitch put in and was on strict bedrest till 28 weeks. Under the care of a private obstetrician, she opted to be induced at 38 weeks and after labour began she chose to have an epidural. She talks in detail about the unexpected elements of the pushing phase and chats about the highs and lows of early postpartum. -------------------------- It's here! My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is available for purchase now. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
2/16/202344 minutes, 25 seconds
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368 | Dani, two vaginal births, induction, private obstetrician, epidural, labial tear, hip dysplasia, uterine infection, prolapse, spontaneous labour.

In this episode Dani shares her two birth experiences and compares induced labour to a spontaneous one. She admits that when we went in for an induction with her first baby, she had no idea that it can often result in a more painful labour and intervention. In her second pregnancy she decided to do everything she could to inform herself and prepare for a physiological birth. As well as talking in detail about the skills she used in her births, she also shares her experience with hip dysplasia as both her babies were diagnosed days after birth.  It's here! My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is available for purchase now. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours  today. I hope you love it.
2/13/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 17 seconds
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367 | Mel, two babies, emergency caesarean, general anaesthetic, postpartum depression, identity crisis, planned caesarean, single motherhood

In this episode I chat to Mel Wilson who shares her two birth experiences alongside her challenging postpartum periods. Her first birth was an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic which left her with lots of unanswered questions. She talks in detail about the lack of connection she experienced with her firstborn and the subsequent dismay and guilt she carried throughout postpartum. She opted for a planned caesarean with her second baby despite being persistently encouraged to attempt a VBAC. When her baby was five months old her marriage broke down and she shares the overwhelm and silver linings of being a working single mother with two little ones.   It's here! My new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is available for purchase now. This book covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Get yours today. I hope you love it.
2/5/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 44 seconds
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366 | Madelyn, two babies, surprise pregnancy, midwifery group practice, physiological birth, episiotomy, postnatal depression, identity crisis, colic

You can listen to Madelyn’s first birth experience in episode 151 but today she takes us through her surprise second pregnancy and the emotional turmoil of feeling disconnected from her baby. Her labour was powerful,  intense and positive but the real challenge began in postpartum where she juggled a toddler, an unsettled newborn and her own dark thoughts. Madelyn details her most vulnerable moments with acute honesty and takes us through the choices she made to acknowledge her challenges and prioritise her mental health in motherhood.     Tomorrow, my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published! It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Order it  now.
1/29/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus Episode: How we wrote The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth

In this special bonus episode, Jodi and I chat all about our new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth. It’s available in all bookstores and department stores from January 31st and today we take you behind the scenes of the writing process where we laugh, cry and discuss the enormous responsibility we felt as writers. We were determined to create an educational, informative, encouraging and kind companion to pregnancy and birth and this is how we did it….
1/29/202345 minutes, 39 seconds
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365 | Alethea, one vaginal birth, the birth class, shared care, episiotomy, bruised coccyx, PND

In today’s episode I chat to Alethea about her first pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience. Armed with knowledge from the podcast and The Birth Class, she experienced an empowering and positive birth with the support of midwives and a student doula. Despite her birth experience, she admits that the whirlwind of postpartum has been incredibly challenging. Her physical recovery from an episiotomy and bruised coccyx has been hard and resulted in a readmission to the hospital. While there, a midwife encouraged her to reach out to PANDA and her GP for a mental health plan and she has since been diagnosed with postnatal depression.  Just 1 week left until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
1/23/202353 minutes, 7 seconds
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364 | Ariel, two vaginal births, MGP, TENS machine, disordered eating, high BMI, nipple shield, physiological birth, PPH

In this episode I chat to Ariel from @blissbirth about her two birth experiences. A passionate advocate for TENS machines (she now has 1000 in circulation through her business), she explains how popular they are and how they help women navigate labour to achieve the births they want. In her first pregnancy she opted for continuity of care with her beloved midwife who advocated for her every step of the way. After a very long posterior labour, Ariel birthed her baby boy vaginally and despite a rocky start to breastfeeding, the nipple shield really worked for her. In her second birth she was introduced to the TENS machine and used it throughout to achieve a joyous physiological birth.   Just 2 weeks left until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
1/15/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 4 seconds
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239 | Clare, Maternally Assisted Caesarean, Baby hearing loss, Endometriosis

In this week’s episode, I chat to Clare about her two planned caesarean births. Despite severe endometriosis, Clare fell pregnant easily and sailed through the first half of her pregnancy. However, at her 20 week scan she discovered that her baby had ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) and shortly afterwards, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Her planned caesarean was straightforward but her recovery was not; extensive adhesions in her uterus caused a long and painful postpartum. She chose a private obstetrician for her second birth and jumped at the chance to have a maternal assisted caesarean but nothing could prepare her for the shock of her baby’s hearing loss diagnosis at six weeks.
1/13/202356 minutes, 2 seconds
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363 | Mel, two babies, private obstetrician, induction, emergency caesarean, partial molar pregnancy, HBAC, VBAC, private midwife, doula

In this beautiful episode Mel compares her emergency caesarean with her homebirth after caesarean (HBAC) and sees the beauty, hope and healing in both experiences. She admits that she would never trade her birth journeys for the world, despite the trauma she experienced as a result of an induced labour and the cascade of intervention. Determined to do things differently for her second birth, she informed herself, advocated for what she wanted and had continuity of care with a private midwife alongside the physical and emotional support of a doula. She also embraced psychological support to process her birth trauma which she describes as a gift to herself as a woman and a mother.    Just days left until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
1/9/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 9 seconds
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362 | Jessica, two vaginal births, PCOS, clomid, gestational diabetes, induction, epidural, episiotomy, vacuum, spontaneous labour, the birth class

In episode 362 Jessica describes her two very different vaginal birth experiences. After a gestational diabetes diagnosis, induction was advised in line with hospital policy and Jess experienced the cascade of intervention including epidural, vacuum-assisted birth and episiotomy. For her second birth she had a lot of conversations about avoiding induction with her obstetrician, she did her research, got informed and embraced the lessons shared in The Birth Class. She went into spontaneous labour and experienced a physiological birth which left her feeling incredible. Jess’ story is a beautiful example of how powerful birth education really is. Just weeks left until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/19/202250 minutes, 4 seconds
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361 | Alicia, one vaginal birth, pelvic floor osteopath, episiotomy, postpartum hemorrhage, postnatal anxiety

In episode 361 Alicia explains the overwhelm of not knowing where to go for information or guidance when she first discovered she was pregnant. She opted for midwifery care in the public hospital system and despite her fears around labour and birth, she laboured at home and in the hospital using breathing and sound practises and subsequently experienced a low-intervention birth. Shortly after her baby girl was born Alicia had a postpartum haemorrhage and she admits she still feels traumatised from the experience. She is very honest about her anxiety and overwhelm in the fourth trimester and the way it has affected her transition into motherhood.  Only a few weeks left until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/15/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds
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360 | Fiona, two vaginal births, social infertilty, same-sex couple, donor sperm, IVF, private obstetrician, pubic symphysis, induction, epidural, tongue tie

In this episode, I chat to Fiona about her experience with two boys under two. Together with her wife, Hayley, she embarked on IVF to conceive their first son with donor sperm. Fiona is honest about the challenges of social infertility, the long wait times and the importance of a positive mindset throughout the experience. Her pregnancy was challenging due to debilitating pubic symphysis but with support from her private obstetrician she had a really positive induced birth. Her breastfeeding journey was complicated by her baby’s tongue tie and she admits that at four months - after weeks of feeding, pumping and top-up formula feeds - she felt it best to prioritise her mental health and wean him. Fiona also takes us through Hayley’s pregnancy and birth and discusses what it was like to be the birth support parent.  Not long now until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/11/202257 minutes, 24 seconds
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359 | Shehani, one vaginal birth, private obstetrician, student midwife, epidural, episiotomy, breast crawl, breastfeeding, ulcerative colitis

In this episode Shehani takes us through her first pregnancy and birth. She chose continuity of care with a private obstetrician and embraced the opportunity to have a student midwife who was a welcomed familiar face in the birthing suite. After a night of early labour at home, Shehani was admitted to hospital and agreed to have her waters broken before she opted for an epidural. She used the mirror to help guide her pushing and she placed her baby girl on her belly and watched her crawl up to the breast before she latched for the first time. A devout podcast listener and fan of The Birth Class, Shehani admits that she felt confident going into labour and considers her birth experience to be really positive.    Not long now until my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/7/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 58 seconds
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358 | Jessica Urlichs, birth fear, MGP, private obstetrician, instrumental birth, breastfeeding challenges, perinatal anxiety, epidural

In this episode I chat to well-known author Jessica Urlichs @jessurlichs_writer about her three pregnancies and births. In her first pregnancy she was a magnet for grief-filled stories which exacerbated her fear and anxiety around birth. During labour she felt unsupported and unheard and she consequently experienced birth trauma and postnatal anxiety. Jess talks at length about her significant breastfeeding challenges and her choice to bottle feed to sustain her physical and mental health. Her second and third births were both healing and positive and she consciously chose to have epidurals to ensure she was in a calm and grounded mindset so she could make informed choices. I’m counting down the weeks till my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/4/202252 minutes, 38 seconds
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357 | Kellee, one homebirth, postnatal depletion, low iron, iron infusion, planned postpartum, waterbirth, breastfeeding

In this episode I chat to Kellee @littlehumanlinens about her fourth pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Kellee’s first three waterbirths were really positive experiences and you can hear her discuss them in . When I first interviewed her she was deep in her third postpartum and experiencing severe postnatal depletion which affected every aspect of her life. Today she talks in detail about that time, the day she discovered she was pregnant again and the depth of her despair as she wrestled with what life would be like with four children. She chose to be proactive with her health and wellbeing by prioritising simple self-care habits every single day throughout pregnancy. She also planned a six-week postpartum and is now reaping the physical, emotional and energetic benefits. I’m counting down the weeks till my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
12/1/202250 minutes, 57 seconds
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356 | Annabelle, physiological birth, private midwife, student midwife, TENS, physiological third stage, traditional Chinese confinement

Annabelle has been tracking her menstrual cycle since high school so when it was time to conceive her baby, she knew exactly when she was ovulating. A self-confessed wannabe midwife, she knew from the start that she wanted continuity of care with midwives. When she missed out on the MGP programme, she opted to hire a private midwife for antenatal and postnatal care through Mama Midwives. Alongside her pregnancy and incredibly beautiful birth experience, Annabelle talks in detail about the full circle experience of losing her mother to leukaemia and welcoming her baby within the same week. Her grandmother stepped into the traditional Chinese role of caregiver for postpartum confinement which was an incredible comfort to Annabelle as she grieved.  I’m counting down the weeks till my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/28/202255 minutes
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355 | Steph, emergency caesarean, surprise pregnancy, MGP, regional hospital, covid, tertiary hospital, induction, informed consent, cord prolapse, general anaesthetic, NICU

If you are currently pregnant and feel like you’re more sensitive to traumatic stories, you may want to listen to this episode at a later date. However, if you are a midwife, student midwife or care provider, consider Steph’s story essential listening because it highlights the importance of woman-centred care - even the power of a simple hand hold - in one of the most traumatic birth experiences. After an induction, Steph experienced a cord prolapse and had an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. She talks at length about the spectrum of care she received, the importance of support and debriefing with your birth team and her mental health in postpartum.  I’m counting down the weeks till my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/21/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 6 seconds
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354 | Matilda, one vaginal waterbirth, hospital homebirth programme, same-sex couple, known sperm donor, IUI, IVF, physiological third stage

In today’s episode I chat to Matilda who is a midwife in Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) and a first-time mum to baby Roma. When she and her wife, Al, started talking about having a baby, they presumed Matilda would carry the pregnancy using Al’s egg and anonymous donor sperm. However, Al’s brother agreed to donate his sperm so they began their conception journey doing home insemination. After five months with no success, they opted to go through an IVF clinic and started with IUI before moving onto IVF. Matilda talks at length about her expectations of labour through a midwifery lens and the reality of contractions, birthing and breastfeeding. This is a beautiful, inspiring episode that details an intuitive and positive physiological water birth. I’m counting down the weeks till my new book, The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, is published. It covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.  
11/16/202250 minutes, 25 seconds
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353 | Penny, two vaginal births, HG, thyroid, physiological birth, breastfeeding, counselling

In this episode I chat to Penny from about her experience with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) - severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. She explains the depth of her physical and mental challenge and how she cautiously approached her second pregnancy knowing that she would spend the following nine months severely sick. Penny is really open about the effect that her traumatic pregnancies had on her marriage and she sings the praises of couples therapy which she did with her husband for two years following the birth of their second baby.   Did you know I wrote a book? 'The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth' covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/13/20221 hour, 23 minutes
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352 | Laura, two vaginal births, gender disappointment, private obstetrician, placenta previa, shortened cervix, cervical insufficiency, bed rest, progesterone pessaries, induction

In episode 342 Laura details her experience with gender disappointment, a confronting experience that she never anticipated but one that she shares without reservation. After being diagnosed with placenta previa, a scan at 32 weeks revealed that she had a shortened cervix. Bed rest and progesterone pessaries definitely helped and she was induced at 37 weeks and experienced a quick and positive vaginal birth. She fell pregnant with her daughter two years later and regular scans showed that her cervix was shortening quite quickly so she went on strict bed rest at 23 weeks. Thankfully she remained pregnant till 39 weeks and used the TENS machine and breathing practises to navigate a quick labour.    Did you know I wrote a book? 'The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth' covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/10/20221 hour, 35 minutes, 22 seconds
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351 | Megan, one vaginal birth, gastric bypass surgery, GTT, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, breastfeeding

In today’s episode Megan shares her pregnancy and birth experience following gastric bypass surgery. Despite this she wasn’t deemed high risk but her obstetrician chose to do a few extra blood tests during pregnancy to ensure she was absorbing enough minerals. The major pregnancy concerns following weight loss surgery are low birth weight and early labour but Megan didn’t experience either of them. She admits that she was worried about whether her pregnant belly would show and how she would be treated as a bigger woman but despite a negative GP experience at 6 weeks, she had a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy.      Did you know I wrote a book? 'The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth' covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/7/202252 minutes, 13 seconds
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350 | Melissa, three births, induction, emergency caesarean, private midwife, HBAC, miscarriage, homebirth transfer to hospital, shoulder dystocia

In this episode, Melissa highlights the importance of being informed, advocating for yourself and finding a supportive and respectful care provider. Her first pregnancy was unplanned and she describes herself as a naive 25-year-old who presumed labour was out of her control. After an induction and emergency caesarean she was left feeling defeated and unheard. She was halfway through her second pregnancy and preparing for a VBAC when her private obstetrician became less supportive of her plans so she went home, chatted at length with her doula and hired a private midwife. Her Home Birth After Caesarean (HBAC) was joyous and empowering and while she planned a similar birth with her third child, a hospital transfer was necessary but didn’t detract from a really positive birth experience.      Did you know I wrote a book? 'The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth' covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it  now.
11/3/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 54 seconds
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349 | Renee, two vaginal births, MGP, doula, waterbirth, breastfeeding, miscarriage, homebirth, ectopic heartbeat, traditional postpartum

In this episode Renee discusses her surprise first pregnancy and the fact that she had no knowledge whatsoever of her birth options. She missed out on the MGP programme at her local hospital but requested to stay on their waitlist and managed to get a place at 30 weeks. From then on she felt deeply supported by her midwives and she actively prepared for a physiological birth. Her first labour was long but she birthed in the water and returned home the next day. As soon as she fell pregnant with her second daughter she requested to have a homebirth through the Royal Women’s Hospital in Randwick. There were a few obstacles in late-pregnancy that she navigated with informed and respectful conversation and despite a very swift labour she experienced a joyful birth at home. Did you know I wrote a book? 'The Complete Australian Guide to Pregnancy and Birth' covers everything you need as you journey through pregnancy and prepare for a positive birth experience. --> Pre-order it now.
10/31/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 33 seconds
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348 | Sarah, two births, missed miscarriage, induction, forceps, episiotomy, secondary infertility, breast cancer, caesarean birth

In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sarah shares her experience with breast cancer diagnosis in her second pregnancy. She urges everyone to check their breasts regularly because it was only when she was massaging stretch mark cream into her breast at 28 weeks that she felt a lump. An ultrasound showed a tumour and a biopsy confirmed she had stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma; a triple positive cancer that feeds off hormones. She birthed her baby at 35 weeks and one week later, she started chemotherapy. Sarah is currently halfway through six rounds of chemotherapy and her baby, Pearl, is eight weeks old. She is particularly optimistic despite her fear and feels a responsibility to share her story and raise awareness.
10/27/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 16 seconds
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347 | Teagan, covid, induction, emergency caesarean, birth trauma, birth debrief, MGP, private midwife, The Birth Class, HVBAC, Home vaginal birth after a caesarean

In this episode, Teagan articulates the heartache of not being able to feel or see her baby being born, a moment she’ll never get back and one that still prompts a lot of sadness and regret. She had an emergency caesarean after an induction and this followed a covid pregnancy where she didn’t see a midwife till 37 weeks. Her story really highlights how imperative woman-centred care in the operating theatre is. After a birth debrief with an independent midwife, Teagan fell pregnant again and had done all the research on how to achieve a VBAC. She knew continuity of care with a known midwife was essential so she advocated for herself, got into an MGP programme and then at 20 weeks, found out she was moving interstate. So began her journey with a private midwife to prepare for a Home Birth After a Caesarean (HBAC). This is one of those episodes that covers so much ground and is absolutely brimming with pregnancy and birth wisdom. An absolute must-listen! 
10/24/20221 hour, 41 minutes, 29 seconds
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346 | Mikaela, two babies, eating disorder, public hospital, vaginal birth, breastfeeding, omphalocele, amniocentesis, caesarean birth

In episode 346 Mikaela discusses her eating disorder and tendency to over exercise which prompted her body to stop menstruating. She was intent on conceiving so she stopped exercising, ate well and then fell pregnant within six months. Her first birth was positive and after feeling indifferent to breastfeeding, she was surprised to discover that she really enjoyed it and went on to feed for two years. Her second baby was diagnosed with omphalocele (when the bowel grows outside the abdomen) at her 20-week scan and after an amniocentesis and many specialist appointments, baby Macy was born via caesarean and had successful surgery soon after.
10/19/202248 minutes, 12 seconds
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345 | Phoebe, two vaginal births, endometriosis, PCOS, Natural Killer (NK) Cells, IVF, ovarian hyperstimulation, hip dysplasia, private obstetrician, epidural

In this episode Phoebe from @sageandclare details her long journey to pregnancy and her two very different vaginal births. After close to three years of trying to conceive unsuccessfully, she was diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis and Natural Killer (NK) cells. She began her IVF journey and fell pregnant on her second cycle but unfortunately, this coincided with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which took weeks to resolve. It was in her first pregnancy that she started experiencing severe hip pain and years later she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, arthritis and pelvic instability. She has made the conscious decision to grow her family before she has both hips replaced. 
10/16/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 49 seconds
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344 | Emily, one emergency caesarean, ectopic pregnancy, methotrexate, anxiety, psychologist, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, The Birth Class

In this episode Emily shares the details of her challenging ectopic pregnancy which was treated with a strong medication called methotrexate. Unfortunately the pregnancy hormone levels stayed in her body for five months which extended her grief and contributed to an anxiety diagnosis. She immediately sought professional help from a psychologist and psychiatrist and went into her second pregnancy with tangible skills to navigate her OCD and overwhelm. She was induced at 39 weeks and after opting for the epidural she required an emergency caesarean. Emily admits she felt really prepared for the birth and recovery thanks to the caesarean module in . 
10/12/202233 minutes, 24 seconds
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343 | Alana, social infertility, same-sex couple, IUI, IVF, miscarriage, chemical pregnancy, anxiety, private obstetrician, physiological birth, jaundice

In this episode, Alana details her long and challenging fertility journey. After years of IVF using her own eggs and donor sperm, she navigated the loss and grief of multiple chemical pregnancies and miscarriages. Alana and her partner, Amanda, made the decision to use Amanda’s eggs because the quality of Alana’s weren’t genetically viable. After the first transfer Alana fell pregnant and, despite a scary bleed at six weeks, her pregnancy was a relatively smooth experience. A self-confessed researcher and planner, she opted for continuity of care with a private obstetrician and when her waters broke at 36 weeks, she laboured beautifully and experienced a physiological birth and third stage.
10/9/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 7 seconds
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342 | Casey, three caesarean births, general anaesthetic, preeclampsia, HELLP, breech, private midwife, continuity of care

In episode 342 I talk to Casey about her three caesarean births. Casey’s story really highlights the importance of listening to your intuition, advocating for yourself and seeking continuity of care. In her first pregnancy, she entered the third trimester with migraines and persistent vomiting. After presenting to hospital for the second time, she was insistent on staying overnight before being discharged and she subsequently saved her baby’s life. Within hours Casey was given a general anaesthetic, birthed her baby via caesarean and was diagnosed with preeclampsia and Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelets Syndrome (HELLP) syndrome. It was a traumatic experience and it informed her next two pregnancies where she prioritised continuity of care, sought the guidance of high risk obstetricians and experienced positive caesarean births.
10/5/202255 minutes, 26 seconds
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341 | Eliza, two vaginal births, miscarriage, spontaneous labour, epidural, MGP, continuity of care, waterbirth, the birth class

In episode 341 Eliza shares her pregnancy and birth experience as a mother and a student midwife. Her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and she takes us through her grief and loneliness as well as her choice to miscarry naturally at home. Her next pregnancy was smooth and straightforward right up till 39 weeks when a late scan showed that her baby’s head was small and she was advised to have an induction. She went into spontaneous labour but after 28 hours she opted for an epidural that worked really well for her; she relaxed, dilated quickly and birthed her baby girl with ease. She had continuity of care with a known midwife for her second birth and she loved the lessons in The Birth Class which prepared her dream waterbirth.
10/2/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 52 seconds
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340 | Cammie, two vaginal births, private obstetrician, induction, epidural, vacuum, stroke, missed miscarriage, BMI, private midwife, high blood pressure, homebirth

In today’s episode, Cammie shares her two wildly different birth experiences and emphasises a little known but important fact: if you don’t feel supported or respected, you can change care providers at any stage of pregnancy. For her first pregnancy she opted for private obstetric care and while she intended to have a low-intervention birth, she was induced and had an epidural and vacuum-assisted birth. After choosing public hospital care for her second birth, she was 22 weeks when she was told she would need to birth at a tertiary hospital far from home because of high BMI. Regardless of her health and wellness, the hospital policy dictated that she was high-risk because of her larger body. Disappointed and disheartened, she started looking into her options for homebirth. She worked through her fears, embraced care from Mama Services in Kensington, accessed her hospital records from her first birth and actively prepared for a physiological birth at home. 
9/29/20221 hour, 29 minutes, 31 seconds
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339 | Madi, one vaginal birth, PCOS, miscarriage, birth centre, independent midwife, rural Tasmania, breastfeeding challenges, mastitis

In this episode Madi shares her experience with PCOS which was diagnosed when she was seventeen. She was warned that she may have fertility issues so when she was 21 she conceived her baby girl, Flow. Living in rural Tasmania, she opted for independent midwifery care through Launceston Birth Centre, despite the two-hour drive from her hometown. Her birth experience was quick and joyous but as she explains in detail, her breastfeeding journey has been nothing short of challenging and resulted in a hospital stay due to severe mastitis.
9/26/202257 minutes, 43 seconds
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338 | Kate two vaginal births, remote NT, spontaneous labour, epidural, midwifery care, physiological birth, spinal cord injury

When Kate was seven months pregnant with her second son, her husband, Nathan, was injured while playing a game of football. Their whole world turned upside down when doctors informed them that he had fractured his C3 vertebrae and was a quadriplegic. Kate admits that she totally forgot about her pregnancy as soon as she learnt of Nathan’s accident but thankfully his nurses stepped in and coordinated midwifery care for her. The Prince of Wales and Royal Women’s hospitals worked together to ensure Nathan could be with Kate for the birth. It was a fast and joyful birth and for those that have watched the video, it’s an unforgettable glimpse into an incredibly precious experience.  Kate and Nathan have a long and expensive road ahead of them so if you have watched their birth film and want to support them, you can make a donation on their GoFundMe page . 
9/22/202251 minutes, 26 seconds
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337 | Paige, one emergency caesarean, VBAC, induction, oligohydramnios, PND, birth trauma, doula, epidural

In this episode I interview Paige, a midwife and mother who takes us through her two pregnancy and birth experiences. Her first baby was diagnosed with oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) at 41 weeks and Paige was induced the next day. After a few hours of labour a code green emergency caesarean was called and despite knowing what was going to happen, Paige went into shock and doesn’t remember a lot about her daughter’s birth. Five days later she started haemorrhaging and was taken to hospital by ambulance. She chats at length about her birth trauma and the work she did in her second pregnancy to process and let go of her fear. Paige shares so much wise advice in this episode and takes us step by step through her preparation for a successful VBAC. 
9/18/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 46 seconds
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336 | Emma, three vaginal births, birth centre, midwife, fetal ejection reflex, termination, uterine fibroid

If there’s one word to describe this episode with Emma, it’s joyful. She takes us through her three pregnancies and births in between nomadic living in a bus and on a sailing boat. Her first two births were really smooth but in her third pregnancy a fibroid was discovered on an early ultrasound and it created persistent issues around where she would birth because she was at risk of postpartum haemorrhage. She talks at length about navigating uncertainty in her third pregnancy and then giving birth on the worst night of the Northern Rivers floods. Emma had three physiological births and was really well informed about her options. Consider this a very inspiring episode!
9/15/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 26 seconds
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335 | Eloise, identical twins, surprise pregnancy, TTTTS, blood clot, general anaesthetic, caesarean birth, NICU, breastfeeding

In today’s episode Eloise takes us through her eventful pregnancy journey. Her pregnancy was a surprise and at eight weeks she learned she was pregnant with twins (two sacs, one placenta). She opted to take things day by day instead of getting too concerned about what life would look like with two babies. Her calm and grounded nature definitely helped when she was diagnosed with a blood clot in the artery leading to her cervix at 30 weeks. Later that day, her twins were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTTS) and at 31 weeks she birthed her babies via caesarean while under general anaesthetic. Eloise talks at length about her NICU experience, bringing her baby girls home after nine weeks in hospital and how she juggles breastfeeding twins. 
9/11/202244 minutes, 33 seconds
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334 | Laura, one vaginal birth, waterbirth, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, birth centre, MGP, the birth class, gestational diabetes, PPH

In today’s episode Laura talks at length about the layers of loss she experienced with her ectopic pregnancy; the loss of her pregnancy, her fallopian tube and the knowledge that in future pregnancies, she wouldn’t have the blissful naivete of early pregnancy. She also talks in detail about her gestational diabetes diagnosis and the hospital policy surrounding it, her knowledge as a dietitian and the importance of advocating for herself along the way. Laura was incredibly well educated about her pregnancy and birth options and throughout her long physiological labour she embraced many breathing and sound techniques, as well as active birth positions, to ensure she experienced a waterbirth This episode is brimming with wisdom from an educated and informed first time mum. You’ll love it!
9/5/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 5 seconds
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333 | Silje, Triplets, two planned caesareans, NICU, breastfeeding triplets

In today’s episode, I interview Silje about her pregnancy and birth with fraternal triplets and what life’s like with four children under three. After a caesarean with her first baby and a relatively smooth postpartum experience, Silje was so excited to be pregnant for the second time. She admits she walked so confidently into her dating scan but she never expected the sonographer to count three babies, three amniotic sacs and three placentas. She takes us through the joy and challenge of her triplet pregnancy, the emotions on the day of the birth and the difficulty of being discharged while the babies remained in the NICU. Now the babies are six months old and Silje talks about routines, sleep and the delightful busyness of life.
9/1/20221 hour, 45 minutes, 18 seconds
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332 | Alannah, two vaginal births, acupuncture induction, private obstetrician, retained placenta, dermoid ovarian cyst, miscarriage, accidental homebirth

After preparing for a physiological first birth with midwives in her local birth centre, Alannah’s plans changed at 35 weeks when an ultrasound revealed a persistent right umbilical vein which can be associated with birth defects. She sought the guidance of a private obstetrician in her local public hospital and at 41 weeks, after a long, hard labour, she birthed her baby boy. A postpartum haemorrhage and retained placenta resulted in her needing to have surgery under general anaesthetic which significantly affected her postpartum experience. A few years later a blood test revealed unusual hormone levels and after further investigation, a 15cm ovarian cyst was found and later removed. Alannah fell pregnant with baby Alex easily and after a smooth pregnancy and a gradual start to labour, she birthed him at home while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
8/29/202254 minutes, 39 seconds
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331 | Sasha, one emergency caesarean, IUD, woman of colour, continuity of care, private obstetrician, doula

In today’s episode Sasha articulates the challenge of navigating the healthcare system as a woman of colour. The prejudices she has experienced in life and her knowledge of the disparities in maternal outcomes for black women informed her decision to choose continuity of care with a private obstetrician alongside the gentle, maternal support of a doula. She speaks so beautifully about her pregnancy journey, her birth preparation and her informed choice to seek a second opinion when her obstetrician suggested an induction at 40 weeks.
8/25/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 49 seconds
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330 | Avril, two vaginal births, private obstetrician, IUGR, induction, epidural, forceps, prolapse, hypertonic pelvic floor, pessary, gestational diabetes

In episode 330 I interview Avril about her two birth experiences under private obstetric care. Her first baby was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and after weekly ultrasounds from 30 weeks, she opted to be induced at 38 weeks. Following hours of posterior labour, she chose to have an epidural and because of her baby’s posterior position and deflexed head, a forceps-assisted birth was necessary. Avril had a postpartum haemorrhage and was diagnosed with a prolapse, both of which contributed to birth trauma. Her second birth was a positive induction where she advocated for what she wanted; a slow release syntocinon drip and a light epidural so she had more awareness and control while birthing.
8/22/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 47 seconds
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329 | Sophie - Nik’s story - birth centre, GBS positive, epidural, forceps, postpartum hemorrhage, prolapse

Today’s episode is a little different in that my friend, Jodi, interviews me about my first pregnancy and birth. My pregnancy was really straightforward and I chose midwifery care in a birth centre. I had every intention of experiencing an intervention-free vaginal birth but in retrospect, I can see that I didn’t do enough mental or physical preparation, hence why I created The Birth Class.
8/18/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 47 seconds
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328 | Rachel, one caesarean birth, unexplained infertility, IUI, IVF, miscarriage

In episode 328 Rachel talks in depth about her ten rounds of IVF over seven years. She discloses the emotional toll of 15 embryo transfers, the challenge of seeing friends and family members fall pregnant with ease, and the simultaneous joy and fear of growing and birthing her miracle baby, Sigrid. Seventeen months after giving birth, Rachel admits that she still cries when she thinks about that day when she finally met her daughter. 
8/15/202230 minutes, 57 seconds
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327 | Brigitte one emergency caesarean, miscarriage, acupuncture, private obstetrician, public hospital, induction, epidural

In episode 327 Brigitte shares her miscarriage experiences and how they affected her care choices in her next pregnancy. Despite not having private obstetric healthcare, she opted for continuity of care with a private obstetrician but chose to give birth in the public hospital. It’s not a common model of care but it's definitely more affordable and ideal for those coming into pregnancy with health concerns or a history of pregnancy loss. After Brigitte’s waters broke, she was induced and laboured well before she opted for an epidural. She birthed her baby via emergency caesarean and knew what to expect after listening to the caesarean module in .
8/11/202259 minutes, 32 seconds
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326 | Hayley, one breech vaginal birth, PCOS, amenorrhea, ECV, NICU

In episode 326 Hayley takes us through her first pregnancy where her baby was in a frank breech position (bottom down) at 36 weeks. She listened to the breech episode with Dr Andrew Bisits that features in The Birth Class and promptly arranged to see him for a consultation. After an ECV to turn her baby was unsuccessful, Hayley confidently prepared for a vaginal breech birth with the support of her partner and her midwife-in-training sister. Baby Pippa needed breathing support in the NICU for five days after birth but has made a full recovery.
8/8/202238 minutes, 17 seconds
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325 | Caitlyn, PCOS, ovulation induction, IVF, TFMR, anencephaly, induction, emergency caesarean, breastfeeding

In episode 325 Caitlyn @missmaysmoments shares the story of her two pregnancies. After navigating the challenges of PCOS, ovulation induction and IVF, Caitlyn was lucky enough to get 17 embryos and fell pregnant on the first transfer. At her 13 week scan her baby boy - Teddy - was given a terminal diagnosis of anencephaly meaning he would only survive minutes outside the womb. Caitlyn and her husband made the decision to have a termination for medical reasons (TFMR). Exactly one year later, after an anxious pregnancy, Caitlyn welcomed her rainbow baby, Rudie in an emergency caesarean. Caitlyn’s story is one of patience, heartache and hope and she articulates all the emotions of infertility, pregnancy, loss and joy with clarity and wisdom.
8/4/202258 minutes, 34 seconds
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324 | Claire, one vaginal birth, private obstetrician, migraines, iron infusion, positive induction, active birth, mixed feeding

In episode 324 I chat to Claire @thelifeofclaire_ who shares her first pregnancy and birth experience. After discovering that fertility rates fall dramatically after the age of 35, she organised a preconception blood test with her GP, got her mirena removed, tracked her cycle and promptly fell pregnant. She chats about her lifelong experience with migraines, the welcome relief of an iron infusion and her choice to change obstetricians halfway through her pregnancy. She had a really positive induction experience and was intent on staying active and working with her body to bring her baby into the world. 
8/1/202243 minutes, 54 seconds
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323 | Nas Campanella, caesarean birth, vision impairment, charcot-marie-tooth disease, breech, lactation consultant, formula feeding, disability discrimination, postpartum doula

In this episode I interview Nas Campanella, new mum to baby Lachlan and a disability affairs reporter for the ABC. Nas is visually impaired and has a neurological condition that affects her dexterity and balance, so her journey to motherhood has required a lot of active preparation and planning. She talks in detail about the discussions she had with obstetricians pre-conception, her exemplary care during pregnancy and birth, the guidance she received from occupational therapists and the practices she’s embraced in postpartum to adjust to new motherhood. As well as sharing a list of practical products that have helped her navigate day to day life with a baby, she discusses the warm and welcoming support she’s received from her family, postpartum doula, mothers groups and friends. You’ll love this episode. Thank you, Nas!
7/27/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 15 seconds
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322 | Julie, one vaginal birth, MGP, birth centre, The Birth Class, labial tear, afterpains

In today’s episode Julie shares her incredibly positive first birth experience. She had listened to the podcast for years before she conceived so she knew she wanted continuity of care with a midwife in a birth centre, ideally one attached to a hospital in case she needed medical support. As soon as she found out she was pregnant she was proactive with organising her care; she saw a GP, requested a referral and made the right phone calls. She laboured at home till her waters broke and once she was at the birth centre, she used active birth positions as labour progressed and birthed her baby boy in the water.
7/24/202259 minutes, 27 seconds
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321 | Amy, two births, forceps, pelvic floor injury, prolapse, birth trauma, women’s health physio, postnatal depression, caesarean birth

I interview Amy, the founder of the Australiasian Birth Trauma Association. In honour of her experience and Birth Trauma Awareness Week, Amy talks about the physical trauma that resulted from an instrumental (forceps) birth. She goes into detail about her pelvic floor injury and prolapse and because her story shares so many parallels with mine, I also talk about my experience with prolapse and the way I’ve managed for the past nine years.
7/20/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 54 seconds
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320 | Luka, three vaginal births, Midwife, unassisted homebirth, 42 weeks, irritable uterus, breastfeeding

In today’s episode I chat to midwife and mum, Luka @boobtofood for the second time. You can listen to Luka’’s first two birth stories in episode 140 but today she takes us through her third birth which was an unassisted homebirth. She talks at length about her past birth challenges and the way she was feeling in the days leading up to this birth as well as the anxiety and concerns that naturally creep in as you approach 42 weeks. It may be a short birth story but it’s also full of midwifery and motherhood wisdom.
7/17/202251 minutes, 8 seconds
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319 | Sonia, Vaginal Birth, Adopted, Shared Care, Ulcerative Colitis, Epidural

I chat to Sonia who shares her first pregnancy and birth story. Sonia was adopted from India when she was four-years-old so pregnancy was particularly poignant for her as she thought a lot about her birth mother’s experience and wondered about her medical history (of which there are no records). She opted for shared care with her GP and chose to do genetic testing via Noninvasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) considering she has ulcerative colitis and her partner has MS, both of which are genetic conditions. Her labour started spontaneously but was augmented using syntocinon when she developed a fever.
7/10/202239 minutes, 49 seconds
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318 | Laura, two vaginal births, varicose veins, OB, low amniotic fluid, epidural, low milk supply

Laura talks about her two births and the difference between private obstetric care and midwifery group practice (MGP) in the public system. If you are trying to conceive or you’re in early pregnancy and you’re interested in learning more about your care options, this episode is a must-listen. As well as discussing her two very different vaginal birth experiences, Laura talks at length about her challenging breastfeeding journey including her choice to use donor milk and a supply line.   
7/7/20221 hour, 27 minutes, 16 seconds
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317 | Kate, vaginal water birth, bicornuate uterus, birth trauma, PND, birth centre, cervical lip

Kate about her second birth. You can listen to her first birth story in episode 155 where she discusses her bicornuate uterus and her challenging induced labour. She admits that in retrospect, she was traumatised from her first birth experience; the pain of an induced labour and the lack of both consent and privacy culminated and led to postnatal depression. As soon as she discovered she was pregnant with her second baby, she saw her psychologist and actively worked through her fear of birth. She laboured in the midst of the Northern Rivers floods and while her experience was love-filled and positive, she talks at length about her unusual postpartum bleeding and the symptoms of a retained placenta. 
7/4/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 45 seconds
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316 | Madi, two births, miscarriage, MGP, vaginal birth, PND, chiari malformation type 1, caesarean

Madi shares her very interesting story and talks at length about her experience with postnatal depression. After her first positive vaginal birth, she was diagnosed with chiari malformation type 1 where part of the brain at the back of her skull bulges and puts pressure on the spinal column. Her neurologist confirmed that she could birth vaginally but she wouldn’t be able to have an epidural or spinal block if an emergency situation arose. Madi accessed all the evidence she could relating to chiari malformation and vaginal birth yet she couldn’t find any information on the ongoing effects after birth. Subsequently, she made the informed choice to plan a caesarean birth under general anaesthetic. 
6/30/20221 hour, 23 minutes, 3 seconds
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315 | Jess, one vaginal birth, endometriosis, PUPPS, induction, epidural, peanut ball

I In today’s episode Jess shares her pregnancy and birth story. A history of mental illness gave her access to a continuity of care midwifery program at John Hunter Hospital where she was cared for by one midwife throughout pregnancy and postpartum. This invaluable support allowed her to navigate pregnancy and covid without overwhelm or anxiety. Together with her husband, Bryce, she prepared for labour and birth with The Birth Class and experienced a positive induction and epidural because she knew what to expect and felt confident to make informed decisions.   
6/27/202245 minutes, 26 seconds
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314 | Lizzie, one vaginal birth, MGP, ambulance transfer, cleft lip and palate, 3C tear

 Lizzie shares the story of her pregnancy and birth with baby Bill. At a 35 week scan, she learnt that Bill had a cleft lip. Lizzie and her husband, Liam, allowed themselves two weeks to process their shock and do their research…after that they were counting down the days till they could meet their new baby. Lizzie takes us step by step through her eventful labour and every stage is punctuated by lots of laughs. You’ll love this informative and entertaining episode.   
6/22/202253 minutes, 17 seconds
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313 | Gemm, Uterus Didelphys, two planned caesareans, low amniotic fuid, postnatal anxiety

Gemma shares her experience with uterus didelphys; she has two uteruses, two cervix’ and a vaginal septum. Most women with her condition have caesarean births before full term because it's common for their babies to have growth restriction or present breech and there’s often doubts about how the uterus will contract and whether the cervix will dilate. In both pregnancies Gemma had planned caesareans at 37 weeks because her amniotic fluid levels were low. She talks at length about her breastfeeding challenges and successes as well as her postnatal anxiety.
6/19/202256 minutes, 12 seconds
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312 | Andrea, two vaginal births, same sex couple, sperm donor, IVF, prenatal anxiety, induction, postnatal anxiety, breast hypoplasia, formula feeding

 Andrea opens up about so many aspects of pregnancy and parenthood that often go undiscussed and she does so with such eloquence you could listen to her all day. She’s in a same-sex relationship so as well as sharing her IVF fertility journey she discusses the often dated language and expectations that sometimes still exist in contemporary maternity care. Her anxiety fuelled persistent concerns about her babies’ movements in both pregnancies and was a contributing factor to her choice to be induced both times. She also shares her experience with breast hypoplasia (insufficient breast tissue) and the stigma surrounding bottle feeding that weighed so heavily on her in postpartum.
6/16/20221 hour, 26 minutes, 28 seconds
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311 | Jamie one vaginal birth, blended family, arthritis, HG, student midwife, stretch and sweep, episiotomy

In today’s episode Jamie talks at length about her arthritis and her choices regarding medication in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Considering her health condition and the added complication of a broken back, she was labelled high risk and could access midwifery group practice care. She opted instead for continuity of care with a student midwife and had a positive experience in the public hospital system even though she saw a different midwife at every appointment. She listened to the podcast obsessively once she conceived, prepared for birth with a detailed birth plan and felt confident in her ability to make informed decisions.
6/13/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
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310 | Lewarna, two births, breech presentation, ECV, caesarean birth, VBAC, third-degree tear

Today Lewarna shares the story of her first baby who stayed in a breech position despite embracing all the turning and spinning techniques. She talks about her birth preparation and her fear, and while her caesarean was planned, she actually went into spontaneous labour and felt comforted by the fact that her baby chose her birth date. Her caesarean experience was incredibly positive yet she admits she started planning a VBAC while she was still in hospital. In her second pregnancy she talks at length about her informed choices regarding a VBAC, induction or planned caesarean as she weighed up the benefits and risks of each. “I didn’t want to push the boundaries of risk but I also didn’t want to have unnecessary intervention,” she says.
6/9/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 29 seconds
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309 | Cara, two vaginal births, missed miscarriage, ovulation testing, episiotomy, 3C vaginal tear

In today’s episode Cara shares her experience of a missed miscarriage followed by 11 months of trying to conceive. After blood tests revealed she ovulates on day 18 of her cycle (not day 14 as her fertility app suggested) she fell pregnant the following month. Following an epidural and episiotomy in her first labour, she experienced a 3C vaginal tear. She had significant fear and concern about birthing vaginally again but after much discussion with her midwives and proactive preparation techniques, she birthed a bigger baby with an episiotomy but no extended tearing. I know so many women want to hear stories like this because preparing for a vaginal birth after a third or fourth-degree tear definitely requires active preparation in pregnancy and both physical and mental support in labour. Bonds Baby Cover is a comprehensive ‘poo-licy’ for new parents that compensates parents for the first-time parent experience with free Bonds babywear. There’s cover for ‘natural disaster’ we’re talking grade 5 Poonamis here, ‘Vandalism’  – wilful texta damage to walls and clothing – and ‘Third Party for when ‘it’ goes everywhere and on everyone. Even accidental-probably-on-purpose damage is covered. If my three boys are proof, little cuties can be massive liabilities. Parents simply sign up to make a claim and be compensated with Bonds Babywear. To be clear, that’s free product, parentals! Join Bonds Baby Cover
6/6/202249 minutes, 25 seconds
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308 | Jo, two vaginal births, midwifery care, public hospital, GP, co-sleeping, extended breastfeed

Today I interview Jo, a mother of two and GP who brings so much knowledge and advice to her story. She says that being a mother has definitely made her a better GP although she admits that so many of her expectations of parenthood were thrown out the window when she became a mum. She feels strongly about safe co-sleeping (she shares a lot of evidence around this) as well as extended breastfeeding and the societal pressures that often prompt early weaning. Lighthearted and joyful, Jo shares all the details of her two physiological births and the skills she embraced from to actively relax while her body actively birthed. 
6/2/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 34 seconds
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307 | Erin, three births, one emergency caesarean, VBAC, early infant loss

Erin shares the story of her firstborn, Aiden. At her 20 week morphology scan the sonographer noted that there was an issue with Aiden’s kidneys and because they weren’t producing enough amniotic fluid, Aiden’s lung development was affected. Two days later, under the care of the maternal foetal medicine team, Aiden was given a terminal diagnosis. Erin and her husband, Mike, chose to continue with the pregnancy and held onto hope despite the inevitable challenges of such uncertainty. Erin takes us right back to the day of Aiden’s birth and the surreal 25 hours afterward as they learnt the full extent of Aiden’s diagnosis, opted to cease intervention and said goodbye. Erin shares all the details of Aiden’s life and death and explains the unique grief of babyloss which she describes as a physical ache and visceral emptiness. 
5/29/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 9 seconds
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306 | Rebekah, two vaginal births, breech, ECV, episiotomy, distended bladder, incontinence, PROM, breech vaginal birth

In today’s episode I interview Rebekah about her experience with two breech-presenting babies. She had a successful External Cephalic Rotation (ECV) in her first pregnancy and experienced a posterior labour with a vacuum-assisted birth. She suffered a distended bladder after the catheter was removed before the episiotomy wore off and she lost the ability to urinate, hence she was discharged under the care of the incontinence team who supported her to use an in-out catheter at home. With guidance from a women’s health physio she made a full recovery. In her second pregnancy she did a lot of birth preparation and when her waters broke at 36+5 and baby Astrid was presenting breech, she listened to her intuition, adjusted her birth preferences and worked closely with her supportive midwives to birth her baby without intervention. Join Bonds Baby Cover
5/25/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 31 seconds
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305 | Serena, two homebirths, miscarriage, midwife, pelvic instability

In today’s episode I interview Serena, a midwife who shares her two homebirth experiences. I always love chatting to midwives because they’re so generous with their knowledge and advice and Serena is no different. After supporting women through the MGP programme at the Mercy Hospital till 38 weeks, she consciously had to switch off her midwife mindset and actively prepare for labour. She takes us step by step through the days of early labour, her expectations of contractions versus the reality, and the practical skills she embraced to navigate a two-hour second stage. Her second birth was swift and intense and she admits that she found it all quite hilarious, hence her laughing uncontrollably while cuddling her brand new baby.
5/23/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 54 seconds
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304 | Sea, three physiological births, Indigenous, MGP, breastfeeding, postpartum

In today’s episode I chat to Sea who shares her three glorious physiological births. Supported by her husband and her two sisters during labour and birth, she did active preparation in each pregnancy and experienced culturally-appropriate care through Indigenous midwifery group practice. If you want to listen to an incredibly positive story that’s brimming with advice, tips and skills for birth and an intuitive postpartum, Sea’s episode is a must-listen. 
5/19/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 1 second
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303 | Chantelle, one emergency caesarean, three ectopic pregnancies, ruptured fallopian tubes, IVF

In today’s episode Chantelle shares her very rare experience with three ectopic pregnancies. It was an incredibly distressing year for her and her partner, Rowan, as they navigated the grief of multiple pregnancy losses while also dealing with medical complications. Chantelle lost both fallopian tubes but admits she felt relieved to have the opportunity to try IVF. She conceived baby Lucy on her first attempt. Her pregnancy was straightforward and after induction at 39 weeks and a long labour she opted for an emergency caesarean which was a really positive and joyful experience.
5/16/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 31 seconds
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302 | Rachel Single Mum, 42 weeks, Waterbirth

In today’s episode, I interview Rachel. Rachel was living in Bali when she fell pregnant unexpectedly. While considering significant cultural differences with her Balinese partner and what that would mean for her baby, she opted to return to Australia for the remainder of her pregnancy and birth. In her final weeks of pregnancy her relationship broke down, she navigated her hospital’s induction policies and she laboured and birthed with the support of her mother, doula and midwife. 
5/11/20221 hour, 41 seconds
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301 | Nicole one vaginal birth, low sperm count, IVF, blighted ovum, midwifery group practise, rural hospital, breastfeeding challenges

In today’s episode I interview Nicole who shares her complicated experience with IVF. Her partner, Ash, has a low sperm count and they knew from the outset that conception would be difficult. After one blighted ovum and two unsuccessful transfers, they were overwhelmed by the process. They decided to change specialists and Nicole’s blood tests showed extremely high blood sugar levels which can affect her egg quality. Within two weeks of taking medication she fell pregnant naturally and went on to have a very straightforward pregnancy and a positive birth in a rural hospital. When I spoke to Nicole her baby was only seven weeks old so she talks at length about her significant breastfeeding challenges and the advice she received from a lactation consultant.
5/9/20221 hour
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The Birth Class - Taste

The Birth Class is currently on sale for 15% off. Enter the code: Birthday at checkout
5/6/202218 minutes, 28 seconds
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300 | Gemma, two vaginal births, regional hospital, public obstetrician

In episode 300 I interview Gemma who shares her experience of birthing in a small, rural hospital. In her first pregnancy she opted for public obstetric care at a regional hospital in the nearest large town. The day before her scheduled induction she went into spontaneous labour and found comfort in breathing practices, the shower and sitting on the toilet which allowed her to open her hips. She invested in The Birth Class in her second pregnancy and with a greater understanding of the physiology of birth and newfound breathing skills she felt confident to birth at her local rural hospital with midwives. She birthed baby Elsie in the water and returned home six hours later. To download my FREE Hospital Bag Check List click <p/.
5/1/202241 minutes, 31 seconds
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299 | Anna, Positive Induction, VBAC, Midwifery Care

In today’s episode I talk to Anna about her beautiful VBAC in the midst of Covid-19. She describes her second birth, with daughter Juniper, as a birth of juxtapositions: an induced, drug-free, hospitalised, hypnobirth VBAC. It’s a birth story complete with an incredibly positive induction, strong midwife support, unwavering faith in body and mind and the immense healing of redemptive birth after trauma. 
4/27/20221 hour, 40 minutes, 28 seconds
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298 | Steph, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, gestational diabetes, induction, epidural, emergency caesarean, PPROM, VBAC, NICU, PPD

In today’s episode I chat to Steph who takes us through the heartbreaking experience of an ectopic pregnancy, something she knew nothing about at the time. After the loss of her baby and subsequent PTSD, she fell pregnant again and opted for continuity of care with a midwife in her local public hospital. After navigating postnatal anxiety and a gestational diabetes diagnosis, her waters broke at 37+6 weeks and after a long labour, she birthed via emergency caesarean. Nine months later, still breastfeeding baby Sunny, she fell pregnant again and was prepared to do everything in her power to have a Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC). She achieved it a little earlier than expected, when baby Otis decided he was ready to meet the world at 32 weeks. Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
4/25/20221 hour, 21 minutes, 57 seconds
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297 | Kate, three caesarean births, ectopic pregnancy, maternally assisted caesarean

I interview Kate founder of Mere Botanicals about her three emergency caesareans, her third being the very first maternally assisted emergency caesarean birth in the Northern Territory. As a naturopath working in women’s health and fertility, she brings a holistic perspective to her story as she shares her experience with ectopic pregnancy, probiotics and vaginal seeding (transferring vaginal flora to her baby’s face and mouth post-caesarean). In honour of Caesarean Awareness Month, Kate’s births are testament to the power of planning for the possibility of a caesarean birth and finding a care provider who will encourage and support your birth preferences.
4/18/202257 minutes, 42 seconds
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296 | Shuana, one baby, The Birth Class, vaginal birth, physiological birth, continuity of care, MGP, active birth

In today’s episode I interview first-time mum, Shuana, about her proactive approach to pregnancy and birth. When she found out she was pregnant she booked in with her local public hospital and was assigned continuity of care with a known midwife who fast became a precious support right through to postpartum. Shuana and her husband, Dan, did The Birth Class for birth preparation and felt incredibly confident and excited about the possibility of a physiological birth. Shuana takes us through her labour, from the moment her waters broke till when she birthed her 4.49kg baby boy, Teddy, in a moment of pure joy. This is such a positive and inspiring episode that’s brimming with birth tips. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
4/10/20221 hour, 1 minute, 26 seconds
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295 | Alana Wilkinson, Micropremie, bleeding in pregnancy, micro-preemie, vaginal birth, NICU, music therapy

In today’s episode I interview singer songwriter @alana.wilkinson about her pregnancy, birth and NICU experience. Her baby boy, Rafferty, was born at 24 weeks and surprised the neonatal staff with his strength despite his size (704 grams). Alana talks at length about her birth trauma, her NICU experience and the way music helped carry them through the long days and nights. Rafferty was discharged from hospital still reliant on oxygen and after three weeks at their home in the northern rivers, they had to be airlifted out because landslides had compromised their home and threatened their safety. Despite the upheaval of the past six months, Alana is so buoyant and optimistic and has the most beautiful plans to make music for other NICU parents and their babies. What a gift that would be. 
4/4/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 11 seconds
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294 | Olivia, MGP, PCOS, endometriosis, eating disorder, postnatal anxiety, clomid

It’s estimated that one million Australians have an eating disorder with pregnancy and postpartum being high risk times for both the re-emergence or beginning of disordered eating habits. In today’s episode I chat to Olivia about how her history of disordered eating affected her pregnancy and postpartum experience, particularly the way she handled the drastic changes to her body after birth and the effects of social media on her mindset. She bravely shares her story which includes initial challenges to conceive (thanks in part to PCOS and endometriosis) and a positive induction and epidural experience. Consider this one a must listen!
3/30/20221 hour, 1 minute, 16 seconds
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293 | Sara, two vaginal births, family violence, donor sperm, DCDA twins, PAPPS, epidural, footling breech, retained placenta

Pregnancy is one of the highest risk times for family violence and in today’s episode, Sara bravely shares her experience. After years of physical, emotional and verbal abuse, Sara got an intervention order and was under an alias in hospital when she birthed her first son. She then navigated years of court orders and visitations while receiving support from a family violence psychologist. Sara always knew she wanted a sibling for her son but she wasn’t ready to be in another relationship so she accepted donor sperm and conceived via home insemination. At her twelve week scan she was speechless when she discovered she was pregnant with twins.  If Sara’s story triggers concerns for yourself or your children, please contact 1800RESPECT- 1800 737 732 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
3/27/20221 hour, 7 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bonus | Taste of Welcome to the First Trimester

In my new online course, Welcome to the First Trimester, I talk with five perinatal specialists about everything you need to know about the first trimester, including:   - seeing your GP - choosing a care provider - navigating mental health concerns - physical changes and concerns - early pregnancy nutrition and supplements   Enter the code:save10 to pick up the course for $57
3/24/20228 minutes, 45 seconds
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292 | Jen, one vaginal birth, GD, induction, episiotomy, postpartum confinement

In today’s episode, I talk to Jen about her pregnancy, birth and traditional Chinese confinement during postpartum. Jen is a second-generation Chinese-Australian and while she was at first hesitant to embrace the confinement period after birth, when she left the hospital feeling frail, “like a creature born trembling, without fur or feathers” she accepted all the teas, soups and rest her mother and mother-in-law offered her. Jen considers her birth a really positive experience and she reflects on her golden month of healing with immense gratitude.    Jen’s mother is an OB/GYN and acupuncturist who encouraged her to track her cycle by taking her temperature. She conceived within two months and opted for shared care with her GP as she didn’t have any health concerns.  If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
3/20/202247 minutes, 6 seconds
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291 | Sarah Midwife, Two Births, Water Birth, Micro-Preemie, NICU Journey.

In this week’s episode I chat to Sarah, a mother of two and midwife who cherishes the work she does with pregnant women. When it came time to birth her first baby, she experienced a truly beautiful water birth in the birth centre surrounded by her fellow midwives. Her second pregnancy was symptom-free until her waters broke at 25weeks. She takes us through her experience, from the denial of what was happening to the frightening realisation that she would be delivering her baby at 25weeks via classical cesarean and then the stress, grief and elation of NICU life. Sarah offers heartfelt, practical advice for NICU parents, discusses the beauty and challenge of breastfeeding a premature baby and lists the practical things she did everyday to work through her worry and grief. Her micro-preemie, Chloe, is now an energetic, inquisitive two-year-old and Sarah is more passionate than ever about supporting new mothers.  
3/16/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 5 seconds
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290 | Chantel three births, placenta previa, planned caesarean, gentle caesarean, induction

In today’s episode I talk to Chantel about her three births. She suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in every pregnancy and was medicated early on to stop the vomiting. Her severe symptoms eased by 20 weeks but she still had to navigate intense nausea till the end of pregnancy. After two vaginal births in the hospital, she accessed continuity of care in a birth centre for her third. At 34 weeks she was diagnosed with placenta previa (where the placenta covers all or part of the cervix) and after grieving the waterbirth she couldn’t have, she planned a gentle caesarean birth with her priority being skin-to-skin in theatre and recovery. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
3/13/202257 minutes, 28 seconds
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289 | Jess and Manda, Queer couple, two vaginal births, home insemination, IUI, vacuum delivery, prolapse, breastfeeding, postpartum care

In today’s interview I chat to Queer couple Jess and Manda about the steps they took to create their family and the experience of being a gender non-conforming human while pregnant. We have a joyous and enlightening conversation about home insemination, pregnancy challenges, navigating the suggestion of induction when you’re an older mother, long labours, postpartum and the blessing of the village. Jess and Manda have two children and they’ve both experienced pregnancy and birth so consider this episode abundant in wisdom, advice and hilarity.
3/9/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 26 seconds
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287 | Ebony, three vaginal births, vision impaired, blind, guide dog, miscarriage, childhood abuse, induction, epidural, breastfeeding, fraternal twins

  In this week’s episode I chat to Ebony, a mother of four under four who is vision impaired with less than five percent vision. Undeterred by her disability, she is an avid researcher and has created practical methods for making things as easy as possible in the home. She talks at length about her mental health issues, the decision to accept a disability support worker and the challenges of her condition as a mother. Her fraternal twin pregnancy was her easiest and she used hypnobirthing, meditation and affirmations to prepare for a successful vaginal birth.  
3/6/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 27 seconds
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287 | Emily Skye, two vaginal births, epidural, vacuum, episiotomy, breastfeeding, PND, diastasis recti, hypertonic pelvic floor, hypnobirth, accidental homebirth

Emily Skye shares her first traumatic birth and her second accidental home birth. Emily doesn’t hold back on sharing the details of her birth experiences, including her challenging physical recovery and postpartum depression. A strong advocate for embracing and loving your body at every stage, Emily talks at length about her severe diastasis recti and hypertonic pelvic floor and the steps she took to strengthen and heal. When she fell pregnant for the second time, she got serious about birth preparation and used hypnobirth and breathwork techniques to navigate a very fast and intense labour.
2/28/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 8 seconds
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286 | Ashleigh one vaginal birth, pelvic girdle pain, covid, vontouse, forceps, episiotomy, panic attack

In this week’s episode I interview Ash who caught covid at 39 weeks. Her symptoms were mild and by the time she went into labour a week later, she was negative. Unfortunately, her partner, Tim, was positive and still had one more day in isolation. Ash takes us through her birthing day and details the moments she had to consciously surrender, accept the uncontrollable and turn inward to bring her baby into the world. Her sister-in-law stepped in as a loving and knowledgeable doula and Tim watched his son being born via facetime (from the hospital carpark). Ash describes the sense of panic and anxiety that washed over her in the early hours of the next day, a response to the intensity of her labour and birth. While her experience isn’t common, it is normal and I’m grateful Ash had the courage to share her story here. 
2/21/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 36 seconds
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285 | Nikki, three vaginal births, shoulder dystocia, PPH, MGP, student midwife, Mcroberts Maneuver

In today’s episode I chat to Nikki about her life in East Arnhem Land, her unexpected third pregnancy and the steps she took to actively prepare for her birth. You can hear the story of Nikki’s first two births in episode #113 but she also briefly talks about her second birth in this episode and details the challenge of shoulder dystocia, retained placenta and a postpartum hemorrhage. Her experience definitely dictated her pregnancy care and birth plans but she was also fiercely proactive in getting informed, advocating for herself and rallying a supportive care team. Nikki is incredibly articulate and her story will give you the encouragement to prepare and plan, regardless of your fears. If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
2/16/20221 hour, 24 minutes, 46 seconds
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284 | Ahlam, three vaginal births, breech, ECV, GBS, episiotomy, vacuum, water birth

Today I chat to Ahlam, The Veiled Speechie, about her three births. She was under the care of the midwifery clinic at Bankstown Hospital for her pregnancies and admits that she did no preparation at all for her first birth which ended with an episiotomy and a vacuum delivery and led into a painful and challenging postpartum. As soon as she discovered she was pregnant with her second she started researching and preparing as she was determined to experience a positive water birth, which she did. Her third labour was fast and intense but she felt confident in her choices and her ability to advocate for herself. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
2/13/202240 minutes, 33 seconds
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283 | Amy two vaginal births, HG, midwife, breastfeeding, tongue-tie, EBM, formula

If you need a laugh (don’t we all?!) make sure you listen to today’s chat with Amy @pickwick_and_sprout who shares her two birth stories with a good dose of hilarity. Amy admits that as soon as sperm met egg she started vomiting and she was eventually diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Her pregnancy was not the glowing kind; she was exhausted, riddled with anxiety and constantly sick. She didn’t do any birth preparation so when she turned up to the hospital and felt the need to poo, she had no idea that her baby was minutes from being born. Her breastfeeding experience was challenging and Amy’s honesty about her journey -  her persistence, emotional turmoil and eventual acceptance - is empowering for those on the same path. If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going.
2/9/20221 hour, 26 minutes, 26 seconds
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282 | Melanie, two vaginal births, IVF, endometriosis, PCOS, MGP, Accidental Home Birth, Emergency

Mel’s story made headlines a few weeks ago when she had an unplanned homebirth and her baby was born unresponsive. NSW Ambulance was inundated and couldn’t assist so Mel and her husband, Alex, drove to hospital while she administered CPR to baby Ethan. Despite her harrowing ordeal, Mel shares her experience with clarity and it’s comforting to hear Ethan cry, squark and burp his way through the interview. As a midwife, she brings really valuable knowledge to her story and shares some great tips for breastfeeding and pelvic floor health. I’m so grateful to Mel for making the time to chat with me; her experience is rare but I think it’s one we can all learn from. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop  
2/6/20221 hour, 34 minutes, 10 seconds
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281 | Emma, one vaginal birth, preconception health, pelvic floor, Indigenous midwifery group practice, physiological birth, water birth, breastfeeding, mastitis

In today’s episode I chat to Emma who shares her preconception journey in detail (a great tip for those of you planning to conceive soon!). She approached her pregnancy and birth preparation similarly by immersing herself in research and birth stories and The Birth Class. She was cared for by the Ngarrama Midwifery Group Practice in Brisbane and continued her high intensity training program right up until the day she went into labour. Emma’s story is testament to the power of consciously choosing your care provider, getting informed and physically and mentally preparing for the birth you most want. Her little girl, Gracie, was only two weeks old when we spoke so Emma recalls her story with lots of detail; there’s some really wonderful advice in her story. If you'd like my FREE guide on mastitis click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop  
1/31/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 46 seconds
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280 | Millie, identical twins, MCDA twins, high risk, scheduled caesarean, preemie, NICU

In today’s episode I chat to Millie who shares her preemie twin birth story. After a quick conception journey, she was looking forward to her 7 week dating scan after the fright of two incidents of implantation bleeding. Nothing could have prepared her for the news that she was pregnant with MCDA twins (one placenta, two sacs). Initially, in their own sacs, an ultrasound at 23 weeks confirmed that the membrane separating the twins had split which placed them at high risk for developing Stuck Twin Syndrome. Millie lived at Ronald McDonald House at Townsville Hospital before birthing the boys at 34 weeks and flying home to Cairns soon after, thanks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
1/26/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 3 seconds
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279 | Brigitte, two babies, miscarriage, PCOS, the birth class, covid lockdown, optimal maternal positioning, homebirth

Today Brigitte goes to her most vulnerable place when she details the miscarriage she experienced before discovering she was pregnant with baby Willa, an experience made all the more difficult because of covid lockdown. Intent on birthing Willa at home with a private midwife, Brigitte prepared by listening to The Birth Class multiple times to make sure she was absorbing the information shared. She was deep in active labour when she noticed a distinct pain separate to contraction pain; her baby’s chin was tilted up and pressing into her pelvis so Brigitte embraced everything she had learned about Optimal Maternal Positioning and together with her midwives, she managed to shift position and Willa was born soon after. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
1/23/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 7 seconds
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278 | Kate, three babies, fraternal twins, vaginal twin birth, hyperemesis, breast reduction, continuity of care, postpartum doula

In this first episode of the year, I chat to Kate @katebloomdoula who shares the beautiful story of her two pregnancies, including her recent twin vaginal birth. Her first pregnancy ignited her passion for pregnancy and birth and after a positive and empowered experience, she trained as a birth and postpartum doula. Her intuition was undeniably strong when she discovered she was pregnant for the second time and her 12-week scan confirmed what she already knew; she was pregnant with boy/girl fraternal twins. Kate shares lots of wonderful resources and tips; just the inspiration you need to get informed, advocate for yourself and actively prepare for your birth. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
1/16/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 28 seconds
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Jodi Wilson Yoga Teacher and Birth Educators Four Births

In today’s episode, I interview Jodi Wilson. Jodi shares the pregnancies and births of her four children.  As a yoga teacher and childbirth educator, Jodi brings a beautiful perspective to her interview. She even shares some breathing techniques and tools she used in her births. Whilst each of Jodi’s births was drug-free and under the care of midwives, they were all quite unique in their own way.  Her third and most challenging birth almost ended in an emergency caesarean section and this traumatic experience left her quite anxious going into her fourth birth. To hear more about Jodi’s experiences tune into this week’s show. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
1/10/20221 hour, 11 minutes, 4 seconds
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277 | Lauren and Donna, Family Surrogacy, MRKH, IVF, Caesarean, Induced Lactation

In today’s episode, I interview Lauren and her mother-in-law, Donna. Lauren has MRKH syndrome and was born without a uterus so she knew from a young age that her fertility journey would be challenging. After going through IVF to retrieve and fertilise her eggs, Lauren handed her pregnancy journey over to Donna who, at the age of 50, carried Lauren’s baby. Surrogacy stories aren’t always straightforward but this episode is a testament to Lauren and Donna’s love and gratitude for each other. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
12/13/202159 minutes, 46 seconds
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276 | Leah, three vaginal births, infertility, IVF, birth trauma, EMDR, unplanned homebirth

In today’s episode, I interview Leah about her third birth; an unplanned homebirth. Leah shared her first two births in episode 162 and I highly recommend listening as she details her infertility and IVF experience as well as her traumatic second birth which led to a PTSD diagnosis. For her third pregnancy, she consciously immersed herself in birth preparation, embraced lessons from The Birth Class and repeated the word ‘surrender’ whenever she felt doubt. She was also enrolled in Canterbury Hospital’s brilliant new care model, Canterbury Antenatal and Postnatal Services (CAPS) where all of her appointments were at home with a known midwife. Leah speaks at length about the mental strategies and proactive steps she took to prepare for birth after birth trauma.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
12/5/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 22 seconds
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275 | Theresa, Three Births, Emergency Caesarean, VBAC, Traditional Chinese Confinement

In today’s episode I chat to Theresa who speaks at length about the traditional Chinese period of confinement after birth, often referred to as the golden month. She had a private obstetrician for her first pregnancy and after induction of labour, she birthed via emergency caesarean. In her second and third pregnancies she chose midwifery care in the public system and actively prepared for vaginal births. For all three of her pregnancies her Chinese mother flew in from Singapore to care for her during postpartum and guide her gently into new motherhood. During this time Theresa wasn’t allowed to do anything but rest with her baby, an opportunity she regards as a very precious gift.  p>If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
11/29/20211 hour, 1 minute, 11 seconds
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274 | Zoë Foster Blake shares the births of Sonny and Rudy, osteitis pubis, gestational diabetes, breastfeeding challenges and more

Today Zoë Foster Blake shares with us her two pregnancies and births of her son Sonny and daughter Rudy. Zoë openly details all the uncomfortable and confronting parts of her pregnancy and early parenting experiences, including having osteitis pubis (a fractured and inflamed pubis), gestational diabetes and nine excruciating bouts of mastitis. I know you’re going to love hearing Zoë’s birth stories. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
11/21/202152 minutes, 13 seconds
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273 | Libby, one vaginal birth, termination, homebirth, marginal cord insertion, postpartum preparation

In today’s episode I chat to Libby who shares her homebirth story. Based in Governors Bay in New Zealand, Libby introduces herself in Maori and English and talks about her choice to have a termination. At the time termination was still listed under the crimes act and her treatment in the hospital system reflected that. A profound period of grief followed which ultimately inspired her to plan a homebirth for her next pregnancy. Well-read and with a strong understanding of physiological birth and the role of hormones in labour, Libby was supported by a team of women as she laboured through the night, roaring through contractions until she finally met her baby, Taika, just as the sun was rising. Libby’s episode is like a mini birth education course, I think you’ll love it.   If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop  
11/14/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 56 seconds
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272 | Sammi and Lachlan Midwifery Group Practice, Physiological Vaginal Birth, Breastfeeding, Prolapse

In today’s episode, I chat to Sammi and her partner, Lachlan, about their first pregnancy and birth. They immersed themselves in preparation and even though they planned for an intervention-free birth, they attended both hospital and hypnobirthing classes as well as a breastfeeding course so they were across all possible birth and postpartum experiences. Sammi laboured for a long time at home and Lachlan talks about the support he offered, his nerves when labour intensified and the practical things he did once they got to the hospital. Get your partner to tune into this episode as it’s really lovely and informative to hear about labour from both perspectives. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class my online childbirth education course head to the shop
11/11/202156 minutes, 1 second
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271 | Maggie, Vaginal Birth, Homebirth, Breech, Spinning Babies, Induction, Epidural, PPD

In today’s episode I chat to writer and new mum, Maggie Kelly who shares her home-turned- hospital birth story. She was 30 weeks when she decided to plan a homebirth and found support and wisdom in her local independent midwives. At 41+3 she lost her mucous plus but also noticed that her baby’s movements had significantly slowed - an immediate red flag. She talks us through the next few days; mourning the homebirth she wouldn’t experience, being admitted to hospital, the induction process and her thoughts and feelings during labour and after birth. Maggie isn’t afraid to share the most confronting aspects of new motherhood but in doing so she offers reassurance for all of us who have felt exhausted, defeated and disappointed after birth. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
11/7/202157 minutes, 28 seconds
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270 | Jerusha Sutton, Two Homebirths, Doula, Heartfelt, Birth Time

In today’s episode and in honour of #HomebirthAwarenessWeek, I chat to Jerusha Sutton about her two home births and her work as a doula and birth photographer. Eloquent and educated, Jerusha tells a beautiful story of pregnancy and birth and emphasises the importance of trusted and supportive midwives and doulas in the birth space. She also talks at length about her recent documentary, Birth Time, which has won a slew of international awards and is now available to stream online. It’s essential viewing for everyone but especially for those currently pregnant and preparing for birth. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/31/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 57 seconds
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269 | Ash London, One Birth, Anxiety, Preeclampsia, Planned Caesarean Birth, Breastfeeding, Postpartum

Ash London speaks really openly as a first time mum about her fears and anxieties in pregnancy and postpartum. Ash had to go off anxiety medication when she conceived and she was expecting her symptoms to exacerbate with pregnancy hormones but the opposite was true; she enjoyed a very calm and instinctual pregnancy. She practised yoga and meditation to settle her mind and read all she could about birth which allowed her to focus on the wonder of the experience instead of getting caught up in the fear of the unknown. Open, honest and laugh out loud funny, Ash’s story will make your day (and will no doubt encourage you to plan for postpartum support, too!). If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/27/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 30 seconds
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268 | Paige, Two Vaginal Births, Induction, BRCA1, Breast Cancer, Mastectomy, Donor Breast Milk

In today’s episode and in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I talk to Paige who was diagnosed with breast cancer when her first baby was nine months old. Paige has the BRCA1 gene and following six months of chemotherapy she chose to have a double mastectomy without reconstruction. Upon completing three rounds of radiation, Paige’s pathology results confirmed that she had a complete recovery. It was the best news, made even sweeter by a positive pregnancy test shortly afterwards. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/24/20211 hour, 45 minutes, 12 seconds
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267 | My Sister Hilary’s Birth, MGP, Secondary Infertility, Missed miscarriage, Advanced Maternal Age, Induction, Cervical Lip

Join me today for a conversation with my sister, Hilary. She recently gave birth to her daughter, Rhoda, and I was in the birth centre from the moment her waters broke. It was the first birth I’ve ever attended and such a precious experience (although I think it confirmed that I wouldn’t be the best doula). I had a few roles on the day: support sister, photographer and baby catcher. Needless to say, it was unforgettable. We chat about Hilary’s first birth (you can hear it at length if you scroll right back to episode 2), her missed miscarriage and secondary infertility and we take you step by step through her labour. We had a lot of fun recording it so we hope you enjoy listening to our sisterly banter. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/20/20211 hour, 27 minutes, 13 seconds
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266 | Abby 8 years of Infertility, Caesarean Birth, Endometriosis, IVF, miscarriage, ovarian hyperstimulation, pleural effusion, myomectomy, subchorionic hemorrage, rainbow baby

In today’s episode Abby bravely shares her journey with infertility. Abby was diagnosed with endometriosis at 17 but it wasn’t until she was in her early thirties that she started actively trying to fall pregnant. Her egg count and quality was excellent but her endometriosis posed significant complications. Abby takes us through the physical and emotional pain of her journey, the comfort in talking to other women on the same path and the light that came with her very last embryo, baby Remielle. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/17/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 29 seconds
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265 | Emma Isaacs, Six vaginal births, Miscarriage, Homebirth, Covid, En Caul

In today’s episode, I chat to Emma @emmaisaacs for the second time (you can hear all about her first five births in episode 73). Today she shares the story of her home birth in LA when the pandemic was at its peak and the Black Lives Matter riots could be heard from her house. She made the decision to live stream the final hours of her labour on Instagram in the hope that it would shift the perception of birth for her viewers. She didn’t know it at the time, but 60,000 people tuned in, sent heartfelt messages of love and awe, and watched her give birth to her baby boy, Louis. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/11/202145 minutes, 51 seconds
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264 | Em, Undiagnosed Pregnancy, PCOS, 3rd Degree Tear, Postpartum Haemorrhage, PND

Today’s episode is different from most because Em didn’t realise she was pregnant until she birthed her baby. After going to her GP in January complaining of abdominal bloating, she was encouraged to limit fast foods and take a multivitamin. A month later she was told that she was experiencing bloating due to stress. In early April, after working all day and experiencing severe pains, she started bleeding and went to the hospital. The doctor in Emergency presumed she had a heavy period but less than twenty minutes later she had birthed her baby boy who was born en caul. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/6/202155 minutes, 45 seconds
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263 | Hollie, three vaginal births, same sex relationship, MCDA twins, sperm donor, IVF, Gestational Diabetes

In today’s episode I interview Hollie who shares her inspiring twin birth story. She speaks beautifully about her pregnancy and birth experiences, which includes gestational diabetes, continuity of care with midwives and the valuable role of passionate student midwives. Hollie’s partner, Hayley, carried their first baby and experienced a straightforward induced labour and birth. Ten months later, Hollie gave birth to their daughter. Hollie never expected for her next round of IVF to be a successful first go, she also never expected to fall pregnant with identical MCDA (one placenta, two sacs) twins. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/3/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 18 seconds
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262 | Tara, two vaginal births, homebirth, family-centred birth, breast implant removal.

In today’s episode Tara shares her intuitive journey to motherhood and the power of family-centred birth. She was working in the air force during her first pregnancy and was denied the opportunity to have a home birth as the Defense Force policy dictated care from a private obstetrician. Her pregnancy was stressful; she experienced workplace bullying and harassment which led to an official medical discharge during maternity leave. Her second pregnancy was a completely different experience and she planned and experienced a glorious family-centred homebirth supported by midwives. At three months postpartum after suffering low milk supply, she made the decision to have her breast implants removed. She fed her baby four hours post-op and her milk supply immediately increased, so much so that she could express 100ml from each breast.    If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/27/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 47 seconds
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261 | Meg, Two Births, Missed Miscarriage, Vaginismus, GPPPD, Home Insemination, Induction,

In today’s episode, Meg bravely shares her experience with vaginismus, also known as genito pelvic pain penetration disorder (GPPPD); an involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles which makes penetration of any kind incredibly painful. Conceiving was always going to involve extra hurdles for Meg and Steve and while it did take conscious planning and preparation, it was possible. Throughout her pregnancy she presumed she would need to have a caesarean birth but she was encouraged by her obstetrician to deliver vaginally and she did so successfully -  twice!  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/20/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 44 seconds
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260 | Erin, four births, shared care, student midwife, succenturiate lobe, continuity of care, homebirth, rural and region pregnancy care

In this week’s episode I chat to Erin who lives in country ACT and discusses the difficulty in accessing continuity of care for rural and regional women. After a quick hospital birth with her first child, Erin had a very real fear of birthing on the side of the road with her second baby. She was late in her second trimester when she started researching homebirths and promptly found a private midwife to support her. She went on to have two more homebirths, a choice that came with a significant financial sacrifice although it’s not one she’s ever regretted. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/16/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 54 seconds
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259 | Kelly-Anne, Two Births, Spontaneous Labour, Meconium, Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy

In today’s two-hour episode I interview Kelly-Anne who shares her experience with the very rare pregnancy condition known as Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP). Before you listen I want to let you know that it is a traumatic episode. If you are pregnant or in your postpartum and feeling vulnerable, it may not be the best time to listen. If you are a care provider or a student midwife, I would consider this episode essential listening. Please, share it with your colleagues and peers. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/12/20212 hours, 15 minutes, 42 seconds
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258 | Amy, Two Vaginal births, MGP, Prodromal Labour, Gestational Thrombocytopenia, Water Birth

In this week’s episode, I interview Amy about her two birth experiences. Her first pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage so she navigated her first trimester with profound anxiety, recalling the relief she felt after the first scan, then the second and finally, when she felt her baby’s first kicks. Not one to think or prepare for birth till the third trimester, she enrolled in an online birth course and was inspired by the physiology of birth; once she knew how the muscles actually work in labour she was excited for what was to come. Her first birth was long and challenging but her second was a joyous water birth that left her empowered and ecstatic. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/5/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 37 seconds
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257 | Juliet Allen, two vaginal births, hospital birth, miscarriage, conscious conception, homebirth, lotus birth

In today’s episode I chat to Juliet Allen about her recent homebirth. There’s a fifteen-year gap between her children so she came to her second pregnancy and birth with a profound sense of preparation and purpose. Juliet and her partner, Nick, consciously conceived and then birthed at home; they used touch and kissing to bring on surges and Juliet self-pleasured to ride the intensity of each wave. Once their baby was born, they embraced a traditional lotus birth where the baby stays connected to the placenta till the cord naturally falls off. This episode is rich with inspiration but Juliet also shares some incredibly practical tips; you’ll want to take notes! If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/1/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 31 seconds
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256 | Zion, Home Water Birth, Doula, Private Midwife, Breastfeeding, Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex

In this week’s episode I interview Zion, a young mum who birthed her first baby at home with the support of a private midwife and doula. She fell pregnant after a miscarriage and shares her experience of multiple early scans and her subsequent grief in discovering that her once twin-pregnancy was now a singleton. She spent much of her first trimester doing birth research before she leapt into the second trimester with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. She laboured for 16 hours in the comfort of her home and birthed baby Kaya in the water as evening fell. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/29/202146 minutes, 52 seconds
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255 | Fizz, Three Vaginal Births, Micro-Preemie, Spontaneous Premature Delivery, NICU, Progesterone, Induction, ADHD, Ritalin

In this week’s episode I chat to Fizz about her three births, her NICU experience and her recent ADHD diagnosis. She was 23 weeks and 6 days when her little boy was born which, at the time, was considered pre-viability age. Little Ernie was a fighter who spent 96 days in the NICU before graduating to special care and eventually going home. Despite the stress and overwhelm, Fizz established a great milk supply and ended up feeding him till 18months. Her second pregnancy was straightforward and after birth, while navigating postpartum, she went on mirena contraception that exacerbated a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including sensitivity to sound and light. Upon seeing her psychologist, she was eventually diagnosed with ADHD which was life changing in the best possible way. With a renewed sense of self-awareness, Fiz fell pregnant again, went off her medication and prepared for a positive birth with no induction or epidural. Baby Sid arrived on a stormy Melbourne night, an experience that Fiz describes as “really lovely.” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/22/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 18 seconds
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254 | Beth Ryan, Vaginal Physiological Birth, Midwife, Birth Educator, MGP

You may already know Beth from her page Birth with Beth which is a wonderful resource for pregnant women and their support people. Today, Beth shares her story and details the challenge of the first trimester, the difficulty of Covid restrictions and the joy and hard work of bringing her daughter into the world. Based in Melbourne and accustomed to coming in and out of lockdown, Beth didn’t see her care provider face-to-face till 28 weeks. It was an experience she had guided many women through as a midwife but she admits that being on the other side offered a new perspective.  "It was funny because I had been doing phone appointments and I was the one reassuring families and then to be on the other side of it and realise how much you crave that reassurance of face-to-face care was really interesting.”  Beth was assigned a midwife who is also a co-worker; one she has an immense respect for in regards to her birth philosophy. That said, she did most of the first trimester alone, like most women, and vomited continuously throughout the day till 18 weeks. The physical toll began to affect her mental health but she was also focused on staying calm and taking a watch and wait approach.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/18/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 19 seconds
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253 | Jacqueline Alwill, Three Vaginal Births, Vaginal Breech, Water Birth, Cycle Tracking

In this week’s episode I interview Jacqueline about her three birth experiences. She describes her first pregnancy as the best curveball of her life and she went on to experience a beautiful water birth after 30 hours of labour. A decade later she was with a new partner and opted to track her cycle through Monash IVF because she was having trouble conceiving. After two rounds she fell pregnant and had a straightforward induction and delivery. A mere eight months after birth she was pregnant again and with her baby in a frank breech position, she began preparing for a breech vaginal birth with Dr Bisits at the Royal Women’s in Randwick. Jacqueline’s story really highlights the importance of having a care provider who empowers and supports you, regardless of your birth complications.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/15/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 14 seconds
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252 | Hannah, three vaginal births, pre-term labour, incompetent cervix, cervical stitch.

In this week’s episode, I chat to Hannah who shared her first two birth stories in . In her third pregnancy, she was immediately categorised as high risk because of her history of preterm labour so she opted for a cervical stitch at 18weeks to prevent the onset of contractions. Intent on labouring without induction, Hannah focused on hypnobirthing practices and, after getting her stitch removed at 36 weeks, she embraced every natural induction technique imaginable. After two weeks of prodromal labour she got to the hospital with only seconds to spare. Hannah tells an informative and, at times, hilarious story that is both entertaining and inspiring. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/8/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 18 seconds
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251 | Nat Solo Parent by Choice, Endometriosis, IVF, NIPT, Trisomy 13, Amniocentesis, Preterm Labour

In this week’s episode I interview Nat, a solo mum by choice. After having an ovarian tumour removed at 17, she knew that fertility issues would be something she needed to consider in the future. When she turned 30, she started investigating her options and by 32 she was seeing a fertility specialist at Monash IVF. Her first round of IVF resulted in a heterotopic pregnancy but her second was successful. When baby Harry turned one, she fell pregnant with Hudson and began a challenging journey involving a possible trisomy 13 diagnosis, genetic counselling, amniocentesis and preeclampsia. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/1/20211 hour, 39 minutes, 54 seconds
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250 | Kylie, Two Births, Vaginal Breech, Accidental Homebirth, PCOS, Clomid, En Caul

In this week’s episode I interview Kylie who shares the story of her two eventful births; a surprise footling breech and an accidental homebirth. After coming off the pill and not having a period for a year, Kylie went to her GP for blood tests and an internal ultrasound. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and referred to a fertility specialist who recommended clomid to assist with ovulation. On the first round that she ovulated she fell pregnant. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/29/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 7 seconds
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249 | Lou, three vaginal births, breech birth, epidural, vaginal birth, PND, water birth, birth trauma

In this week’s episode, I chat to Lou about her three births. She discovered at 34weeks that her first baby was breech. After a failed ECV she sought a hospital that supported vaginal breech births and subsequently changed caregivers at 39 weeks to achieve the birth she wanted. Her second birth, under the care of midwives, was smooth and straightforward but afterwards, with two babies under 18months, Lou struggled with undiagnosed postnatal depression. She booked into a midwifery program at her local regional hospital with her third baby and after a very quick water birth and low Apgar scores, baby Astrid fed and settled well. However, the midwives and obstetricians were concerned about low blood sugar levels so they did blood tests every two hours before transferring to a larger hospital. In honour of Birth Trauma Awareness Week, Lou shares the trauma of the first few days of Astrid’s life and the challenge she faced as a mother up against a particularly condescending doctor.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/26/20211 hour, 33 minutes, 35 seconds
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248 | Keira Rumble, miscarriage, heterotopic pregnancy, endometriosis, Factor 5 Leiden, IVF, HG,

In this week’s episode I interview Keira Rumble about her long, challenging road to motherhood. After multiple miscarriages, a traumatic heterotopic pregnancy and a subsequent PTSD diagnosis, Keira discovered she had stage 4 endometriosis. She sought a new fertility specialist, was diagnosed with a rare blood clotting disorder and embarked on her first round of IVF which led to her pregnancy with baby Hunter. She birthed him only two weeks ago and recalls every detail, from when her waters broke at 36 weeks to the confronting reality of the NICU. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/18/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 47 seconds
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247 | Emily, one baby, vaginal birth, the birth class, birth centre, threatened preterm labour

In this week’s bonus episode I interview Emily - the first of The Birth Class students to have a baby. From conceiving during the lockdown in Melbourne to birthing her baby boy in Sydney’s current lockdown, Emily shares the highs and lows of her pregnancy, including her experience learning from the midwives, doulas and birth educators featured in The Birth Class. As an informed first-time mum she was prepared to go well past her due date so when she started contracting at 35+5 weeks she was in shock. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/16/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 18 seconds
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246 | Elodie three babies, VBAC2, breech baby, emergency caesarean, lactation consultant, hemochromatosis, GBS, low platelets, attempted VBAC

In this week’s episode I chat to Elodie about her three births. As a first-time mum she was happy to let her birth unfold without doing much preparation. By the time she was pregnant with her third baby and preparing for a VBAC2 (Vaginal Birth After 2 Caesareans) she understood the power of knowledge, embraced months of mental and physical preparation and surrounded herself with educated, informed and encouraging support people who could advocate for her during labour and delivery. If you are currently preparing for a VBAC or you’re considering one in the future, this episode is for you. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/11/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
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245 | Nerque, missed miscarriage, D+C, fertility treatment, sonohysterogram, letrozole, MGP, induction, vaginal birth, nipple shield

In this episode I interview Nerique about her missed miscarriage. It was an experience that completely blindsided her but thanks to overwhelming support from online groups, she navigated her loss and started planning her next baby. A long cycle and painful periods prompted her to see a fertility specialist who discovered that scar tissue from her D+C had caused a blockage in her cervix. Once that was rectified, Nerique started taking medication to stimulate ovulation and she fell pregnant two months later. She chose midwifery group practice for her pregnancy care and had an incredibly positive induction experience followed by a smooth and swift vaginal birth. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/8/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 37 seconds
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244 | Melanie one baby BRCA1, double mastectomy, shared care, epidural, episiotomy, student midwife

In this week’s episode I interview Melanie who shares her experience as a BRCA1 gene carrier. With a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Melanie made the decision to have a double mastectomy five years ago. Despite a link between BRCA1 and low egg count, Melanie fell pregnant naturally and takes us through her pregnancy from first trimester morning sickness to hospital classes via zoom. She delivered naturally and admits that the reassurance and support she received from a student midwife is something she’ll never forget. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/5/202142 minutes, 10 seconds
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243 | Em, one baby, shared care, student midwife, induction, epidural, vacuum delivery, PND, PTSD, Perinatal Mental Health Unit

In this week’s episode I interview Em about her pregnancy during lockdown. She was induced at 41 weeks and laboured for a long time alone in the maternity ward before she was transferred to the birthing suite where she experienced the cascade of intervention and birthed her baby boy via vacuum delivery. Em was four months postpartum when she disclosed her sadness to her GP and was subsequently diagnosed with PND and PTSD. Three days later she walked into the Perinatal Mental Health Unit at Mitcham Private Hospital. It was a life-changing experience for her and she shares her story in the hope that she can spread the word about the essential postpartum support resources that are available (even if they are notoriously difficult to find). If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/27/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 32 seconds
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242 | AmyTaylor-Kabbaz - Three vaginal births, severe congenital torticollis, postnatal thyroiditis, Hashimotos, breech vaginal birth, premature labour, bedrest, Matrescence

In this week’s episode I chat to Amy Taylor-Kabbaz about her three births and her journey through matrescence. Amy speaks beautifully about the divided heart of motherhood; the pull to be the woman you were before birth and the desire to fully embrace the joy and challenge of being a mother. As she tells her birth stories she simultaneously shares her own transition into motherhood; the physical and mental struggles, her acceptance of it and, eventually, her ability to embrace her new self. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/23/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 41 seconds
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241 | Claire and Luke, Positive Induction Experience, Vaginal Birth, Miscarriage, Clexane, Subchorionic Hematoma, Induction

In this week’s episode, I chat to Claire and Luke who are new parents to baby Beau. They talk in detail about Claire’s two miscarriages, specifically the lack of awareness surrounding the physical pain of the process. Before she fell pregnant for a third time, Claire discovered that she carries a blood clotting gene and her fertility specialist recommended blood thinning medication as soon as she conceived. A subchorionic hematoma was discovered at her 12 week ultrasound but after resolving itself, Claire felt like she could relax into the pregnancy and spent a lot of time practising hypnobirth techniques which proved invaluable for her very positive induction. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/21/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 19 seconds
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240 | Alicia Lucas, Tokyo Birth, Breech, Caesarean, Covid

In this week’s episode, I interview Olympic Athlete Alicia Lukas who gave birth in Tokyo during Covid. Despite every effort, Alicia accepted that no amount of spinning was going to turn her breech baby so she booked in for a planned caesarean with her private obstetrician. Covid rules dictated a lot of the experience - her husband watched the birth over facetime and was only allowed at the hospital for thirty minutes afterwards. Despite the cultural differences, Alicia relished the way the Japanese care for mothers post-birth but as she says, there’s no place like home when you’re a new mum. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/14/20211 hour, 12 minutes, 2 seconds
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239 | Clare Endometriosis, Gestational Diabetes, Maternally Assisted Caesarean, Newborn Hearing Test, Baby Hearing Loss

In this week’s episode, I chat to Clare about her two planned caesarean births. Despite severe endometriosis, Clare fell pregnant easily and sailed through the first half of her pregnancy. However, at her 20 week scan she discovered that her baby had ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ) and shortly afterwards, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Her planned caesarean was straightforward but her recovery was not; extensive adhesions in her uterus caused a long and painful postpartum. She chose a private obstetrician for her second birth and jumped at the chance to have a maternal assisted caesarean but nothing could prepare her for the shock of her baby’s hearing loss diagnosis at six weeks. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Caesarean Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop
6/7/202156 minutes, 2 seconds
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238 | Tess Struber, Vaginal Birth, MGP, birth centre, spontaneous labour, breastfeeding, nipple shield

  In this week’s episode, I chat to Tess who rang her local birth centre when she was six weeks pregnant to make sure she got in (hot tip for those of you hoping for continuity of care with midwives!). Like many first time mums, Tess was convinced she would go into labour early. No matter how many natural induction techniques she tried, nothing worked and she was left feeling defeated and unsure. She was booked to be induced at 41+6 but she woke that day with mild cramps and by 11am she was labouring in the bath at the birth centre. Tess takes us step by step through her labour, her long second stage and her mental and physical challenges. Despite everything, it was a strong and focused mindset that guided her to a wonderful birth. Tess went off the pill in late 2019 and fell pregnant in June 2020. She admits that she didn’t love being pregnant; her’s was not a gorgeous and glamorous instagram pregnancy. 
5/31/202159 minutes, 55 seconds
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237 | Alannah three babies, vaginal birth, retained placenta, miscarriage, PPROM, premature labour, NICU, subchorionic hematoma, vasa previa, caesarean birth

In this week's episode I chat to Alannah about her challenging pregnancies, NICU experiences and her sheer determination to breastfeed despite the hurdles. Her first pregnancy and birth was smooth sailing so when her waters broke at 19weeks with her second baby, she felt like her world had turned upside down. A long hospital stay ensued and she delivered baby Maisey at 29 weeks before enduring the rollercoaster of NICU for 60 days. A surprise pregnancy a year later came with concerns, including the increased risk of Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM) and early bleeding from a subchorionic hematoma, but it was vasa previa, where blood vessels extend from one lobe of the placenta to another and cover the opening of the cervix - that placed her in a high-risk category and prompted a caesarean birth at 33 weeks. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/26/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 20 seconds
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236 | Yahna Vaginal Birth, Adoption, Shared Care, Spurious Labour, Induction, Episiotomy, Breastfeed

In this week’s episode, I chat to Yahna about her experience with shared care (pregnancy care shared between a GP and the hospital). As she explains, she believed that shared care offered continuity of care when in actual fact, she was seen by many different midwives in her third trimester and treated as a number on the maternity ward. After days of spurious (false) labour she was induced but due to a bed shortage, laboured in multiple rooms before she was given a birthing suite. Despite the upheaval of her experience, Yahna reflects on the joy of breastfeeding and the deep bond with baby Sunday, the first biological family member she has ever known. As an adoptee, Yahna admits that when she gave birth, she also gained a newfound love and respect for her birth mother. Baby Sunday was a happy accident. Yahna had been on the pill for 16 years when she decided to take a break after seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. “When you’re not planning to conceive a baby, there’s a long thought process...can we afford this? Can we do this? Are we ready? With time we eased into the idea of it and became really excited.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/24/202156 minutes, 32 seconds
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235 | Steph Claire Smith, Vaginal Birth, Private Obstetrician, PCOS, Induction, Antenatal Expressing,

In today’s episode I interview Steph Claire Smith who was first diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 21. She managed to regulate her menstrual cycles by focussing on health, wellness and regular acupuncture treatments and years later, fell pregnant easily. She timed her exhausting first trimester with stage four lockdown in Melbourne and sailed through the rest of her pregnancy, choosing to practise gratitude for all she experienced, despite the inevitable discomfort and challenges that arose in the third trimester. Steph admits that well-meaning messages from friends and followers regarding natural methods for induction definitely affected her mental health and she subsequently chose to be induced at 41weeks.  Today's episode is brought to you by The Birth Class. After listening to hundreds of birth stories, pregnancy and birth experiences over the years (and birthing my own three beautiful boys) I have created my dream online childbirth education course. The Birth Class. Inside The Birth Class you will enjoy 9 incredibly insightful audio interviews with some of Australia’s favourite midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and yoga teachers Together we unpack: every aspect of birth, including the stages of labour, the role of the body's naturally occurring hormones in birth, how to prepare your body during pregnancy for birth through optimal maternal positioning and how to harness your breath and sound and use active birthing techniques, how to prepare for a VBAC, What to expect in a Caesarean and lots more. The Birth Class also includes an 80-page colour illustrated workbook with transcripts of the audio interviews and a hospital bag checklist, birth preferences checklist for you to print and customise. In order to ensure you have mastered the breathing and relaxation techniques we discuss in the course, I have also included a 25minute Yoga Nidra meditation and a 5-minute breathing exercise you can practice throughout your pregnancy.  . If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/19/202158 minutes, 13 seconds
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234 | Teigan McKinnon, Identical Twins MCDA, Vaginal Birth, IVF, Induction, Epidural, Antenatal Expressing, Tandem Breastfeeding

Due to many requests, I’m delighted to chat to Teigan McKinnon in this week’s episode. You can hear Teigan’s first birth story in episode 100 but today we talk about her recent twin birth with babies Violet and Audrey. Conceived via IVF, Teigan’s embryo split in two and at her first dating scan she discovered she was pregnant with twins. After being warned of the complications of identical MCDA twins (two amniotic sacs but a shared placenta), her pregnancy was relatively straight-forward and after being induced at 36weeks, she delivered both girls vaginally with an epidural. Today's episode of the show is brought to you by . esmi Skin Minerals is proudly Australian made, vegan and cruelty free! esmi uses a be kind to your skin approach, feeding your skin with the ingredients you need. The best part is, almost all of esmi’s wide range of products are pregnancy and breastfeeding safe! I've been loving my Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum from esmi - it's quick-absorbing and like a big drink of water for your skin. It leaves my skin feeling plump and perfectly hydrated before I apply my moisturising step. As a special treat for our community this month, esmi are offering you a FREE mini 24k Gold Nourishing Oil when you spend over $60 or more on their website. Simply enter code at checkout. This oil targets dryness, dehydration and ageing and pairs perfectly with the Hydrating Serum. AUSBIRTHGIFT code is valid for a limited time, so don't miss out. This offer is available until the 4th of June 2021. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/17/20211 hour, 44 seconds
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233 | Elise, Surrogate Pregnancy, IVF, GBS, Covid lockdown, Vaginal Delivery

I first interviewed Elise about the births of her three children in episode 42 Since then she has spent two years on a unique journey as a surrogate mum. She talks us through her initial calling to be a surrogate, the first meeting with the intended parents and the psychological screening required before the IVF process began. As Elise explains, it was not always a smooth, joyful experience and the challenges she faced towards the end of her pregnancy were stressful, especially surrounding Covid lockdown laws and the number of support people allowed in the birth centre. Despite the tense anticipation and the stress of the unknown, Elise’s birth was very straightforward and the moment she handed baby Archie to his mum made it all worthwhile. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/13/20211 hour, 42 minutes, 28 seconds
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232 | Fiona Killackey, Two Caeesarean births, Miscarriage, Secondary Infertility

In this week’s episode I interview Fiona @mydailybusinesscoach who shares her confronting experience of an emergency caesarean in London. She was discharged 24hours after birth and while she spent much of her first week at home anxious and sore, a visit from a gentle and wise lactation consultant was exactly what she needed to settle into new motherhood. After returning to Australia and setting up their life in Melbourne, Fiona and her husband spent two years trying to conceive before they explored their options with IUI and IVF. Fiona made the conscious decision to have a planned caesarean with baby Elio and under the care of her beloved obstetrician she experienced a joyful birth that she fondly remembers as one of the best days of her life. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/10/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 41 seconds
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231 | Georgia, two vaginal births, midwifery group practice, breastfeeding, placenta encapsulation

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to the delightful Georgia who takes us through her two pregnancies and births. Her surprise first pregnancy was a life-changing shock but she took it in her stride and delivered little Tex with the support of the midwifery team at Geelong Hospital. Her second pregnancy was as smooth as the first but she went into labour at the height of the national Covid lockdown. Despite extra precautions at the hospital, her labour was speedy and she delivered baby Ivy with ease. I adore Georgia’s honesty and her detailed discussion of placenta encapsulation is a great listen for anyone considering doing it for themselves. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/29/202151 minutes, 20 seconds
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230 | Marley three vaginal births, Indigenous Australian, antenatal depression, appendicitis.

In this week’s episode, I chat to Marley Morgan an Indigenous woman who is raising her three children on Gumbaynggirr land. After a surprise pregnancy at the age of 26, Marley was confronted by a variety of health concerns that took a toll on her mental health and led to an ante-natal depression diagnosis. Her journey into motherhood was challenging but when she reached out to her local mother’s group she recognised the importance of a supportive village. She’s birthed three boys in four years and has consciously worked on her mental and physical health, has grown a successful business that celebrates women and motherhood and has experienced the joy of intervention-free birth with the support of midwives. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/26/202158 minutes, 20 seconds
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229 | Emma PCOS, Breast Implant Removal, Emergency Caesarean, Prodromal Labour

In honour of caesarean awareness month, I chat to Emma about her pregnancy and birth. Despite her intention to have a birth with minimal intervention, days of prodromal labour coupled with exhaustion, dehydration and obstructed labour due to baby’s position, led her to an emergency cesarean. Despite everything, Emma admits that she felt empowered and supported every step of the way, particularly in the depths of her labour when she felt like she was losing control and was debilitated with exhaustion. “I honestly believe that it’s not about how you birth but how you’re treated in birth,” she says.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/22/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 53 seconds
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228 | Kristin three births, vacuum delivery, miscarriage, homebirth, waterbirth, doula

In this week’s episode I chat to Kristin; a mother of three who let her intuition guide her throughout her pregnancies and subsequently experienced three beautiful, empowering births (albeit not without their challenges). Five miscarriages in a fifteen-month period left her anxious and fearful but once she passed the 12 week mark with her son, Toby, she settled into her pregnancy and refused to let her obstetrician class her as high risk. She took responsibility for her birth, hired a private midwife and birthed in the water at home. Kristin talks confidently and clearly about her pregnancy and birth experiences and is incredibly inspiring, especially in regards to owning her birth journey and surrounding herself with people who supported and guided her. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/19/20211 hour, 1 minute, 19 seconds
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227 | Sarah Type 1 Diabetic, Caesarean Birth, Special Care Nursery, High Blood Pressure

Sarah shares about her life with Type 1 Diabetes and the effect her diagnosis had on her conception and pregnancy. Sarah admits that she did minimal preparation for her labour and birth and while she went in with limited skills, she also experienced a severe lack of communication from the obstetricians and midwives caring for her, both during birth and postpartum. Her story is a really important one, especially for first-time mums who are questioning the significance of birth preparation and want to advocate for themselves in the hospital system. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/11/202147 minutes, 11 seconds
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226 | Sonia Covid pregnancy, home birth, water birth, postpartum doula, tail of spence.

In this week’s episode, I chat to Sonia who discovered she was pregnant at the very start of the pandemic. She spent the following eight months immersed in birth documentaries and positive birth stories, intent on creating a birth space where she could be supported by her partner and her closest friends as she laboured. She speaks softly and with heart about her home water birth, the way she roared her daughter into the world and the bliss-filled days that followed. It’s so important to hear stories like Sonia’s and to remind ourselves that with mindful preparation and a supportive caregiver, birth can be a joyous and powerful experience. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/28/202152 minutes, 22 seconds
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225 | Dani two vaginal births, PCOS, endometriosis, fertility treatment, twins, inverted nipples

In this week’s episode I chat to @daniloxton about her fertility issues and the journey to conceiving her daughter and her twins. As a yoga teacher and a doula-in-training, Dani knows what it’s like to balance a natural lifestyle with the reality of a PCOS and endometriosis diagnosis. She required fertility treatment for her pregnancies and medication for nausea but then experienced quick and smooth deliveries for all three babies. We chat a lot about her twin pregnancy, the shock of discovering she was pregnant with twins, antenatal depression and her empowered delivery despite the unwelcome presence of an obstetrician demanding a cesarean. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/21/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 51 seconds
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224 | Ellesse Hawkins, Placenta Previa, Pilates Instructor, Private Obstetrician, Emergency Caesarean

In today’s episode I interview Ellesse who shares the birth of her son Bowie. Ellesse is a pilates instructor who runs her own business at Fleur Wellbeing Pilates Studio. The Covid lockdown started just as Ellesse discovered she was pregnant. She found this a blessing initially as she suffered from intense morning sickness and working from home allowed her to be sick and rest in between Zoom pilates classes. At her 20 week scan, Ellesse discovered she had placenta previa, her placenta was completely covering her cervix. This diagnosis meant that she had to stop doing all forms of exercise which was very challenging as a very active person. It also impacted her work as she couldn’t demonstrate in her classes. It was at this time that Ellesse started to mentally prepare for a caesarean birth. To find out how things unfolded for Ellesse tune into this week’s episode. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/18/20211 hour, 1 minute, 54 seconds
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223 | Yumi two vaginal births, doula, public hospital, racism, birth trauma, PTSD, retained placenta, homebirth, private midwife, waterbirth

In this week’s episode, I interview Yumi Takahashi who is featured in the recent Birth Time documentary. I aim to share a variety of stories in this space and I believe that Yumi’s experience is essential listening for birthing mothers and, perhaps more importantly, for the midwives and obstetricians who care for them. In her first pregnancy, she chose her local public hospital and had unwavering faith in the system. But it was the system that failed her; she received racist remarks throughout her pregnancy, abusive treatment during her birth and was left with trauma that still exists today. When she fell pregnant with her second child, she chose a private midwife and homebirth. As she says: “My fear came from the system, from the people trying to control my body. I had no fear of birth.” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/14/20211 hour, 29 minutes, 13 seconds
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222 | Claire Same Sex Couple, Home Birth, co-feeding, Induced Lactation

In today’s episode, Claire shares how she and her partner Steph had a home birth with their little girl LJ. As a same-sex couple, Claire and Steph used a home insemination process with sperm given to them from a very good friend. As a naturopath, Claire carefully monitored her cycles and use acupuncture to help make the process as smooth as possible. They were lucky enough to conceive on their first home transfer. Despite starting with GP Shared care Claire knew that she wanted a low intervention home birth. Claire decided to start interviewing private midwives to have a home birth and she found a lovely midwife who she and Steph connected with and they hired her for their pregnancy and home birth care. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/11/202159 minutes, 27 seconds
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221 | Melissa Ayling Unassisted Car Birth, Hypnobirthing

This week I revisit one of my very first interviews where I chat with Melissa a hypnobirthing practitioner based in Geraldton, WA. Melissa’s story really encompasses the power of developing faith and trust in the body and its ability to birth. She talks us through her smooth first birth but it’s the arrival of her second baby that takes up most of our conversation. She discusses the techniques she used to actively prepare for labour and she talks us through the stages of birth, from first contractions to the way she let her intuition guide her through a side-of-the-road car birth, a calm, empowering and overwhelmingly ecstatic experience. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/7/202153 minutes, 54 seconds
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220 | Ellen, solo parenthood, sperm donor, IVF, GD, vaginal hematoma, low breastmilk supply

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to Ellen, a solo mum who navigated four years of IVF to conceive her daughter, Lola. She takes us through ten rounds of IVF, her experience with Gestational Diabetes and the end of her pregnancy where she was faced with two options: and induction at 38weeks or a cesarean at 39weeks. After much thought and soul searching, she opted for a planned cesarean because it gave her more time to allow labour to commence naturally. And it did! Her joyful birth was everything she dreamed of. However, her postpartum experience was challenging and she admits that the pain, struggle and vulnerability was confronting, especially in regards to breastfeeding. Ellen’s story really clarifies the lengths some women go to conceive their babies and the importance of listening to the intuitive voice within. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/4/202155 minutes, 20 seconds
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219 | Rachael Rose two births, HG, shared care, doula, PPH, homebirth, birth rights

In this week’s episode I interview Rachel - a women’s circle facilitator, pregnancy and birth doula and mother of two. Rachael is incredibly well educated in the birth space and offers an insightful glimpse into the hospital system and the protocols that can often stand in stark contrast to the natural progression of labour and birth. She highlights the fragmentation of the Australian birth system, the inevitable challenges that can arise from having multiple care providers and the trauma of Hyperemesis Provardum (HG) and Postpartum Hemorrhaging (PPH). Throughout our interview she speaks from a passionate, open heart about birthing as a sexual abuse survivor, embracing birth as a rite of passage and roaring through a glorious redemptive homebirth supported by a trusted midwife and doula. This episode is brimming with facts, stats, information and inspiration. Once you start listening you won’t want to stop.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/1/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 46 seconds
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218 | Maha Corbett, IVF, Egg Freezing, Over 40, Overstimulation, IUGR, Pre-eclampsia

In this week’s episode I interview Maha who talks about her experience with egg freezing as a single woman in her late thirties. It’s a pertinent topic for our times yet one that’s rarely discussed, hence Maha’s desire to share her story in the hope that it informs and empowers other women in a similar situation. A year later she started considering sperm donors yet life had a different plan; she reconnected with a long-term friend, they fell in love and started trying for a family. Maha fell pregnant through IVF on her first attempt yet her pregnancy was difficult; her placenta wasn’t the optimal size and baby Joshua was diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). Maha takes us right through her special journey that spans three years; it’s a beautiful story that isn’t without its challenges but is inspiring nonetheless. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/22/202157 minutes
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216 | Turia Pitt Two Vaginal Births, OB, Induction, Breastfeeding Exercise for Mothers

In this week’s episode, I interview Turia Pitt who talks about her life-changing accident and her journey to motherhood. Resilient, funny and incredibly sweet, Turia shares the details of her pregnancies and labours as well as the challenges of the postpartum period. Most poignant of all is the way she eased into motherhood with her second son, Rahiti, having learnt that lots of visitors are not conducive to a relaxed and restful fourth trimester. She’s just launched her new running program for mums, aptly called Run With Turia and she’s incredibly passionate about encouraging women to ease into running regardless of their mental or physical limitations. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/7/202155 minutes, 10 seconds
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215 | Jana Pittman four babies, exercise in pregnancy, breastfeeding and implants, IVF, sperm donor, varicose veins

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to retired Olympic athlete, doctor and mother of four, Jana Pittman. Her story is a colourful one and honestly, we could have talked for hours! She generously takes us through her motherhood journey which began when she was at the peak of her athletic career. After her marriage breakup she opted to have two more children with a sperm donor and navigated medical school with solo parenthood. Most recently, she shares her experience as a junior doctor, her hopes to become an OBGYN and the very quick birth of her fourth baby. But most importantly, she shares her advice and experience as a doctor and a mum and discusses so many common issues for pregnant and postpartum women; incontinence, holistic birth, exercise after birth, IVF, varicose veins, breastfeeding challenges (including breastfeeding with implants). You will learn so much from Doctor Jana!  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/4/202159 minutes, 29 seconds
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214 | Blair Two Births, IVF, ICSI, Pelvic Girdle Pain, Induction, Epidural, Forceps, Incontinence

In this week’s episode I interview Blair who tells the story of her traumatic first birth where a quick forceps delivery left her with significant internal damage and incontinence issues. “I felt like birth happened to me, I didn’t contribute at all,” she says. Her introduction to motherhood was challenging as she dealt with an infected hematoma, had difficulty bonding with her baby and navigated the sudden onset of postnatal anxiety. She fell pregnant unexpectedly the following year and actively prepared for an intervention-free birth which was quick, joyous and wonderfully healing, both physically and emotionally. Blair admits that she sought out stories of women who had experienced a redemptive second birth after a challenging first and now she’s delighted to be sharing her own. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/1/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 59 seconds
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213 | Bianca Two Births, Down Syndrome, NICU, IUGR, VBAC

In this week’s episode I interview Bianca who, at the age of 22, fell pregnant unexpectedly and navigated the complex reality of a Downs Syndrome diagnosis. Despite multiple health professionals advising her to terminate, she chose to keep her baby, journeyed through a tumultuous pregnancy and delivered him at 34weeks via caesarean. Baby Oliver was born with a heart condition and spent 12 weeks in NICU before being transferred to Melbourne Children’s Hospital for life-saving surgery. During her second pregnancy, Bianca was determined to actively prepare for a VBAC and with the support of her caregivers, she delivered another beautiful boy. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
1/25/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 46 seconds
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212 | Bella same sex marriage, sperm donor, IVF, retained placenta

In this week’s episode, I chat to Bella about her journey to motherhood with her wife Moana Hope. After choosing a sperm donor and attempting a few rounds of IUI, Bella started IVF and fell pregnant on her first attempt. She takes us through the elation, nausea and worry of her pregnancy, most of which she spent in Melbourne’s long winter lockdown. Baby Svea was born after a beautiful natural birth and while the postpartum period was relatively smooth for Bella, she grew concerned when she started bleeding heavily at six weeks. An ultrasound confirmed her OB’s suspicions; she had retained 5cm of placenta and needed to have it removed. Despite the shock of having to go into hospital and be separated from Svea, Bella has recovered well and is determined to share her story to encourage other new mums to listen intently to their postpartum body and speak up if something doesn’t feel right. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
1/18/202159 minutes, 46 seconds
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211 | Bernadette Lack, Midwife, two births, incontinence, prolapse, pelvic floor, GBS, homebirth

In my first interview of the year, I chat with Bernadette of @coreandfloorrestore - a midwife, personal trainer and mother of two boys. Bernadette’s unique story involves incontinence before pregnancy and she details the debilitating experience of consistently wetting herself as her pregnancy progressed. Her empowering first birth encouraged a new sense of self-belief so she delved into research and reminded herself of one basic fact: the pelvic floor is a muscle and like all muscles, it can heal. Subsequently, she created her own program which has helped women with prolapse and incontinence issues and continues to be a fabulous resource for those dealing with the shame and discomfort of a weakened pelvic floor. Aside from Bernadette's abundance of knowledge, she talks in detail about her two beautiful homebirths, what it’s like to labour as a midwife and the shift in family dynamics as the firstborn tentatively welcomes the new baby. An absolute must-listen for all women, but especially those who suffer incontinence in silence. Please know that you’re not alone! Bernadette’s newborn, Aloysius, is only two weeks old when I chat to her so she’s very much in the bliss and exhaustion of the fourth trimester. However, she has a wealth of knowledge and I can’t quite believe how much we covered in this episode. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
1/10/20211 hour, 39 minutes, 6 seconds
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210 | Kyree Harvey Induction, Failed Epidural, Episiotomy, Vaginal Delivery After 3CT

In the final episode of the year, I interview Kyree Harvey about her intense third birth with baby Denver. She made the informed decision to be induced and after a slow build up she fought her way through 40minutes of incredibly painful active labour and delivered Denver amidst the panic of his heart rate plummeting. Kyree bares all in this interview and she shares some really wonderful knowledge and advice about opting for birth preferences over a birth plan, recovering from an episiotomy and severe tear and the importance of seeing a women’s health physiotherapist post-birth, no matter what kind of birth you have (I agree, Kyree!). You can hear Kyree talk about her first two births in . Her first birth with baby Alaska involved two weeks of false labour, an induction at 39weeks and an episiotomy that took months to heal. In preparation for her second birth, she did a Hypnobirthing Australia course that shifted her mindset around birth and she journeyed into her induction with an incredibly positive and determined perspective. She delivered an 11pound baby boy and suffered a severe 3C tear, an experience that she shares in detail.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
12/7/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 6 seconds
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209 | Lauren teenage pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, vacuum delivery, breastfeeding, endometriosis

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to student-midwife and mother of two (almost three), Lauren. Half-way through her final year of high school, Lauren fell pregnant at the age of 16. She shares her teen pregnancy journey, her traumatic first birth and redemptive second. Now she’s come full circle as she works towards finishing her midwifery degree and looks forward to supporting pregnant women and especially teen mums as they journey towards birth and motherhood. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
12/2/202059 minutes, 36 seconds
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208 | Elise Cook, Midwifery care, birth centre, IUGR, positive induction experience.

In this week’s episode I chat to Elise Cook about womanhood, pregnancy and the dichotomy of birth; the immense pain and immeasurable love. She tells a beautiful story of listening to her intuition and consciously choosing to conceive, letting go of her fear and placing her energy in trust. She spent most of her pregnancy in the quiet of covid lockdown but as she journeyed closer to her due date doctors started to show concerns about her baby’s growth in utero and she was diagnosed with IUGR. Elise kindly shares all the intimate details of her positive induction birth and the joy and challenge of the days and weeks that followed. In my opinion, it’s a must-listen. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
11/29/20201 hour, 27 minutes, 21 seconds
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207 | Ashe Davenport Two Births, 42 weeks, Induction, Epidural, Postnatal Depression.

After a gloriously indulgent holiday in Mexico, Ashe and her husband, Sam, returned to Melbourne and fell pregnant soon after. Her easy conception was misleading; she expected the rest of the journey to be smooth and it wasn’t like that at all. Physically it was a straightforward, textbook pregnancy but her emotional journey was tumultuous. She enrolled in the midwifery programme at the Royal Womens in Melbourne where she saw a different midwife at every appointment, an experience that didn’t allow her to connect with or open up to her caregivers. “I wish I had hired a doula or had a dedicated midwife; I didn’t feel a connection to the hospital nor did I have a solid team to fall back on and find comfort in.” In the lead up to her due date and the weeks that followed, Ashe encountered a number of fear-inducing obstetricians who warned her of the worst case scenarios if she refused an induction. Thankfully, there was one midwife who offered a different perspective. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
11/22/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 8 seconds
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206 | Nadia Three Births, Chromosomal Abnormality, Stillbirth, Caesarean, Maternal-Assisted Caesarean

In this week’s episode I chat to Nadia about her three births including her most recent; a maternal-assisted cesarean. Nadia’s first son, a boy named Pio, was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal abnormality and was born via cesarean at 20weeks. She discusses her disbelief at the diagnosis and the subsequent grief of her loss followed by the healing arrival of her rainbow baby, Riviera.   Nadia found her mothering groove when Riviera was six-months-old so the last thing she expected was to fall pregnant again. Her second daughter, Florencia, was born in the middle of Melbourne’s Covid lockdown but despite restrictions, she was delighted to have the opportunity to experience a natural cesarean and admits that the bond and connection was instant. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
11/15/202052 minutes, 22 seconds
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204 | Fran PANDA, caesarean birth, PPH, DMER, mental health, PPD, antenatal anxiety

In honour of Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) Week, I chat to Fran of Franjos Kitchen who shares the intricacies of her mental health and motherhood journey. She admits that it took two births and a miscarriage for her to see the very distinct connection between her hormones and her brain. She recalls the depths of her despair with unflinching honesty and talks in detail about the thoughts she was having and the way she was feeling. She fell into a dark place after her miscarriage and consequently sought professional help from a psychologist and a psychiatrist and was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar-vulnerability to hormones. She experienced antenatal depression during the first trimester of her first pregnancy. She was physically and mentally unwell, so much so that she was sobbing in the shower and wishing for the pregnancy to end. However, a week later, as she headed into the second trimester, she felt like a different person. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
11/8/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 43 seconds
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205 | April PCOS, Teenage Pregnancy, Gestational Diabetes, Postnatal Anxiety and Depression, Clomid, Premature baby

In this week’s episode, I chat to April who suffers from PCOS and was 19 when she found out she was pregnant with her first baby. After a series of tests to work out why she was suffering recurrent dizzy spells, April was told she was 17 weeks pregnant. Ten weeks later she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and after she welcomed her son into the world, she suffered from postnatal anxiety and undiagnosed postnatal depression. Nine years later she birthed her daughter seven weeks early in the midst of the NSW bushfires and takes us through her NICU journey. Frank and from the heart, April discusses the importance of clinical and community support for young mums and encourages all women to be honest about their mental health concerns from the very beginning of their pregnancy. 
11/2/202058 minutes, 7 seconds
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203 | Kellee Three Births, Birth Centre, Home Birth, Hip Dysplasia, Tongue Tie

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to Kellee from @littlehumanlinens about her three births. As an emergency nurse, she had to consciously let go of the need to manage her own pregnancy and birth and instead place her trust in her midwife. She speaks candidly about her emotional response to becoming a mother and the identity crisis that followed; the inevitable ups and downs of postpartum that all mums experience to some extent. She also navigated the tricky reality of a baby with hip dysplasia and severe tongue tie. She decided to birth at home with her third after experiencing a very speedy second birth. “Homebirth felt like the safest option for me because as soon as labour began a midwife would come to my house to look after me. It just felt right. Good, solid, safe home birth is a really amazing option and for us it was just perfect. It took away a lot of anxiety for me.” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/28/20201 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
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202 | Liana Breast Cancer During Pregnancy , Chemotherapy, Caesarean, Mastectomy

In this week’s episode I interview Liana who, at 9 weeks pregnant, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She admits that she went into survival mode when her doctor delivered the news and from then on was determined to do everything she could to deliver a healthy baby. Regardless of surgery and six months of chemotherapy, Liana remained positive and nurtured a positive mindset so she could embrace her pregnancy despite the almighty upheavals. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Liana’s story highlights the importance of breast checks and breast awareness. For more information about breast screening, visit bcna.org.au If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/25/202052 minutes, 32 seconds
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201 | Bannie Yoga in Pregnancy, Private Obstetrician, Episiotomy, Breastfeeding Oversupply

Bannie shares suffered terrible morning sickness during her pregnancy which she had under the care of a private Obstetrician. Bannie, a yoga teacher and owner of @fortgreen yoga studio in Melbourne’s north. Crippled with nausea and vomiting in her first trimester, she was physically and mentally challenged by the rapid changes to her body and was relieved when her second trimester gave her renewed energy and strength. She practised yoga throughout her pregnancy, flowing through asanas with newfound flexibility (thanks to a burst of relaxin), bonding with her baby and creating mental space and awareness that she would utilise in her labour. She birthed in the private hospital under the care of her obstetrician and went home after four days with a deep appreciation for her body and its innate power. Inspired to support pregnant women and new mothers, she is currently training to be a pre and postnatal yoga teacher. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/21/202057 minutes, 21 seconds
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200 | Johanna Nicholson Unexplained Infertility, IVF Journey, Caesarean Delivery

In this week’s episode I interview ABC journalist, Johanna Nicholson who details the highs and lows of her five year journey to conceive and birth her baby boy, Henry. Unexplained infertility affects up 15% of Australian couples and for Jo and her husband James, it was a long and sometimes frustrating road. They eventually opted for IVF and after the heartbreaking loss of their first pregnancy, Jo conceived Henry and carried him to full term. She recalls her birth experience with reverence, detailing every step of the journey from induction and cesarean birth to the trip home from hospital and the sleepy, beautiful, challenging first few weeks. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/18/202049 minutes, 21 seconds
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199 | Jessica Prescott, Two Fast Homebirths, in Berlin and Melbourne, Postpartum Care, Breastfeeding Journey

In this week’s episode I chat to Jessica Prescott who is the author of three vegan cookbooks including the newly released Vegan One-Pot Wonders and co-founder of Melbourne-based Mama Goodness an organic food delivery service for new mums. She talks us through her two homebirths - one in Berlin and one in Melbourne - and compares her labour, delivery and postpartum experiences. It was the stark contrast between her births and breastfeeding experiences, which she discusses in detail, that have encouraged her to pursue a career as a postpartum doula. Jess’ story is heartwarming, funny and informative and it really emphasises the importance of community and support during the postpartum period. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/11/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 50 seconds
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198 | Annabel Bower Stillbirth, Miscarriage, Grief After Loss, NICU, Placental Insufficiency

For this week's episode and in honour of Infant Loss Week, I interview Annabel Bower who takes us through her experience of stillbirth and the immense, layered grief that followed. Two weeks after her fourth child - a boy named Miles - was born still, she started writing about her experience so she could record all the little details that she knew would eventually fade. As she journeyed through grief that stripped all colour from her world, she documented the days and weeks of life after loss and went on to interview women who had experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. The finished project is her book, Miles Apart, a heartfelt offering of support for those who have lost a baby and are enduring the incomprehensible grief. Annabel hopes that her words break the stigma and the silence of miscarriage and stillbirth and open a vital conversation for us all to have. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
10/4/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 18 seconds
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197 | Ellie Bullen, Hypnobirth, Private Obstetrician, Epidural, Covid.

In today’s episode I interview Ellie Bullen about the birth of her baby boy Bowie. Ellie discovered she was pregnant sooner than she had expected however  he was a very welcomed surprise. As she was a first time mum, Ellie decided to book in with a private Obstetrician so that she could have continuity of care through a private hospital near by to her home. Ellie and her husband Alex took a private Hypnobirthing Australia course to prepare for a low intervention and relaxed water birth. Ellie’s identical twin sister made the journey back to the Gold Coast from Bali during Covid and was required to isolate in a hotel for 14days when she arrived. Ellie was able to drop off parcels and wave to her from outside and they both crossed their fingers that Ellie wouldn't go into labour early.  To hear more about how Elli’s birth unfolded, tune into this week’s episode. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/30/202055 minutes, 38 seconds
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196 | Sarah Midwife, Two Births, Water Birth, Micro-Preemie, NICU Journey.

In this week’s episode I chat to Sarah, a mother of two and midwife who cherishes the work she does with pregnant women. When it came time to birth her first baby, she experienced a truly beautiful water birth in the birth centre surrounded by her fellow midwives. Her second pregnancy was symptom-free until her waters broke at 25weeks. She takes us through her experience, from the denial of what was happening to the frightening realisation that she would be delivering her baby at 25weeks via classical cesarean and then the stress, grief and elation of NICU life. Sarah offers heartfelt, practical advice for NICU parents, discusses the beauty and challenge of breastfeeding a premature baby and lists the practical things she did everyday to work through her worry and grief. Her micro-preemie, Chloe, is now an energetic, inquisitive two-year-old and Sarah is more passionate than ever about supporting new mothers.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/27/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 26 seconds
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195 | Jodie Brett, Two Births, Planned Caesareans, Private Obstetrician, Fistula

In this week’s episode I chat to Jodie about her two planned cesarean births. When she was 18-months-old, she was diagnosed with a fistula which was repaired shortly afterwards. The issue arose again when she was 11 and after surgery she was told she would never be able to birth naturally. She remembers feeling sad that her choice had been taken away from her but when it came time to prepare for her first birth, she felt empowered by her knowledge and was comforted by her supportive obstetrician. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/20/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 19 seconds
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194 | Stevie Dillon, Hyperthyroidism, Endometriosis, Epidural, Caesarean, Breastfeeding Challenges

In this week’s episode I chat to Stevie about her pregnancy and birth with baby Jimmy. After struggling to conceive and experiencing painful periods for as long as she can remember, Stevie saw a fertility specialist and was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, hyperthyroidism and endometriosis. A few months after a laparoscopy she fell pregnant and had a smooth and symptom-free pregnancy. She recalls the details of her labour and cesarean birth as well as the challenge of those first few days when she was exhausted, in pain and struggling to breastfeed. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/14/202055 minutes, 34 seconds
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193 | Dad's Edition: Five Dad's Share Their Experiences and Advice

In honour of Father’s Day, I took the opportunity to interview five dads about their experience of pregnancy and birth. They each talk candidly about birth preparation and the highs and lows of the labour ward, in particular the mental and emotional challenges of seeing their wives labour through pain and intervention. Throughout their stories they share advice and top tips for dads-to-be which are beautifully relevant for the birth day and the postpartum period. I really enjoyed gleaning a different perspective for this episode and I’m so grateful for the humour and insight that each of the men shared with me. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
9/7/202049 minutes, 36 seconds
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192 | Oceane Same-Sex Marriage, IVF, Donor Sperm, Homebirth, Midwife.

In this week’s episode, I chat to Oceane, a midwife and mother of three who so generously shares the beautiful, intricate details of her two homebirths. She also tells the story of her wife’s birth and the journey they have taken to become parents with donor sperm and IVF, the logic involved in deciding who will be pregnant and the joy of breastfeeding at the same time. Oceane’s story is inspiring, informative and heartwarming and the video of baby Emmeline’s arrival captures the euphoria of supported and trusted family-centred birth.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/30/20201 hour, 26 minutes, 9 seconds
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191 | Mel Dimmitt Emergency Caesarean, Special Needs Child, Cerebral Palsy

In this week’s episode, I interview Melanie Dimmitt about her two births and her experience as a special needs mum. Mel talks us through the moment she was in the hospital with her first baby, Arlo, awaiting an induction. She was watching the fetal heart rate monitor when she noticed a dramatic fall in Arlo’s heartbeat. Ten minutes later he was born via emergency cesarean and once awake, Mel was wheeled into NICU to meet her baby boy. Mel and her husband Rohan stayed positive in the months that followed but when Arlo was six-month-old he was given a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and they started a daily treatment plan with a variety of specialists. Overwhelmed by their new reality, Mel used her journalism skills to reach out to a variety of special needs parents. The result is @the_special_book; an uplifting companion for parents who are navigating their child’s diagnosis in an often overwhelming (and initially terrifying) special needs world. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/24/202055 minutes, 20 seconds
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190 | Julia Busuttil Nishimura, Two Vaginal Births, Midwifery Care, Postnatal Anxiety

In this week’s episode I chat to Julia Busuttil Nishimura @juliaostro about her journey into motherhood and the obstacles she faced in her first year with both her boys, Haruki and Yukito. She chose midwifery care for her pregnancies and ventured into each labour feeling prepared and supported. Her births were challenging albeit positive experiences yet her postpartum experience with breastfeeding and anxiety has been difficult. Julia shares her breast and bottle feeding experience and discusses the importance of psychological support for new mums, particularly in the first year when overwhelm and loneliness can outweigh the beauty and joy.  Breaking down the stigmas attached to mental health and postpartum is essential and it starts right here, in the sharing of honest and heartfelt stories. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/16/202048 minutes, 58 seconds
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189 | Kate Homebirth Waterbirth Stillbirth Miscarriage Placenta Encapsulation

In this week’s episode I interview Kate, one third of the @kipandco team. Kate birthed three of her boys at home with the support of her midwife and she used hip-opening practises and active birth techniques during labour to help her achieve a water birth every time. She’s always been grateful for the opportunity to create a homebirth space, one where she envisioned her happiest moments occurring. So when she discovered, at 29 weeks in her second pregnancy, that her baby had died, she opted to birth in hospital with the unwavering support of her husband, her midwife and a team of empathetic nurses. Kate shares her grief of those days with profound vulnerability and talks about her healing journey in the years that followed. It was an honour to hear your story, Kate. Thank you so much for sharing. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/10/20201 hour, 20 minutes, 35 seconds
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188 | Carla Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Emergency Cesarean Miscarriage

In this week’s episode I chat to Carla, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and the co-founder of @thegoldenmonth, a traditional postnatal care service for modern mothers. Carla works closely with women at all stages of their fertility journey so when she discovered she was pregnant, she knew a lot about the highs and lows of pregnancy. However, nothing could prepare her for the debilitating reflux, the lack of sleep and a labour that progressed slowly and painfully over three long days. Carla is open and honest about the relief of an emergency cesarean, the despair and regret that arose weeks afterward and the grief of miscarriage, an experience she couldn’t imagine until she was in the midst of it. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
8/2/202055 minutes, 34 seconds
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187 | Jody Giardina Midwifery Care Vaginal Births, Covid-19

In this week's episode I chat to Jody Mustang about her two natural births with midwifery care. Intent on experiencing a non-medicated birth with her first baby, Jody embraced a variety of preparation techniques that she used during pregnancy and labour (affirmations, visualisations and breathing skills) and they gave her the confidence to trust her body despite the concerns of the obstetricians on the ward. Her second pregnancy took an unexpected turn in her third trimester when her husband made the call to move from LA back to NSW at the start of the pandemic. Jody shifted her mindset to embrace a new birth plan and she subsequently experienced an empowering and quick delivery. Informative and inspiring, Jody’s story is proof that knowledge is most definitely power. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/26/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 26 seconds
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186 | Alex Parker lives with Cystic Fibrosis, Gestational Diabetes, Induced Vaginal Birth

In this week’s bonus episode I chat to Alex - @alexandrenaparker - who lives with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease that affects her lung and digestive function. Alex, her husband Mike and their three-year-old daughter, Ruby, have been in strict isolation for 136 days as she is incredibly vulnerable. As masks become mandatory in Melbourne, I urge you to listen to Alex’s insightful story and learn a bit about her life (and her pregnancy) with chronic illness. At this stage, Alex anticipates that she’ll be in lockdown for the remainder of the year. However, if we as a community can wear masks, stay home and limit the spread, she’ll hopefully be able to reintegrate sooner rather than later. I’m so inspired by her story, her strength and perseverance and mostly, her gratitude and perspective in these uncertain times. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/23/202054 minutes, 30 seconds
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185 | Heidi Anderson Gestational Diabetes, Emergency Caesarean

In this week’s episode I interview Heidi Anderson about her journey into motherhood and the challenge of the days and weeks post-birth. After being told by her GP that it would be a miracle to fall pregnant naturally, Heidi fell on her first attempt. She was so shocked that she admits to feeling ungrateful for the first few weeks as she grappled with the inevitable and sudden change to her career and lifestyle. Once the doubt and first trimester nausea had passed, she embraced her pregnancy despite a Gestational Diabetes diagnosis and actively prepared for her labour with hypnobirth techniques. She was induced at 39.5 weeks, she birthed via cesarean and her baby boy, Memphis, spent his first few days in NICU with low blood sugar levels. Heidi is brutally honest about her experience as a new mum and she emphasises the importance of preparing not only for your birth but for the fourth trimester, too. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/19/202058 minutes, 59 seconds
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184 | Amanda Callan Three Births, Unexpected Twins Discovered at 26 Weeks

In this week’s episode I chat to Amanda Callan who shares the unique and somewhat overwhelming experience of discovering she was pregnant with twins at 26 weeks. Having experienced a hospital and homebirth previously, she opted to keep her community midwife on for the postpartum period and sought the care and guidance of a private obstetrician who supported her plans for a natural twin birth without epidural. Amanda talks candidly about the emotional journey of bringing the twins into the world and the mental and physical challenge of birthing one baby, bonding with him and then preparing to birth the second. She offers a refreshing insight into the complexities of twin birth whilst also reflecting on the births of her older children. Consider it a must-listen. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/15/202054 minutes, 9 seconds
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183 | Jame Telfer Two Caesareans and VBA2C On Country

In this week’s episode I chat to Jame, a mother of three and the owner of @earth.blended. Jame lives on Gumbaynggirr country, is a proud Gumbaynggirr Nyami (woman) and she talks from the heart about her three births, including the trauma of emergency cesarean and the anxiety and grief of having a sick child with a life-threatening condition. While she had always longed for a natural birth, it wasn’t until she fell pregnant with her third son that she listened to her intuition and consciously prepared for a VBAC2, an experience that filled her with immense pride and left her in complete awe. Jame’s story goes full circle, from the shock of hearing she needed an emergency cesarean with her first to the redemptive and healing experience of birthing and delivering her third and then having the opportunity to bask in an uninterrupted golden hour with her newborn. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/13/20201 hour, 22 minutes, 4 seconds
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182 | Anna Davies Midwife, 5 Babies, Twins Vaginal Delivery, Footling Breech

In this week’s episode I chat to midwife and mother of five, Anna Davies. While her first and second pregnancies were big surprises she went on to experience smooth and straightforward deliveries. Her third birth was a dream water birth that left her wanting just one more baby so no one was more surprised than her when she discovered she was pregnant with twins. She sought a private midwife and an OB for her twin birth and declined the recommendation for a precautionary epidural, successfully delivering naturally with her second twin being a footling breech. Anna brings a wealth of knowledge to her stories and discusses a range of common labour and birth experiences. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
7/6/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 16 seconds
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181 | Stacey June IUI Home Water Birth

In this week’s episode I chat to Stacey June about her fertility journey and homebirth. When Stacey first met her husband, Ben, he was open about his experience with pancreatic cancer and his wishes to become a father. Stacey knew that their journey to parenthood would be assisted but it was a non-issue for her; she knew Ben was the one and they started their first IUI treatment within nine months of meeting. Stacey talks from the heart about assisted conception, conscious birth preparation and her empowering birth experience. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/29/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 53 seconds
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180 | Natalia Two Home Waterbirths, Indigenous Birth Rituals, Birthing On Country

In this week’s episode I chat to Natalia @wildearthexpeditions about her two home water births with her daughters Estelle and Coco. Natalia’s story encapsulates her connection with her Indigenous family, the Ngarrindjeri people of South Australia. During her first visit to country she learnt to weave with her elders, a traditional ritual to welcome a woman into motherhood and only three months later she was pregnant. She embraced Indigenous rituals for her births and later buried the placentas on country in the same place her ancestors had buried theirs. Natalia tells a rich, beautiful story of birth and culture and speaks so eloquently about the mind body connection during labour that it’s honestly hard to capture it in words. Go listen, there’s so much learn from her. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/21/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 17 seconds
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179 | Kat O'Connor Home Birth, Slow Postpartum

In this week’s episode I chat to Kat about her dreamy homebirth with baby Rafi. As the eldest of seven children, Kat always knew she wanted to be a young mum and she approached the start of her pregnancy with as much preparation as she did her birth; adjusting her diet, connecting with her baby and practising conscious conception with her partner, Tully. Their home among the gumtrees was an idyllic space to bring their firstborn into the world and they did so with the support of their midwife, doula and birth photographer. Kat talks at length about her postpartum period, the benefits of rest and her choice to slowly and gently re-enter the world after giving birth. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/11/20201 hour, 33 minutes, 30 seconds
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178 | Aimee Morrisby, IVF, Sister Surrogacy Birth Story

In this week’s episode I talk to Aimee who was born with Hirschsprung's disease, a congenital bowel disease that led to over 50 operations and procedures by the time she was 7. In her early twenties, she was advised to start trying for a baby as her reproductive organs were ageing at a rapid rate and after failing to fall pregnant naturally, she started a challenging, long and deflating IVF journey. Years later, after 8 attempts and the conscious decision to stop trying, Aimee’s sister offered to be a surrogate. Aimee’s experience is unique and achingly beautiful; a story of resilience, sisterhood and the ultimate, most magical gift. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
6/1/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 26 seconds
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177 | Jas Summerfield Family Centered Home Water Birth

In this week’s episode I chat to midwife and mum of four, Jas Summerfield After a quick 45minute labour with her third baby which resulted in a car birth, Jas always knew that her fourth baby would be born at home, surrounded by family. She also knew that her mindset would dictate how she coped during labour so essential oils and reiki got her in the zone and once in the birth pool she laboured without pain and delivered her baby into the hands of her eldest daughter, Quinn. Jas’ story is both informative and inspiring, I think you’ll really love it. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/25/202054 minutes, 3 seconds
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175 | Bridget High Risk Pregnacy Blood Clots, Clexane

In this week’s episode I interview Bridget from @midnightmums about her third pregnancy and postpartum experience. Bridget had been so excited about having another baby and yet for the first half of her pregnancy she was absolutely floored by nausea, exhaustion and breathlessness. She came up with a myriad of excuses for herself and simply put it down to tiredness and the reality of growing a baby and looking after two busy boys. However, when she mentioned her breathing troubles to her OB, alarms bells rang and he sent her for a myriad of tests. She was diagnosed with blood clots on the lungs and had to endure twice-daily injections of blood thinning medication for the rest of her pregnancy and till three-months postpartum. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/14/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 58 seconds
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174 | Flick IVF Journey, Covid-19, VBAC

In this week’s episode I chat to Flick about the births of her two children, Arnie (4) and April (4 weeks). It’s been seven years since she first went off the pill with the intention of starting a family and throughout that time she has endured the heartache of infertility, PCOS diagnosis, multiple miscarriages and failed IVF attempts. Her first birth was an induction that ended in an emergency cesarean and her second a successful and joyous VBAC. However, despite achieving her dream birth, Flick did so during coronoavirus and has subsequently experienced expectational grief; grieving what she thought her birth and postpartum period would be like. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/11/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 3 seconds
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173 | Holly McCauley Two Vaginal Calm Births, Midwifery Care

In this week’s episode I chat to Holly about her two natural births that were, in almost every way, polar opposites. She journeyed towards her first birth, with daughter Della, believing that her body would do the job and relying on relating breathing techniques. Subsequently, she experienced a smooth and joyous water birth. Three years on and she was told by almost everyone that her second birth would be quick and easy, especially considering her experience the first time around. However, Holly endured a long, challenging labour that pushed her to her limits and proved that birth expectations can be deceiving. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
5/4/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 28 seconds
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BONUS Episode Mindfulness with Elise Bialylew

Today I chat to Elise Bialylew about how pregnant women and new mothers can use Mindfulness practices to reduce stress and calm ourselves, so we can tackle the challenges of motherhood. Elise is a mindfulness meditation expert trained in psychiatry, author of The Happiness Plan and mother. She is the founder of Mindful in May the worlds largest annual online mindfulness fundraising campaign. Mindful in May  supports its members through 10minutes of mindful meditation a day and provides access to the world's best experts who focus on building metal resilience. Over the last 8 years Mindful in May has taught over 40,000 people how to meditate whilst also raising nearly 1million dollars to bring clean drinking water to the developing world.  Learn more about Mindful In May here: https://www.mindfulinmay.org  
4/28/202040 minutes, 12 seconds
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172 | Montana Lower Spiritual Vaginal Delivery Midwifery Care

In this week’s episode I have a beautiful chat with Montana Lower. If you know Montana, you’ll know her smile and you can hear it throughout her birth story as she recalls the spiritual journey of bringing her daughter, Blue, earthside. She talks in detail about her deep connection to her body, breath and unborn baby and her ability to listen to her intuition, use her birth skills and subsequently experience a gentle, love-filled water birth. Montana’s story is an incredibly positive and inspiring one despite the challenge of birthing amidst bushfires and navigating new motherhood during the isolation of coronavirus. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/26/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 41 seconds
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171 | Bonnie Covid 19 Birth Antenatal Depression

In today’s episode I talk to Bonnie, a mother of two and midwifery student who guides us through her experience with antenatal anxiety and depression. With unflinching honesty, she recalls the confusing grief of miscarriage, her battle with exhaustion and nausea in early pregnancy and the subsequent motherguilt of not being able to care for her toddler. As her pregnancy progressed her mental health declined and in the middle of her third trimester her irrational mindset turned to suicidal thoughts. She courageously reached out to her husband, her psychologist and her OB and together they created a plan to carry her safely to her birth which just so happened to take place in the midst of Covid-19. Bonnie’s story is essential listening for us all and a potent reminder that mental health and wellbeing is an integral part of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Now, more than ever, we must bolster our online community of mothers with support, empathy and kindness because in this age of coronavirus, with limited antenatal and postpartum support, we’re all a little more vulnerable. If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to PANDA 1300 726 306  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/20/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 31 seconds
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170 | Aleisha Covid 19 Two Birth Stories

In today’s episode I chat to Aleysha about her two births and, in particular, her drama-filled second birth with baby Jude in the midst of Covid-19. In the days leading up to Jude’s arrival, Aleysha’s husband, a paramedic, had possible exposure to Covid-19 when he transferred a patient. It was only two hours before they had to go to the hospital that they got the all clear for him to attend although there were very strict rules in place. So began a positive and incredibly healing birth experience that was as exciting as it was overwhelming. Topics include: Reduced foetal movement, placenta, induction, balloon catheter, afterbirth, haemorrhage, PPH, manual removal of placenta, missed miscarriage, Covid-19, coronavirus, hypnobirth Today's episode is brought to you by If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/16/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 18 seconds
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169 | Anna McGahan Covid-19 VBAC Induced Midwifery Care

In today’s episode I talk to Anna @annamcgahan about her beautiful VBAC in the midst of Covid-19. She describes her second birth, with daughter Juniper, as a birth of juxtapositions: an induced, drug-free, hospitalised, hypnobirth VBAC. It’s a birth story complete with an incredibly positive induction, strong midwife support, unwavering faith in body and mind and the immense healing of redemptive birth after trauma.  I interviewed Anna about her first birth in episode #61. She talks in detail about her very rare placental abruption at 33weeks which was only discovered when she stopped feeling foetal movements (primary symptoms are pain and bleeding but Anna had neither). Mercy was born via emergency cesarean and stayed in the NICU for weeks before Anna and husband Jonathan took her home.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/13/20201 hour, 39 minutes, 23 seconds
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168 | Samantha Covid-19 Birth Story

In today’s special Covid-19 episode, I chat to Samantha who birthed her second daughter 12 days ago. On the day before her waters broke, Samantha took her toddler to the GP as she was showing signs of coronavirus (fever, cough, wheezing) and they opted to play it safe and get tested. Subsequently, Samantha was assigned extra precaution at every step of her birthing journey; she was in a pressurised room at Sunshine Coast University Hospital, all her caregivers wore full personal protective equipment (PPE) and both she and her husband had to wear masks. Despite the extra level of protection, Samantha was supported and cared for in the best possible way and her story is encouraging and comforting, especially for those women due to give birth in the next few weeks and months. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/9/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 32 seconds
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167 | Gemma Pranita PUPPP, Placental abruption, Caesarean

In today’s episode I chat to Gemma Pranita about her second pregnancy and birth with her baby boy, Iggy. Gemma is the first to admit that pregnancy is not her friend and while she had a challenging time in her first pregnancy (listen to the story in ) her most recent experience brought her to her knees. She was overwhelmed with severe nausea and vomiting till 18 weeks, she then developed early onset PUPPPs rash which resulted in weeks and weeks of severe itching and subsequent sleeplessness and in her third trimester pubic symphysis and pelvic separation made walking very painful. The start of Gemma’s pregnancy was an entirely different story. With her daughter, Raffaella, she spent close to two years trying to conceive, before she resorted to Intrauterine Insemination IUI (she describes it as a beautiful stepping stone to IVF). Gemma admits that unexplained infertility is a very frustrating journey and not one she would wish upon anyone: “You want to know what the problem is so you can find the solution and when you’re told there’s nothing wrong and you’re just in the waiting zone…you just want to bang your head against the wall.” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/6/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 8 seconds
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166 | Nikki McCahon Vaginal Delivery, Postpartum Anxiety

In today’s episode I chat to Nikki of Dear Muma Project - @dearmamaprohject -  an online community dedicated to creating social support for women as they navigate the transition into motherhood. Nikki talks candidly about her birth, her traumatic hospital experience and the lack of support which resulted in a postpartum depression diagnosis when her baby was six months old. Nikki fell pregnant easily and despite a bit of morning sickness in the first trimester and cravings for carbs, watermelon and mineral water, she enjoyed a relatively straightforward pregnancy. She opted for shared care with her GP but in retrospect wishes she had continuity of care with her local birth centre. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
4/1/202057 minutes, 37 seconds
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165 | Jessica Smith Hyperemisis, Dubai, Hypnobirthing Waterbirth

 In today’s episode I chat to Jessica Smith - @jessicasmith27 - about her third birth with baby Idris. Jessica is a former Paralympic swimmer, motivational speaker, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and author. You can listen to her talk about her first two vaginal births on episode 33 of the podcast.  Jessica and her husband moved to Dubai with their children Ayla (3) and Reza (1) in January 2019. Not long after settling into their new home, Jessica woke up one morning and was craving foods she hadn’t eaten in a long time and she knew, in that very moment, that she was pregnant. She hadn’t had a period in 16months as she was still breastfeeding Reza so the discovery came as a huge surprise. She was also in a new country and had to navigate the maternity system with very little information or guidance. After discussing the option to travel back to Australia to birth or temporarily visit Glasgow in the UK (her husband’s hometown), Jessica decided to stay in Dubai and seek the advice of the expat community.  She soon discovered Dubai’s world class health care system and enlisted the care of a pro-natural German obstetrician who supported her wishes for a water birth. She felt safe and reassured throughout her entire pregnancy and birth experience and she was treated with the utmost care while she rode the intensity of hyperemesis during her first 18weeks.  When reflecting on her second birth with Reza, Jessica admits that she was shocked and delighted by the fact that her body did all the hard work on its own. It was a quick labour and after getting stuck in traffic, she arrived at hospital only half-an-hour before giving birth. She was refused an epidural simply because she was too far along. Despite the intensity of the pain, she felt so empowered in that moment and hoped for the opportunity to do it again with the knowledge and skills of hypnobirthing behind her.  During her pregnancy with Idris, she hired a doula and did an online hypnobirthing class, both choices that led to what she describes as her best birth experience. “Having a doula was the best decision I’ve ever made. I just needed that level of reassurance that sometimes your partner might not be able to give you….she had that little bit of calm that made all the difference,” says Jessica.  Despite the oppressive heat in Dubai, Jessica had a relatively straightforward third trimester and yet she found herself getting impatient at 38weeks, willing for labour to start. “I tried everything to get labour going and nothing was working. I was getting annoyed at myself and then I had a moment when I thought Enough, Jess! This isn’t just about me, it’s about my baby.”  Jessica’s mum arrived on her due date and two days later she woke with mild period cramps and knew that labour had begun. She went about her day as normal - school drop-offs and pick-ups - and by the afternoon her mum took the kids out and she settled in to watch some comedy and get the oxytocin going.  After her rushed second birth, she was keen to get to the hospital early and settle into her birth space with her doula and photographer close by. She got to the hospital at 8:30pm and although in retrospect she wishes she had declined the offer for an internal, she went ahead and was told she was 5-7cms and would be labouring for the next few hours.  “I lost trust in myself when the doctor said I was 5-7cm but then again, having my doula there, she reframed it and suggested I just use it as information and then refocus on my body and what it was doing, how I was feeling and what sensations I was experiencing.”  As soon as Jessica got in the bath her surges intensified and she started to doubt her ability to birth. “I was screaming, there was so much pressure, and then the next thing my doula reminded me that I could just allow my body to do the pushing, because that’s what we’re designed to do; the baby and our body works together. I was trying really hard to focus on feeling the baby moving through the pain and to then add a little pressure from my body to push. It was amazing when he crowned because that’s when the pain shifted, I was then trying slowly and calmly to birth him without having to push too much. I just trusted the process and he was there, I scooped him out of the water and up onto my chest.”  It was just a wonderful, wonderful experience….it’s so painful but also incredibly profound and beautiful. It’s the birth of a mother, a new mother. It’s a new surge of responsibility and emotion and love and respect. I’ll be forever grateful for the experience. I was so proud….I felt like superwoman,” says Jessica   As a final thought, Jessica shares some wise words on birth: “It doesn’t matter how a baby is born, it’s a blessing and that woman is a mother regardless. There are not better experiences, there are simply different experiences.” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/30/202056 minutes, 2 seconds
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164 | Melissa Spilsted 3 Births, Hypnobirthing Australia

 In today’s episode, I interview Melissa Spilsted. Melissa shares with us the stories of her three pregnancies and vaginal births. After attending birth classes at the private hospital where she planned to birth her first baby, Melissa was very disappointed and found the education lacking. She carried on to do her own research and armed herself with tools and knowledge, doing everything she could to train her body and mind.    At 37 weeks Melissa met Leanne Jackson (a hypnotherapist) who she then saw for a session. At 41 weeks she went into labour naturally and had a really calm, beautiful labour using the techniques Leanne had taught her. One minute after her son was born she said to her husband ‘Let’s do this again!’  Melissa went on to have two more babies, both water births, using hypnobirthing techniques. She was inspired to train as a hypnotherapist and hypnobirthing practitioner after her successful use of the techniques throughout all of her labours. Melissa then founded the highly successful Hypnobirthing Australia program. In her program Melissa uses evidence based tools and techniques for positive birth experiences (however a baby is delivered) and feels a strong sense of justice in helping women achieve the beautiful births they deserve. She believes ‘Labour and birth can be the highlight of your life’. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/25/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 33 seconds
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163 | Jodi Wilson Yoga Teacher and Birth Educators Four Births

In today’s episode, I interview Jodi Wilson. Jodi shares the pregnancies and births of her four children.  As a yoga teacher and childbirth educator, Jodi brings a beautiful perspective to her interview. She even shares some breathing techniques and tools she used in her births. Whilst each of Jodi’s births was drug-free and under the care of midwives, they were all quite unique in their own way.  Her third and most challenging birth almost ended in an emergency caesarean section and this traumatic experience left her quite anxious going into her fourth birth. To hear more about Jodi’s experiences tune into this weeks show. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/22/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 18 seconds
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162 | Leah Williams Endometriosis, IVF, Two Births, Antenatal Anxiety and PTSD

 In today’s episode I talk to Leah about her two IVF pregnancies and, in particular, her second birth that resulted in a PTSD diagnosis at six-months postpartum. It’s a pertinent discussion about women’s birth rights and the imperative role of educated and supportive caregivers. As a long-time sufferer of endometriosis, Leah and her husband tried to fall pregnant for two years before they sought the assistance of IVF  "After trying for so long, I knew when I was ovulating. I did temp tests, cheap tests and expensive tests. I did everything, including acupuncture, but it just didn’t work….I don’t feel like there’s a lot of information that explains why it’s harder to fall pregnant. I’ve had five surgeries and they did the final one three months before the IVF cycle, if there’s adhesions I know that they can prevent conception,” she says. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/16/20201 hour, 34 minutes, 33 seconds
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161 | Simone Haag Three Births, Breech, VBAC at 42 weeks Midwifery care, second VBAC with shared care

In today’s episode, I interview Simone Haag. Simone shares her six pregnancies and three births. Sadly Simone’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and she went on to fall pregnant soon after. She asked around and decided to book in with a private OBGYN her friend had seen working out of Epworth. During her third trimester, they discovered that Simone’s little girl was in the breech position. Her Obgyn explained that she was not comfortable performing a breech delivery and if she was unable to get her to turn then Simone would need to have a casarean. Despite seeing an acupuncturist and trying a multitude of recommended techniques, she didn’t turn and Simone had a planned caesarean. To hear how Simone went on to have two more babies delivered vaginally as VBACs tune into this weeks episode.  If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/9/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 16 seconds
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160 | Claire Holt shares her Missed Miscarriage, Vaginal Delivery of James and her Challenges with Breastfeeding

In today’s special episode for International Women’s Day, I chat to Australian actress Claire Holt. Claire lives in LA with her husband, Andrew and their baby boy, James. After spending close to 15 years on birth control, it took Claire’s body six months to establish a regular period once she went off the pill. On her second cycle, much to her shock and delight, she conceived. At her 10week scan she discovered that she’d experience a missed miscarriage (a miscarriage with no symptoms) and she admits that the experience was incredibly traumatic. "I don’t know how to describe it; it was such an overwhelming sense of loss and it was so much more significant than I had ever realised. I knew that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage but…It almost diminishes the weight of it because it’s so common…I just didn’t realise how quickly you become attached to the baby,” she says. Claire had a D+C and talks about the importance of grieving and healing. She wasn’t ready to fall pregnant straight away so she took a few months to get her body and mind back before she decided to try again.  James was conceived 5 months later and whilst Claire was elated, she was also fraught with anxiety. “I took pregnancy tests everyday, I got a blood test and was desperate for an early ultrasound. Each time I had a scan I was so panicked that I’d see a baby without a heartbeat. I was anxious until the moment he was in my arms.” Claire experienced a relatively smooth pregnancy although she showed early and James measured big, hence she was overwhelmed by the comments from people remarking on her size. Never perturbed, she continued to see her OBGYB and doula, who both guided her through her anxieties and fears. She scheduled an induction at 39weeks to fit with her OBGYN’s schedule and to give herself the best opportunity to have a natural birth (considering James’ size). After experiencing a week of false labour, she had a stretch and sweep and lost her mucus plug mere hours later. Induction began at midnight that night and by 5am the next morning her cervix had softened so her OB decided to insert a foley balloon to soften and open the cervix which Claire admits was the most excruciating pain she has ever experienced. By 8am her OB decided to break her waters which intensified the contractions and whilst Claire was adamant that she wanted a drug-free labour, by noon she conceded that she couldn’t do it anymore. She opted for a walking epidural that really took the edge off her contractions but still allowed her to stay mobile. Unfortunately after three to four hours she hadn’t progressed so she was given pitocin which helped get her to 10cm. “The pushing process was this really amazing, primal feeling. I had a room full of amazing women - nurses, my doula, my OB…and to be surrounded by these women who were guiding me to bring this baby earthside, was magical.” Claire only pushed for 10minutes but James had shoulder dystocia so the OB used his hand to manoeuvre his shoulder and he was born shortly afterward. Claire only had one small tear which she credits to her OB’s use of oil and massage during delivery. After a few nights in hospital, Claire headed home confused thanks to conflicting messages from the midwives about breastfeeding. So began a challenging experience that included a tongue tie, allergies and limited supply due to stress. Claire’s postpartum experience was overwhelming and anxiety-ridden. “I was so terrified that James would suffocate in the night…I had this crazy, awful image that someone in her my was going to stop breathing. I thought I was going to drop him or hurt him and I’d obsessively check the monitor if I wasn’t in the same room,” she says. She attributes her anxiety to the confluence of sleep deprivation and the almighty experience of bringing a baby into the world. Being open and honest about her feelings early on was a catalyst for change. She had weekly appointments with her therapist, she opted to give up breastfeeding and when James started sleeping through at four months old, she recognised a significant shift in her mental health. James is about to celebrate his first birthday and Claire is adamant that all mothers should do what’s best for them as well as what’s best for the baby.   Topics include: miscarriage, missed miscarriage, birth control, natural birth, OBGYN, foley balloon, induction, walking epidural, natural birth, shoulder dystocia, postpartum anxiety. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/7/202055 minutes, 25 seconds
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159 | Sarah Harris, Six Vaginal Deliveries, Rural NSW, Midwifery Care

In today’s episode I interview Sarah Harris - @6.little.wildflowers. Sarah and her husband Rhys live on a sheep station in far west NSW and they have travelled a 200km dirt road to Mildura, the closest large town, for all six of Sarah’s births. For women who live in rural and remote Australia, it’s not uncommon to move to the closest town in the weeks leading up to their due date so they can access midwifery or obstetric care. Sarah’s body always gave her a sign that labour was imminent and so she stayed at home for her six pregnancies and made it to the hospital with plenty of time to spare. She’s spent the past 10 years growing, birthing and feeding babies and regardless of the fact that baby number five and six were surprises, she’s adamant that there’s no more. After losing her first pregnancy in an early miscarriage, she went on to conceive Isabelle and admits that she was very blasé when it came to birth preparation and awareness. “I had no idea what I was doing and to be honest, the only thing I read about birth was from a magazine,” she says. After having a show and mild contractions, Sarah and Rhys made their way to Mildura Hospital and were largely left on their own. “I was an absolute mess, really. I was yelling and crying and it was only when Rhys went out to get someone that they came in and noticed that Isabelle was crowning. I just remember thinking that I needed to get her out and stop the pain and so I pushed without breathing and that resulted in a second degree tear.” In the days that followed they had a steady stream of visitors and Sarah struggled with breastfeeding because of oversupply and flat nipples. It was only when Sharon, a well-known Mildura-based midwife came in on day four that everything changed for her. “She basically said we needed to go back to the beginning so she drained my breasts with the pump - I never knew a breast pump even existed - and then gave me nipple shields to use and thankfully, they made all the difference.” Isabelle was a very settled baby and Sarah fell pregnant again when she was only 8months old. She enjoyed a very smooth, easy pregnancy and despite being heavily pregnant in summer (with temperatures often in the high 40s) she has only fond memories of the last trimester. Her labour started with aches in the right hip and down the leg and once they got to hospital, labour was very quick. “Ruby’s birth was one of my easiest with quite short, sharp and irregular contractions to begin with. It was only 2 hours long and I felt absolutely amazing afterwards,” she says. Once again, she had trouble with feeding and used nipple shields to feed. Whilst Ruby is now 8, a recent trip to the dentist confirmed that she has a tongue and lip tie and Sarah is certain this was the cause of her difficult latch as a baby. Sarah loved having two babies under two and only waited to have a third because she was maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding. The gap between Ruby and Ava is her biggest and coincidentally, Ava’s pregnancy and birth was Sarah’s hardest (another example of a tricky third birth!). At 39weeks she went out in the ute with friends and after bouncing about in the paddock she noticed her water’s breaking that night during dinner. The next day she went to hospital in early labour - thinking that it would be a quick progression - and yet labour dragged on. After the birth she had a postpartum hemorrhage and lost 600ML of blood. “I was wrecked! I couldn’t get off the bed of even move and Rhys just held Ava while I recovered.” Ava self-weaned at nine months old and Sarah admits that she was devastated. “I expressed for a few months and bottle fed her but once I realised that it was just in her personality, I accepted it. She did everything early - walked, talked - it’s just who she is.” Regardless of Ava’s challenging delivery, Sarah was excited to add a fourth baby to the family and she experienced a smooth and joyful delivery with Poppy. It was the first time that Sarah had the opportunity to give birth in the public hospital and have postnatal care in the private hospital and she relished the 5-day holiday she had with Rhys by her side. Thinking that her baby days were over, Sarah sought treatment for her painful varicose veins that had gotten progressively worse with each pregnancy. She had laser treatment followed by injections and it was before one of her treatments that she realised her period was late. She knew she couldn’t have the injection if she was pregnant so she drove 200km to buy a pregnancy test, did it on the side of the road and when she got home, told Rhys they were expecting baby number 5. Regardless of the fact that a psychic had told her she would have lots of children, Sarah took a long time to get her head around the fact that she was pregnant. “I found it really hard to cope with the sickness considering it wasn’t planned but as soon as sickness went away I was fine. I saw an obstetrician this time around because it was the only way I could have the postpartum care in the private hospital and labour was gentle and easy. A friend had given me a bottle of clary sage so we used it to get the contractions going and literally ten minutes after it was applied, Clementine was born (after only 30minutes of active labour!).” They left hospital thinking it would be the last time and yet 16months later, as she was preparing to have another injection for her varicose veins, Sarah felt the familiar symptoms of early pregnancy nausea. They waited till she was 18weeks to announce the pregnancy to family and friends as they were a little concerned about how people would react. Thankfully they were only met with happiness. Sarah embraced planned a babymoon to Noosa and booked a birth photographer for the first time. She was under the care of the midwives in Mildura who were very laid back and let Sarah guide them in her labour. She resumed her default birthing position (on her knees on the bed) and birthed baby Posie after 45minutes of active labour. If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
3/2/20201 hour, 36 minutes, 45 seconds
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158 | Hannah Vasicek Caesarean Delivery, Amniotic Band Syndrome

In today’s episode, I interview Hannah Vasicek. Hannah shares her pregnancy and birth of her little girl Vienna. At 10 weeks Hannah found out she was having a little girl and she had the name Vienna picked for her girl's name for years so they immediately began calling her by her name. At 12 weeks gestation when they went in for their ultrasound, Hannah noticed the sonographer was taking a long time and she then left the room to get someone else to come and have a look. Hannah’s heart sank fearing the worst. The doctor explained that Vienna had a very rare condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome. Amniotic band syndrome is a rare condition caused by strands of the amniotic sac that separate and entangle digits, limbs, or other parts of the fetus. It is believed that amniotic band syndrome occurs when the inner membrane (amnion) ruptures, or tears, without injury to the outer membrane (chorion). They were unable to be certain however they believed that the band had attached on Vienna’s right arm. They wouldn’t know exactly until the 20 weeks scan where about the band had attached and how much of Vienna’s right arm would be affected. To hear how Vienna’s birth unfolded tune into this week’s episode. BodyICE Woman ice and heat packs were created to help women recover post childbirth and during breastfeeding. The range was created by Olympic Champ and mum of two Lydia Lassila after the birth of her first son in 2011. The range consists of Breast Pads, designed to fit inside the bra and around nipples to provide relief from soreness associated with breast feeding, blocked milk ducts and engorgement. BodyICE Woman is now available in many retail and online stores, as well as via our own website . BodyICE Woman is offering my listeners a 30% discount off the entire BodyICE range. Use promo code AUSBIRTH30  at checkout a BodyICE If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/24/202049 minutes, 33 seconds
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157 | Amy Gerard, Three Vaginal Births, Polyhydramnios, Cholestasis, Midwifery Care

In today’s episode I chat to Amy Gerard who discusses her three pregnancies and births with the honesty and humour that she’s so well known for on instagram. Amy and Ryan had only been dating for seven months when they unexpectedly fell pregnant with their daughter, Charli. Amy suffered severe nausea, migraines and nosebleeds and later into the pregnancy developed Polyhydramnios; a condition that creates excess amniotic fluid. As a result, Amy gained 30kg and when her waters broke at 37weeks, she lost 15kg in fluid overnight.   After going into the birth centre for a stretch and sweep, Amy returned home to labour but whenever she called the hospital to update them on her progress, they encouraged her to stay at home and come in the following day. She admits she felt really unsupported and was understandably upset. Eventually she heeded the advice of her mum who encouraged her to present to the birthing suite. At this stage she was stressed and anxious and not coping with the growing intensity of her contractions. “I had no idea what to expect…I had no idea what was happening and where I was at. I had fear of the unknown and it had gripped me,” she says.   After requesting an epidural, the anaesthetist had to administer it three times before it worked as Amy’s excess fluid made it very difficult to find the exact spot. Once she was pain-free she happily laboured for a few hours till she reached full dilation and when the epidural started wearing off she began pushing. Second stage took roughly 40minutes and Amy admits that she dug deep to access energy that she never knew she had. Charli fed well from the start and whilst Amy felt like she had been hit by a freight train, she returned home after two nights and settled well into new motherhood. However, she admits that the emotional rollercoaster of the first few weeks took her by surprise; she was teary, anxious and exhausted and perplexed by the fact that her new baby didn’t come with a how-to guide.   Eleven months later Amy and Ryan got married and she fell pregnant soon after with baby Bobby. Bobby’s pregnancy was a very smooth ride and apart from six weeks of antenatal depression during her second trimester, Amy enjoyed the whole experience. However, late in her third trimester she started to get itchy hands and feet, so much so that she would scratch at her palms with a hairbrush and brush her hands against brick walls. She casually mentioned it to her midwife at her 37weeks appointment who sent her straight for a blood test. The results came back the following day and her bile acid levels were incredibly high; she was diagnosed with Cholestasis and induced a few days afterward. “The drip was administered and my waters broke and then I closed my eyes and lay there, listening to my music and focusing on my breathing. Ryan was rubbing the bottom of my leg and as the contractions were building I completely zoned out and thought about the lady in my calm birth classes who taught me about breathing techniques,” she says. Her midwife encouraged her to focus on opening her bottom with each exhalation and before long she felt like she was ready to push. “I was like: Yes, I did it! I pushed him out in 14 minutes! From when the drip went in to holding him in my arms was 90 minutes. I honestly felt great!” If you'd like my FREE guide on perineal massage click If you'd like my FREE 5-minute breathing exercise click Follow us on Instagram to keep the conversation going. To learn more about The Birth Class  my online childbirth education course head to the shop 
2/19/20201 hour, 17 minutes, 17 seconds
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156 | Chloe Mackie is a midwife who shares her two vaginal births

In today’s episode I chat with Chloe Mackie. Chloe has two children - Sunny (3) and Maya (2 weeks) - and is a midwife with a passion for antenatal care. “I want to empower women with knowledge and education. Ultimately I want to work in Midwife Group Practice or private midwifery because I believe that every woman should have the opportunity to have a known care provider through pregnancy and birth,” she says. Chloe was working at the Gold Coast University Hospital when she and husband, Jason, started trying for a baby. After two years and a few miscarriages, they sought the advice of a fertility specialist who told them they had unexplained infertility. In the months following they did three rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) but to no avail. Chloe found the experience to be emotionally taxing so on the fourth month she opted to have a break. She decided to go back to the basics - yoga, acupuncture and improving her holistic health - and she fell pregnant naturally on her next cycle. “When we were trying to conceive people would often tell me that if I stopped thinking about it, it would happen. That was the hardest thing to hear because you can’t stop thinking about it; every minute of every day you just want a baby. And every time I got my period I’d feel like a failure. Coincidentally though, when I did start thinking about it…thinking about me and my husband and our health…we fell pregnant.” Chloe opted to have a private midwife who would support her throughout the pregnancy, attended her